Fasting, Practice Of
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Then said the LORD unto me, Pray not for this people for their good. When they fast, I will not hear their cry; and when they offer a burnt offering and a grain offering, I will not accept them: but I will consume them by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence.
Cry aloud, spare not, lift up your voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins. Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching God. Why have we fasted, they say, and you see not? why have we afflicted our soul, and you take no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast you find pleasure, and exploit all your laborers.read more.
Behold, you fast for strife and debate, and to strike with the fist of wickedness: you shall not fast as you do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high. Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? will you call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD? Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and that you bring the poor that are cast out to your house? when you see the naked, that you cover him; and that you hide not yourself from your own flesh?
Then came the word of the LORD of hosts unto me, saying, Speak unto all the people of the land, and to the priests, saying, When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh month, even those seventy years, did you at all fast unto me, even to me? And when you did eat, and when you did drink, did not you eat for yourselves, and drink for yourselves?read more.
Should you not hear the words which the LORD has cried by the former prophets, when Jerusalem was inhabited and in prosperity, and her cities round about her, when men inhabited the south and the lowland?
Moreover when you fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But you, when you fast, anoint your head, and wash your face; That you appear not unto men to fast, but unto your Father who is in secret: and your Father, who sees in secret, shall reward you openly.
Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples fast not? And Jesus said unto them, Can the friends of the bridegroom mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast.
And the disciples of John and of the Pharisees used to fast: and they came and said unto him, Why do the disciples of John and of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples fast not? And Jesus said unto them, Can the friends of the bridegroom fast, while the bridegroom is with them? as long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days.
And they said unto him, Why do the disciples of John fast often, and make prayers, and likewise the disciples of the Pharisees; but you eat and drink? And he said unto them, Can you make the friends of the bridegroom fast, while the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days.
And the men of Israel were distressed that day: for Saul had lain an oath on the people, saying, Cursed be the man that eats any food until evening, that I may be avenged on my enemies. So none of the people tasted any food. And all they of the land came to a forest; and there was honey upon the ground. And when the people were come into the forest, behold, the honey dripped; but no man put his hand to his mouth: for the people feared the oath.read more.
But Jonathan heard not when his father charged the people with the oath: therefore he put forth the end of the rod that was in his hand, and dipped it in a honeycomb, and put his hand to his mouth; and his eyes were brightened. Then answered one of the people, and said, your father strictly charged the people with an oath, saying, Cursed be the man that eats any food this day. And the people were faint. Then said Jonathan, My father has troubled the land: see, I ask you, how my eyes have been brightened, because I tasted a little of this honey. How much better, if the people had eaten freely today of the spoil of their enemies which they found? for would there not been now a much greater slaughter among the Philistines?
And it came to pass, when Ahab heard those words, that he tore his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his flesh, and fasted, and lay in sackcloth, and went softly. And the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, See you how Ahab humbles himself before me? because he humbles himself before me, I will not bring the evil in his days: but in his son's days will I bring the evil upon his house.
Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek of him a right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our possessions.
And they gathered together to Mizpah, and drew water, and poured it out before the LORD, and fasted on that day, and said there, We have sinned against the LORD. And Samuel judged the children of Israel at Mizpah.
Now in the twenty and fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, and in sackcloth, and earth upon their heads. And the descendants of Israel separated themselves from all strangers, and stood and confessed their sins, and the iniquities of their fathers. And they stood up in their place, and read in the book of the law of the LORD their God one fourth part of the day; and another fourth part they confessed, and worshiped the LORD their God.
Gird yourselves, and lament, you priests: wail, you ministers of the altar: come, lie all night in sackcloth, you ministers of my God: for the grain offering and the drink offering is withheld from the house of your God. Sanctify you a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the LORD your God, and cry unto the LORD.
Therefore also now, says the LORD, turn you even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: And tear your hearts, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and relents from sending calamity. Who knows if he will return and have pity, and leave a blessing behind him; even a grain offering and a drink offering unto the LORD your God?read more.
Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly:
And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven,
Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek of him a right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our possessions. For I was ashamed to ask of the king a band of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy in the way: because we had spoken unto the king, saying, The hand of our God is upon all them for good that seek him; but his power and his wrath is against all them that forsake him. So we fasted and besought our God for this: and he answered our prayer.
And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:
And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say unto this mountain, Remove from here to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, who departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.
And they said unto him, Why do the disciples of John fast often, and make prayers, and likewise the disciples of the Pharisees; but you eat and drink?
And when they had ordained elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.
Let the husband render unto the wife her due: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife has not power over her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband has not power over his own body, but the wife. Deprive not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your lack of self-control.
As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.