The Benefits of Fasting

Submitted February 2, 2013

The Benefits of Fasting
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Going without food and water isn’t exactly a pleasant thought. When you’re hungry or thirsty and you have food to eat and water to drink, would you choose to abstain? That’s what fasting is: choosing to not eat or drink anything for a period of time. The Bible refers to fasting as afflicting our souls. So why would we want to fast? There are many reasons given in the Bible, but I want to focus on three spiritual benefits we obtain right away from fasting.

1. More time for prayer, Bible study and meditation

I think we all struggle with making time for God. It’s easy to get caught up in day to day responsibilities and entertainment. We can cut down on entertainment but it’s hard to cut out responsibilities, including eating. You might be surprised how much time we spend fixing, eating and cleaning up after meals every day. We free up a lot of time when we don’t have to think about eating or drinking that we can use for prayer and Bible study. I find prayer and meditation are especially easier to stay focused on when fasting.

2. Attitude check

Fasting is immediately humbling. It makes us realize how human we are and how much we need to depend on God for our spiritual sustenance. 2 Chronicles:7:14 says, “if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

3. Renewed closeness with God

Sometimes I feel like my relationship with God is more like an acquaintance than a friend, let alone a Father. What can you do if you feel this happen in your life? James:4:8 says, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you...” Humbling yourself and fasting is one of the best ways to draw near to God. When we make a 24 hour effort to strengthen our relationship with God, He responds to us.

Fasting is a very important part of having a healthy relationship with God. It helps put our spiritual and physical life in perspective. God gives us specific ways to worship and honor Him in the Bible and He instructs us to fast in many scriptures. Joel:2:12 says, "Now, therefore," says the LORD, ‘Turn to Me with all your heart, With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.’” So find a day to dedicate to God and fast! It can be a challenge but God will make it worth your effort.

Blog posts do not undergo review by the doctrinal review team of the United Church of God. This post represents the personal opinion of the author and should not be considered the official stance of the United Church of God. If you have any questions or concerns please direct them to


sign_ruth's picture

i like this

Benso Lukose

Benso Lukose's picture

Thank you
this week we our gathering was on a study about the Fasting.
This topic from you, help me to understand some of the meaning of fasting


pianoman's picture

Fasting is a challenge but worth it. I know we all sometimes struggle to meditate, fast, study Gods Word and pray, but just remember, if we do it humbly and with true repentance in our hearts(being), then GOd will answer our prayer and we can find our self growing and getting closer to God The Father.


macnana's picture

am into intermittent fasting where i eat one meal withinn the 24 hour day.
This is easiest fast any one can do
Just eat one meal in the evening then the fasting start afterwards
The next whole day no water no food and see the benefit you will get
I have experience this and it really draws you closer to Jehovah and i feel like i think of more important things in life
Greetings from Ghana!


pianoman's picture

God dictates what kind of fast he requires.


pianoman's picture

What does it mean to be born again? First born human then resurrected from the dead as Christ was resurrected from the dead, (Colossians 1-18). Definition used to refer to a Christian as twice born of human and born of the Holy Spirit.

christopher brown

christopher brown's picture

this is good but its wrong in some aspects fasting isn't just for food it could be for anything like,T.V. , sexual addiction , you can even fast from being judgmental. I think this passage is good but if you ever want to explain fasting again don't tell them that its just food because it can be lots of other things to. Thanks for reading but next time just be sure to keep an open mind.

Sabrina Peabody

Sabrina Peabody's picture

Christopher - I agree that you can have a "fast" or abstain from certain behaviors in order to put the focus and time on God. I think God wants us to have a relationship with Him so when we offer our time to spend with Him, He sees we love Him.

I think in the case of defining a biblical "fast" however, it is typically defined as a day and night (24 hrs) without food and water. God expects His people to fast at least once a year this way on the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 23). There are some other verses and examples to look mentioned in this article:

What is fasting and why should I do it -

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