25 Scriptures on Fasting (ESV)

These are the 25 most relevant Scriptures on Fasting. Learn the top Bible verses and passages that teach about Fasting.
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Note

It is important to interpret Bible verses in their Scriptural context. Many people rip Scripture passages out of their context and misinterpret them.

This list of Bible verses about Fasting is meant to be a starting place for learning more about this topic. Make sure you do not use these Bible verses inappropriately—check to make sure the verses actually mean what you think they mean.

Use the Table of Contents to quickly browse through the list of Bible verses related to Fasting and jump to the relevant Scripture.

Table of Contents

  1. 1 Corinthians 7:5 - "Do not deprive one another, except..."
  2. 1 Samuel 7:7 - "Now when the Philistines heard that..."
  3. 2 Samuel 1:12 - "And they mourned and wept and..."
  4. Daniel 10:3 - "I ate no delicacies, no meat..."
  5. Acts 14:23 - "And when they had appointed elders..."
  6. Esther 4:16 - ""Go, gather all the Jews to..."
  7. Exodus 34:28 - "So he was there with the..."
  8. Acts 13:2 - "While they were worshiping the Lord..."
  9. Nehemiah 1:4 - "As soon as I heard these..."
  10. Joel 2:12 - ""Yet even now," declares the LORD,..."
  11. Luke 2:37 - "and then as a widow until..."
  12. Luke 18:12 - "I fast twice a week; I..."
  13. Psalm 69:10 - "When I wept and humbled my..."
  14. Psalm 35:13-14 - "But I, when they were sick--I..."
  15. Joel 2:12-13 - ""Yet even now," declares the LORD,..."
  16. Acts 13:3-4 - "Then after fasting and praying they..."
  17. Daniel 9:3-5 - "Then I turned my face to..."
  18. 2 Samuel 12:15-17 - "Then Nathan went to his house...."
  19. 1 Kings 21:25-27 - "(There was none who sold himself..."
  20. Luke 4:2-4 - "for forty days, being tempted by..."
  21. Ezra 8:21-23 - "Then I proclaimed a fast there,..."
  22. Luke 18:1-12 - "And he told them a parable..."
  23. Isaiah 58:3-7 - "'Why have we fasted, and you..."
  24. Jonah 3:5-9 - "And the people of Nineveh believed..."
  25. Matthew 6:16-18 - ""And when you fast, do not..."

1. 1 Corinthians 7:5

5 Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

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2. 1 Samuel 7:7

7 Now when the Philistines heard that the people of Israel had gathered at Mizpah, the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel. And when the people of Israel heard of it, they were afraid of the Philistines.

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3. 2 Samuel 1:12

12 And they mourned and wept and fasted until evening for Saul and for Jonathan his son and for the people of the LORD and for the house of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword.

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4. Daniel 10:3

3 I ate no delicacies, no meat or wine entered my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, for the full three weeks.

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5. Acts 14:23

23 And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed.

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6. Esther 4:16

16 "Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish."

View on BibleGateway

7. Exodus 34:28

28 So he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights. He neither ate bread nor drank water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments.

View on BibleGateway

8. Acts 13:2

2 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them."

View on BibleGateway

9. Nehemiah 1:4

4 As soon as I heard these words I sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven.

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10. Joel 2:12

12 "Yet even now," declares the LORD, "return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;

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11. Luke 2:37

37 and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day.

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12. Luke 18:12

12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.'

View on BibleGateway

13. Psalm 69:10

10 When I wept and humbled my soul with fasting, it became my reproach.

View on BibleGateway

14. Psalm 35:13-14

13 But I, when they were sick--I wore sackcloth; I afflicted myself with fasting; I prayed with head bowed on my chest. 14 I went about as though I grieved for my friend or my brother; as one who laments his mother, I bowed down in mourning.

View on BibleGateway

15. Joel 2:12-13

12 "Yet even now," declares the LORD, "return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; 13 and rend your hearts and not your garments." Return to the LORD, your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster.

View on BibleGateway

16. Acts 13:3-4

3 Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off. 4 So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus.

