Why Fasting Brings Miraculous Benefits for Believers
By Tammy Hotsenpiller
Should Believers Fast for Spiritual Purposes?
Because I believe in a good God, I believe in fasting as one of the primary ways we come to express our full trust and dependence on Him—that fasting is a way of leaning into the goodness of God. There is a long-established link between fasting and miracles. Fasting has been part of my personal practice for many years now. I have written workbooks and fasting guides, all in hopes of helping others on their journey. I have personally fasted for breakthrough and power.
But when God began to speak to my heart about fasting for miracles, it took me to a new level. I believe that when Jesus said in Matthew 17:21, “Some things only happen by prayer and fasting,” He meant it. Jesus Himself made the relationship between prayer and fasting explicit.
He was teaching us that sometimes we must exercise more than faith to see our miracle. Believing is powerful, and prayer is powerful, but sometimes we must pray, fast, and expect our miracle.
Instead of thinking of miracles as distant, abstract, occasional events that happen for special people in special places, what if you could begin to really live a life of miracles—of actually seeing the supernatural become an everyday occurrence? Far from being a pipe dream, fasting is the gateway to this kind of life. Fasting is an act of our will. It is a choice to suppress the flesh, and to exercise faith to receive an outcome beyond our ability.
I have wrestled deeply with the relationship of fasting and miracles for some time. I don’t believe that our works or effort turn the heart of God. I do believe, however, that obedience brings the favor of God. I do believe that God desires us to temper our own flesh. He tells us “not to gratify the desires of the flesh.” Fasting is God-given way to battle your flesh. Fasting is a way to teach us to move from the natural to the supernatural, from the physical to the divine.
I believe that often, our breakthrough is around the corner. We may have prayed and believed, but have we fasted? Remember again that fasting was not an occasional or incidental feature in Scripture—fasting was a discipline demonstrated in both the Old and the New Testaments.
Fasting shows that we are willing to stay strong and fight the battle of any fleshly desire. We stand strong, and believe, with God, for the supernatural. Through God’s chosen means of prayer and fasting, I, for one, have seen God move through the supernatural—through the unexpected. I have seen Him work miracles.
Does God always answer our requests?
Yes, God does in fact always hear our requests, and yes, He does answer. Sometimes it takes longer than we would like, and often the answer is not the one we want. But yes, God does answer our requests. Did you ever stop to think maybe God knows something you don’t? Maybe it is about timing, or a needed change in your life. Maybe while you say you are waiting on God, God is waiting on you to do something before He answers. God is never late, and never unaware of our needs. He is perfectly in love with you, and knows exactly what you need, long before you even ask.
Why You Should Fast for Miracles
1. Helps us overcome personal challenges and conflicts
To get a sense of how fasting helps us overcome our own challenges and conflicts, let’s look at a few biblical examples of how fasting helped heroes of the faith, and even Jesus Himself, face their own trials. Fasting brings a sense of humility as we must rely on God alone (Ps. 35:13; 69:10). Esther fasted when faced with danger (Est. 4:16). Ezra fasted for protection (Ezra 8:21-28). Jehoshaphat fasted in the time of war (2 Chron. 20:3). Jesus fasted in the wilderness when confronted with the devil (Matt. 4:2).
2. Opens our connection with God for clarity and communion
Jesus told His disciples they would fast when He was physically no longer present (Mark 2:20). When we fast, we open ourselves up to a renewed presence of God.
3. Empowers us to walk in the Spirit and live out our testimony
In the Old Testament, we often see people fasting in a time of crisis. In the New
Testament, we see Jesus fasted for His calling. We should not only fast during problems, but also as a testimony of God’s power and sufficiency in our lives. The prophetess Anna, for example, fasted not because of a conflict, but as an act of anticipating God, as she stood at the gate waiting to see the Messiah. (Luke 2:37).
4. Defeats the devil
We have already seen how Jesus directly connected fasting to warfare, when telling His disciples when they could not cast out a demon,, “This kind does not leave, but by prayer and fasting” (Matt. 17:21). But the precedence of fasting as a weapon that liberates us from the evil one was already established in the Old Testament. According to Isaiah 58:6, fasting helps to break the bonds of wickedness, undo heavy burdens, and break every yoke.