Advantages and Examples of Fasting


"Prayer with fasting is good, but better than both is almsgiving with righteousness. A little with righteousness is better than wealth with wrongdoing. It is better to give alms than to lay up gold. 9 For almsgiving saves from death and purges away every sin. Those who give alms will enjoy a full life, 10 but those who commit sin and do wrong are their own worst enemies." Tobit 12:8-10 NRSV. NAB.

Joel 2:12-13 NRSV. "Yet even now, says the LORD, return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; Joel 2:13 rend your hearts and not your clothing. " NAB.

2 Cor. 6:4-5 NAB, DR: " [O]n the contrary, in everything we commend ourselves as ministers of God, through much endurance, in afflictions, hardships, constraints,beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, vigils, fasts..."

Matt. 6:16-18 DR. "And when you fast, be not as the hypocrites, sad. For they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Amen I say to you, they have received their reward. But thou, when thou fastest anoint thy head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not to men to fast, but to thy Father who is in secret: and thy Father who seeth in secret, will repay thee. " Compare the NAB.

Acts 14:22 NAB. "They strengthened the spirits of the disciples and exhorted them to persevere in the faith, saying, "It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships to enter the kingdom of God." They appointed presbyters for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, commended them to the Lord in whom they had put their faith." NIV. For Presbyter see also "Elder" in Vines.

Matt. 17:20 DR. "But this kind is not cast out but by prayer and fasting." Compare NAB, and footnote 18. Amplified.

Matt. 4:2 NAB, "He fasted for forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was hungry." [Editor's note: Jesus is our model. He provides examples of how we are to live. In this case, after an important insight, and a call to mission, he goes into seclusion fasting with prayer to grow in understanding and/or to ask for the grace and assistance needed to accomplish the task.]

Luke 2:36-37 NAB. "There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple, but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer." Amplified, NIV.



 The Following Text is from the Douay-Rheims version.

I eat no desirable bread, and flesh, nor wine entered into my Dan. 10:3. NAB.

When a man, or woman, shall make a vow to be sanctified, and will consecrate themselves to the Lord, they shall abstain from wine and from everything that can make a man drunk. Num. 6:2. NAB.

The fast of the fourth month, and the fast of the fifth, and the fast of the seventh, and the fast of the tenth shall be to the house of Juda, joy and gladness and great solemnities. Zach. 8:19; Zechariah 8:19 NIV. NAB.

Can the children of the bridegroom mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them and then they shall fast. Mat. 9:15. NAB, and footnote 11. [Fasting as a sign of mourning is found in the Didache. 8:1 " But let not your fasts be with the hypocrites; [Matthew 6:16] for they fast on the second and fifth day of the week; but do ye fast on the fourth day and the Preparation (Friday)." The fouth day would be Wednesday.]

If meat scandalize my brother I will never eat flesh. 1 C. 8:13. NAB.

A man that fasts for his sins, and does the same again, what does his humbling himself profit him? Who will hear his prayer? Ecclus. 34:31. NAB.

When you fasted and mourned did you keep a fast to me? Zach. 7:5. NAB.

Prayer is good with fasting and alms, more than to lay up treasures of gold. Tob. 12:8. NAB.

I beseech you, by the mercy of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, pleasing unto God, your reasonable service. Rom. 12: 1. NAB.

Know ye that the Lord will hear your prayers, if you continue with Perseverance in fasting and prayers in the sight of the Lord. Judith. 4:11. But see NAB.

Why have we fasted, and you have not regarded? Have we humbled our Souls, and you have not taken notice? Behold in the day of your fast your own will is found, and you exact of all your debtors. Is. 58:3. NAB.

As they were ministering to the Lord, and fasting, the Holy Ghost said to them: Separate me Saul and Barnabas for the work whereunto I have taken them. Then they fasting and praying, and imposing their hands Upon them, sent them away. Acts 13:2f. NAB.

When they had ordained to them Priests in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they believed. Acts 14:22. NAB.

Click here to search the NRSV on fasting. the NIV, or the Amplified Bible. Catholics need to recall that any confusion in a translation must be resolved by checking with an approved Catholic transltion such as the New American Bible,


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