By fasting and prayer, we humble ourselves, putting to death the desires of the body, that we may be able to overcome all (even sinful) temptation, by the grace of God. Fasting benefits the Christian greatly, teaching him the ways of self-control and humility; teaching him to focus on the spiritual things, and to be led by the Spirit of God, who dwells in him.
As you read the following 10 passages from the Holy Bible, observe what the saints and prophets have said regarding fasting, and apply these things to your life, that you may understand the importance of fasting, prayer, asceticism, and the rejection of bodily desires.
“So we fasted and entreated our God for this, and He answered our prayer.”Holy Bible, Ezra 8:23, NKJV
“At the evening sacrifice I arose from my fasting; and having torn my garment and my robe, I fell on my knees and spread out my hands to the Lord my God. And I said: ‘O my God, I am too ashamed and humiliated to lift up my face to You, my God; for our iniquities have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has grown up to the heavens.'”Holy Bible, Ezra 9:5-6, NKJV
“But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth; I humbled myself with fasting; and my prayer would return to my own heart.”Holy Bible, Psalm 35:13, NKJV
“I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.”Holy Bible, Daniel 10:3, NKJV
“‘Now, therefore,’ says the LORD, ‘Turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.'”Holy Bible, Joel 2:12, NKJV
“‘Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.'”Holy Bible, Matthew 6:16-18, NKJV
“And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, ‘Why could we not cast [the demon] out?’ So He said to them, ‘This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.'”Holy Bible, Mark 9:28-29, NKJV
“So Cornelius said, ‘Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing, and said, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard, and your alms are remembered in the sight of God.””Holy Bible, Acts 10:30-31, NKJV
“Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”Holy Bible, 1 Corinthians 7:5, NKJV
“But in all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God: in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in fastings; by purity, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by sincere love, by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, by honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report; as deceivers, and yet true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold we live; as chastened, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.”Holy Bible, 2 Corinthians 6:4-10, NKJV