Fasting and Prayer in the New Testament

Matthew 6:16 – “16 When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do,
for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.”


Conversations are “give and take,” and friendships and relationships take time together.

• Praying through Scripture to know God better

Matthew 7:13,14 – “13 Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the
road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

• Prayer: Talking to God, hanging out with God

John 14:26 – “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will
teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”

The believer will learn the mystery of Gods will!


Nehemiah 1:4-11 – “4 When I heard these things, I sat down and wept.
For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. 5 Then I said:
“LORD, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, 6let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night”


• Fasting
Nowhere in the New Testament are we commanded to fast.

Mark 2:18-20 “18…For what reason are the disciples of John and the disciples of the
Pharisees fasting, but Your disciples are not fasting?” 19 And Jesus said to them, “The sons
of the wedding-hall cannot be fasting while the bridegroom is with them, can they? As long
a time as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot be fasting.”

Jesus is the Bridegroom

• What is a Disciple anyway?
A disciple is one who accepts and assists in spreading the doctrines of another.

• Jesus Fasted:
Luke 4:1-2 – “1 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the
wilderness, 2 where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.”

• Christians are expected to fast

Jesus taught to not be obvious when fasting.

• Jesus taught us to be humble when praying and fasting

Throughout the Old and New Testaments, fasting and prayer are often mentioned together

Jesus fasted as did his followers, not out of a sense of obligation, but in a desire to seek the Lord’s presence and out of necessity for the ministry of the gospel.


Ultimately, fasting is far more about focus than food.

Nehemiah 9:38 – “In view of all this, we are making a binding agreement, putting it in writing, and our leaders, our Levites and our priests are affixing their seals to it.”