View on BibleGateway

17. Daniel 9:3-5

3 Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes. 4 I prayed to the LORD my God and made confession, saying, "O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, 5 we have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from your commandments and rules.

View on BibleGateway

18. 2 Samuel 12:15-17

15 Then Nathan went to his house. And the Lord afflicted the child that Uriah's wife bore to David, and he became sick. 16 David therefore sought God on behalf of the child. And David fasted and went in and lay all night on the ground. 17 And the elders of his house stood beside him, to raise him from the ground, but he would not, nor did he eat food with them.

View on BibleGateway

19. 1 Kings 21:25-27

25 (There was none who sold himself to do what was evil in the sight of the LORD like Ahab, whom Jezebel his wife incited. 26 He acted very abominably in going after idols, as the Amorites had done, whom the LORD cast out before the people of Israel.) 27 And when Ahab heard those words, he tore his clothes and put sackcloth on his flesh and fasted and lay in sackcloth and went about dejectedly.

View on BibleGateway

20. Luke 4:2-4

2 for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry. 3 The devil said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread." 4 And Jesus answered him, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone.'"

View on BibleGateway

21. Ezra 8:21-23

21 Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from him a safe journey for ourselves, our children, and all our goods. 22 For I was ashamed to ask the king for a band of soldiers and horsemen to protect us against the enemy on our way, since we had told the king, "The hand of our God is for good on all who seek him, and the power of his wrath is against all who forsake him." 23 So we fasted and implored our God for this, and he listened to our entreaty.

View on BibleGateway

22. Luke 18:1-12

1 And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. 2 He said, "In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. 3 And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, 'Give me justice against my adversary.' 4 For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, 'Though I neither fear God nor respect man, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.'" 6 And the Lord said, "Hear what the unrighteous judge says. 7 And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? 8 I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?" 9 He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: 10 "Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.'

View on BibleGateway

23. Isaiah 58:3-7

3 'Why have we fasted, and you see it not? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you take no knowledge of it?' Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure, and oppress all your workers. 4 Behold, you fast only to quarrel and to fight and to hit with a wicked fist. Fasting like yours this day will not make your voice to be heard on high. 5 Is such the fast that I choose, a day for a person to humble himself? Is it to bow down his head like a reed, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Will you call this a fast, and a day acceptable to the LORD? 6 "Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? 7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?

View on BibleGateway

24. Jonah 3:5-9

5 And the people of Nineveh believed God. They called for a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least of them. 6 The word reached the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, removed his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. 7 And he issued a proclamation and published through Nineveh, "By the decree of the king and his nobles: Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything. Let them not feed or drink water, 8 but let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and let them call out mightily to God. Let everyone turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands. 9 Who knows? God may turn and relent and turn from his fierce anger, so that we may not perish."

View on BibleGateway

25. Matthew 6:16-18

16 "And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 17 But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18 that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

View on BibleGateway

Table of Contents

  1. Psalm 69:10
  2. Psalm 35:13-14
  3. Exodus 34:28
  4. 1 Samuel 7:7
  5. 2 Samuel 1:12
  6. 2 Samuel 12:15-17
  7. 1 Kings 21:25-27
  8. Ezra 8:21-23
  9. Nehemiah 1:4
  10. Esther 4:16
  11. Isaiah 58:3-7
  12. Daniel 9:3-5
  13. Daniel 10:3
  14. Joel 2:12
  15. Joel 2:12-13
  16. Jonah 3:5-9
  17. Matthew 6:16-18
  18. Luke 2:37
  19. Luke 4:2-4
  20. Luke 18:12
  21. Luke 18:1-12
  22. Acts 13:2
  23. Acts 13:3-4
  24. Acts 14:23
  25. 1 Corinthians 7:5

Psalm 69:10

10 When I wept and humbled my soul with fasting, it became my reproach.

View on BibleGateway

Psalm 35:13-14

13 But I, when they were sick--I wore sackcloth; I afflicted myself with fasting; I prayed with head bowed on my chest. 14 I went about as though I grieved for my friend or my brother; as one who laments his mother, I bowed down in mourning.

View on BibleGateway

Exodus 34:28

28 So he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights. He neither ate bread nor drank water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments.

