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Esther 4, especially v. 15-17

Esther had Mordecai and all the Jews in Persia fast for three days before she went 

before the king on their behalf.  God answered their prayers.


Ezra 8:21-28

Ezra proclaimed a fast to ask God for safe travel and other needs for their journey.

All those with him participated, and God answered their requests.


Acts 9, especially v. 8-19

Saul fasted three days and nights after His vision on the road to Damascus.  God called

Ananias in a vision and sent him to Saul; he was saved and healed of his blindness.


Luke 2:36-38

Anna fasted on a regular basis as she waited to see the Messiah.  She finally saw Him.


Matthew 6:16-18 and 9:14-15

Jesus said, “When you fast…”  Even when He wasn’t really talking about fasting (see Secrecy), He obviously saw fasting as a “given.”


Deuteronomy 9, especially v. 9-11

Moses fasted for 40 days and nights before he received the stone tablets on Mt. Sinai. God responded by giving them to Him and speaking clearly to him—it was a conversation!


1 Kings 19, especially v. 8-9

Elijah fasted 40 days before his encounter with God on Mt. Horeb.  God showed up in tangible and very meaningful ways.


Matthew 4:1-2 and Luke 4:1-2

Jesus fasted 40 days and nights in the desert before His big temptation.  He won.


Group Ideas

  • Plan a retreat just to seek God together.  Bring no food—only Bibles, journals, various art supplies, candles, instrumental worship music, etc.  Make it clear that the only purpose for the retreat is to give your group a chance to truly experience God.  Spend most of the time alone, but regroup at “meal” times to “feast” on anything anyone wants to share.

  • Commit to a 3 day fast in anticipation of a special event or before someone in your group has to confront a huge problem of any kind.  This could be a retreat (see the idea above) or just a mutual agreement—but do discuss what each of you hears from God.

  • Make occasional fasting part of your group’s annual, monthly, or even weekly routine.


Individual Ideas

  • Spend a meal time (or a day’s worth of meal times) praying instead of eating.  Take anything that’s bothering you to God (especially relationship issues between you and God and/or you and someone else).  Pray specifically for wisdom and for resolution.  Write down and/or talk to a trusted friend about the answers you get and/or the ones you don’t get, but wanted.

  • Fast from any habit that keeps you from resolving a conflict and/or helps you deal with the stress of not resolving it.  This habit may be something relatively innocent you don’t believe is addictive or something wrong that you’re not sure you can totally quit, yet; what matters is that for a specific amount of time, you use the time and energy you’d normally spend on that habit to resolve the problem, instead!

  • Fast and pray about something you’ve been waiting for—an answer, healing, an improvement in a relationship, etc.  Ask God to speak to you about what you don’t want to wait for as you wait for food intentionally.

  • Cut something good out of your life for a specific amount of time, and use the time you’d normally spend on that good thing with God.  Thank God for the good thing you’re fasting from and all the other blessings in your life, and pray that He’ll show you more of His goodness.  Write down and/or share what comes to mind during these times with Him.

  • Fast from something that takes a lot of time and attention--entertainment, reading, social media, etc.  Use the time and mental energy for a Vision Checkup--that is, ask God to open your spiritual eyes to anything you’ve been missing, lately.  Ask Him to show you His plan for your life--or at least His plan for right now.  Write down what you hear, and pray about it.  Even before your fast is over, talk to someone wise about what you think God is saying.

  • If you can make the time and feel like you have a really important reason to do so, try an actual 40 day fast.  Make sure you organize your schedule differently during this time, as you WILL be weaker, no matter how spiritually enlightening it is.

  • Make occasional fasting part of your own routine, no matter what your group does!

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