HH, Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div
There are various reasons to fast and each person’s circumstances will be different. However, the Bible does give us plenty of examples. The biblical accounts often include a specific reason the person or group fasted. Here are a few examples.
Praying for Health or a Crisis Situation
David pleaded with God for the child. He fasted and went into his house and spent the nights lying on the ground. – 2 Samuel 12:16
Praying for Safety and Protection
There, by the Ahava Canal, I proclaimed a fast, so that we might humble ourselves before our God and ask him for a safe journey for us and our children, with all our possessions. – Ezra 8:21 (NIV).
As an Act of Repentance
When they had assembled at Mizpah, they drew water and poured it out before the LORD. On that day they fasted and there they confessed, “We have sinned against the LORD.” – 1 Samuel 7:6 (NIV)
As a Sign of Mourning
They mourned and wept and fasted till evening for Saul and his son Jonathan, and for the army of the LORD and the nation of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword. – 2 Samuel 1:12 (NIV)
Before Starting Ministry
Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust. – Acts 14:23 (NIV)
Praying for Victory
Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. The people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord; indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek him. – 2 Chronicles 20:3-4 (NIV)