View on BibleGateway

1 Samuel 7:7

7 Now when the Philistines heard that the people of Israel had gathered at Mizpah, the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel. And when the people of Israel heard of it, they were afraid of the Philistines.

View on BibleGateway

2 Samuel 1:12

12 And they mourned and wept and fasted until evening for Saul and for Jonathan his son and for the people of the LORD and for the house of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword.

View on BibleGateway

2 Samuel 12:15-17

15 Then Nathan went to his house. And the Lord afflicted the child that Uriah's wife bore to David, and he became sick. 16 David therefore sought God on behalf of the child. And David fasted and went in and lay all night on the ground. 17 And the elders of his house stood beside him, to raise him from the ground, but he would not, nor did he eat food with them.

View on BibleGateway

1 Kings 21:25-27

25 (There was none who sold himself to do what was evil in the sight of the LORD like Ahab, whom Jezebel his wife incited. 26 He acted very abominably in going after idols, as the Amorites had done, whom the LORD cast out before the people of Israel.) 27 And when Ahab heard those words, he tore his clothes and put sackcloth on his flesh and fasted and lay in sackcloth and went about dejectedly.

View on BibleGateway

Ezra 8:21-23

21 Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from him a safe journey for ourselves, our children, and all our goods. 22 For I was ashamed to ask the king for a band of soldiers and horsemen to protect us against the enemy on our way, since we had told the king, "The hand of our God is for good on all who seek him, and the power of his wrath is against all who forsake him." 23 So we fasted and implored our God for this, and he listened to our entreaty.

View on BibleGateway

Nehemiah 1:4

4 As soon as I heard these words I sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven.

View on BibleGateway

Esther 4:16

16 "Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish."

View on BibleGateway

Isaiah 58:3-7

3 'Why have we fasted, and you see it not? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you take no knowledge of it?' Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure, and oppress all your workers. 4 Behold, you fast only to quarrel and to fight and to hit with a wicked fist. Fasting like yours this day will not make your voice to be heard on high. 5 Is such the fast that I choose, a day for a person to humble himself? Is it to bow down his head like a reed, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Will you call this a fast, and a day acceptable to the LORD? 6 "Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? 7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?

View on BibleGateway

Daniel 9:3-5

3 Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes. 4 I prayed to the LORD my God and made confession, saying, "O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, 5 we have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from your commandments and rules.

View on BibleGateway

Daniel 10:3

3 I ate no delicacies, no meat or wine entered my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, for the full three weeks.

View on BibleGateway

Joel 2:12

12 "Yet even now," declares the LORD, "return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;

View on BibleGateway

Joel 2:12-13

12 "Yet even now," declares the LORD, "return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; 13 and rend your hearts and not your garments." Return to the LORD, your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster.

View on BibleGateway

Jonah 3:5-9

5 And the people of Nineveh believed God. They called for a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least of them. 6 The word reached the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, removed his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. 7 And he issued a proclamation and published through Nineveh, "By the decree of the king and his nobles: Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything. Let them not feed or drink water, 8 but let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and let them call out mightily to God. Let everyone turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands. 9 Who knows? God may turn and relent and turn from his fierce anger, so that we may not perish."

View on BibleGateway

Matthew 6:16-18

16 "And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 17 But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18 that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

View on BibleGateway

Luke 2:37

37 and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day.

View on BibleGateway

Luke 4:2-4

2 for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry. 3 The devil said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread." 4 And Jesus answered him, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone.'"

View on BibleGateway

Luke 18:12

12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.'

View on BibleGateway

Luke 18:1-12

1 And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. 2 He said, "In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. 3 And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, 'Give me justice against my adversary.' 4 For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, 'Though I neither fear God nor respect man, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.'" 6 And the Lord said, "Hear what the unrighteous judge says. 7 And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? 8 I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?" 9 He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: 10 "Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.'

View on BibleGateway

Acts 13:2

2 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them."

View on BibleGateway

Acts 13:3-4

3 Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off. 4 So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus.

View on BibleGateway

Acts 14:23

23 And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed.

View on BibleGateway

1 Corinthians 7:5

5 Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

View on BibleGateway

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