Fasting, Reasons For
Most Relevant Verses
When all Jabesh-gilead heard of everything the Philistines had done to Saul, all their brave men set out and retrieved the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons and brought them to Jabesh. They buried their bones under the oak in Jabesh and fasted seven days.
When the residents of Jabesh-gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul, all their brave men set out, journeyed all night, and retrieved the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons from the wall of Beth-shan. When they arrived at Jabesh, they burned the bodies there. Afterward, they took their bones and buried them under the tamarisk tree in Jabesh and fasted seven days.
Then David took hold of his clothes and tore them, and all the men with him did the same. They mourned, wept, and fasted until the evening for those who died by the sword—for Saul, his son Jonathan, the Lord’s people, and the house of Israel.
David then ordered Joab and all the people who were with him, “Tear your clothes, put on sackcloth, and mourn over Abner.” And King David walked behind the funeral procession. When they buried Abner in Hebron, the king wept aloud at Abner’s tomb. All the people wept, and the king sang a lament for Abner:Should Abner die as a fool dies?read more.
Your hands were not bound,
your feet not placed in bronze shackles.
You fell like one who falls victim to criminals.And all the people wept over him even more. Then they came to urge David to eat bread while it was still day, but David took an oath: “May God punish me and do so severely if I taste bread or anything else before sunset!”
He got up from the table in fierce anger and did not eat any food that second day of the New Moon, for he was grieved because of his father’s shameful behavior toward David.
So Ahab went to his palace resentful and angry because of what Naboth the Jezreelite had told him. He had said, “I will not give you my fathers’ inheritance.” He lay down on his bed, turned his face away, and didn’t eat any food. Then his wife Jezebel came to him and said to him, “Why are you so upset that you refuse to eat?” “Because I spoke to Naboth the Jezreelite,” he replied. “I told him: Give me your vineyard for silver, or if you wish, I will give you a vineyard in its place. But he said, ‘I won’t give you my vineyard!’”
Samuel said, “Gather all Israel at Mizpah, and I will pray to the Lord on your behalf.” When they gathered at Mizpah, they drew water and poured it out in the Lord’s presence. They fasted that day, and there they confessed, “We have sinned against the Lord.” And Samuel judged the Israelites at Mizpah.
On the twenty-fourth day of this month the Israelites assembled; they were fasting, wearing sackcloth, and had put dust on their heads. Those of Israelite descent separated themselves from all foreigners, and they stood and confessed their sins and the guilt of their fathers. While they stood in their places, they read from the book of the law of the Lord their God for a fourth of the day and spent another fourth of the day in confession and worship of the Lord their God.
So I turned my attention to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and petitions, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes. I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed:Ah, Lord—the great and awe-inspiring God who keeps His gracious covenant with those who love Him and keep His commands— we have sinned, done wrong, acted wickedly, rebelled, and turned away from Your commands and ordinances.read more.
We have not listened to Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your name to our kings, leaders, fathers, and all the people of the land.
Dress in sackcloth and lament, you priests;
wail, you ministers of the altar.
Come and spend the night in sackcloth,
you ministers of my God,
because grain and drink offerings
are withheld from the house of your God. Announce a sacred fast;
proclaim an assembly!
Gather the elders
and all the residents of the land
at the house of the Lord your God,
and cry out to the Lord.
this is the Lord’s declaration—
turn to Me with all your heart,
with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Tear your hearts,
not just your clothes,
and return to the Lord your God.
For He is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger, rich in faithful love,
and He relents from sending disaster. Who knows? He may turn and relent
and leave a blessing behind Him,
so you can offer grain and wine
to the Lord your God.read more.
Blow the horn in Zion!
Announce a sacred fast;
proclaim an assembly.
The men of Nineveh believed in God. They proclaimed a fast and dressed in sackcloth—from the greatest of them to the least. When word reached the king of Nineveh, he got up from his throne, took off his royal robe, put on sackcloth, and sat in ashes. Then he issued a decree in Nineveh:By order of the king and his nobles: No man or beast, herd or flock, is to taste anything at all. They must not eat or drink water. read more.
Furthermore, both man and beast must be covered with sackcloth, and everyone must call out earnestly to God. Each must turn from his evil ways and from the violence he is doing. Who knows? God may turn and relent; He may turn from His burning anger so that we will not perish.
Then Nathan went home.The Death of Bathsheba’s Son The Lord struck the baby that Uriah’s wife had borne to David, and he became ill. David pleaded with God for the boy. He fasted, went home, and spent the night lying on the ground. The elders of his house stood beside him to get him up from the ground, but he was unwilling and would not eat anything with them.
People came and told Jehoshaphat, “A vast number from beyond the Dead Sea and from Edom has come to fight against you; they are already in Hazazon-tamar” (that is, En-gedi). Jehoshaphat was afraid, and he resolved to seek the Lord. Then he proclaimed a fast for all Judah, who gathered to seek the Lord. They even came from all the cities of Judah to seek Him.
I proclaimed a fast by the Ahava River, so that we might humble ourselves before our God and ask Him for a safe journey for us, our children, and all our possessions.
Yet when they were sick,
my clothing was sackcloth;
I humbled myself with fasting,
and my prayer was genuine. I went about grieving as if for my friend or brother;
I was bowed down with grief,
like one mourning a mother.
The whole Israelite army went to Bethel where they wept and sat before the Lord. They fasted that day until evening and offered burnt offerings and fellowship offerings to the Lord. Then the Israelites inquired of the Lord. In those days, the ark of the covenant of God was there, and Phinehas son of Eleazar, son of Aaron, was serving before it. The Israelites asked: “Should we again fight against our brothers the Benjaminites or should we stop?”The Lord answered: “Fight, because I will hand them over to you tomorrow.”
When I went up the mountain to receive the stone tablets, the tablets of the covenant the Lord made with you, I stayed on the mountain 40 days and 40 nights. I did not eat bread or drink water.
In the first year of Darius, the son of Ahasuerus, a Mede by birth, who was ruler over the kingdom of the Chaldeans: In the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, understood from the books according to the word of the Lord to Jeremiah the prophet that the number of years for the desolation of Jerusalem would be 70. So I turned my attention to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and petitions, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes.
In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia, a message was revealed to Daniel, who was named Belteshazzar. The message was true and was about a great conflict. He understood the message and had understanding of the vision. In those days I, Daniel, was mourning for three full weeks.
In the church that was at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius the Cyrenian, Manaen, a close friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work I have called them to.” Then after they had fasted, prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them off.
When it was day, the Jews formed a conspiracy and bound themselves under a curse: neither to eat nor to drink until they had killed Paul. There were more than 40 who had formed this plot.
- Reasons (20 instances)