Scientific, Political, Biblical, and Practical Reasons for Fasting


Biblical Fasting

Fasting in the Old and New Testament was a habit and way of life. They fasted for God’s answer, blessing, forgiveness, or spiritual intimacy. Moses, Jews, Prophets, Jesus & His disciples practiced prayer and fasting. (Exodus 34:28; Daniel 10:3; Psalm 35:13-14; Matthew 6:16-18; Luke 18:12; Acts 13:2)

What it’s not: Biblical fasting is not avoiding pork in lieu of delicious prawns or fish, nor is it for the Lenten season only. It’s avoiding not just meat, but denying you with anything that tastes good (Daniel 10:3). Fasting goes with “intentional prayer” and reading God’s word. Otherwise, it’s just dieting.

Political Reasons

In the Bible, people fasted on the day of atonement or when someone was sick. Jesus rebuked the scribes and Pharisees because they were doing it for political reasons. They disfigured their faces and moved around so people can see them. Fasting made them appear like “godly leaders.” However, Jesus referred to them as “hypocrites.”

Scientific Benefit Fasting

Scientists are discovering that intermittent fasting may help treat cancer, Alzheimer’s, detoxify, and clear other illness. Fasting triggers stem cell regeneration of damaged immune systems in a healthy nourished body. (Valter Longo, Ph.D., USC News).

Max Lugavere, the author of “Genius Foods” said that fasting increases wakefulness and alertness when Orexin neuron-a, a neurotransmitter in the brain increases during intermittent fasting. Fasting also induces a marked increase in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and a decrease in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (Pubmed).

Intermittent Fasting: Effective weight loss management

Interestingly, a systematic review of 40 studies found that intermittent fasting was effective for weight loss, with a typical loss of 7-11 pounds over 10 weeks (Harvard). However, fasting without “intentional prayer” is simply dieting.

An age-old practical and sacred tradition


Plato, a philosopher, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world, practiced fasting. He said, “I fast for greater physical mental efficiency.”

Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year for the Jewish people, it is when they are closest to God and to the essence of our souls. Yom Kippur means “Day of Atonement,” a day of fasting.

Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of India, fasted frequently to make a political point. His longest fast lasted 21 days. Fasting was a weapon used by Gandhi as part of his philosophy of Ahimsa (non-violence).


During the entire month of Ramadan, Muslims are obligated to fast, every day from dawn to sunset. Fasting requires abstinence from food, drink and sexual activity.

Jesus’ forty days of fasting

In the Bible, Jesus fasted for 40 days. When Jesus’ flesh was at its weakest, He endured relentless temptation from Satan. He demonstrated for us that fasting can strengthen us spiritually when we use it to draw closer to God.

When Kings Pray and Fast

Kingsley Fletcher, a North Carolina preacher, also known as HRM King Adamtey I, saw the power of praying and fasting. In his book “When Kings Pray and Fast,” Pastor Kingsley relates several stories of miracles after they prayed and fasted.

Try this: Master Cleanse Detox for Liquid Fasting

Master Cleanse* is a 75 years old recipe for better health and mental acuity. It’s a mixture of 1 part water, 1 part Lemon, a dash of Cayenne, and real Maple syrup to sweeten. Drink as much as you want for 5 to 7 straight days. The first 3 days are difficult. On the third day, detox begins.

While fasting for health reasons is a good motivation, we must settle in our heart why we want to fast. Biblical fasting is NOT the same as fasting to lose weight. It must go with prayer and meditation of God’s word.

How to pray like Jesus and get answers.
Practical examples of Accountability Questions for Christians.
QUICK GUIDE: 5-Days Prayer & Fasting Guide

* Fasting is a willing abstinence or reduction from some or all food, drink, or both, for a period of time. Breaking your fast should be slow. It’s not recommended for children. Consult your Physician if you have symptoms or concerns.

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