The Hebrew word for fasting is Kana, and it means to subdue or to bring low. It is the scriptural word for either bringing down an enemy in combat or subduing your own soul in an act of humility. The combination of fasting and prayer can bring powerful results. Before we take a look at some sample prayers to use while fasting, let's take a look at what fasting is.
Fasting is not just abstaining from food. It can be taking a break from a leadership position or giving up simple pleasures. Today, many people fast from social media as a means to find focus and prioritize their time in prayer. The immediate benefit of fasting is that it serves as an instant reminder of the reason you're fasting. Every time you feel sharp hunger or a pull to check your social media, it serves as a call to pray and focus on the vision or goal. Fasting through abstaining from food twice a week was a regular practice in the first century. There were minor fasts (from sunrise to sundown) and examples in both the Old and New Testaments of fasting for many meals and even days. Jesus Himself fasted in the wilderness for 40 days.
In Scripture, fasting and prayer go hand in hand. Biblical accounts show powerful results of praying and fasting by Daniel (Daniel 9), David (Psalm 35), Anna (Luke 2) and Paul (Acts 14). Jesus tells us how to pray and fast in Matthew 6 - instructing us to do so quietly, humbly and without any pride.
Here are some fasting prayers you can use throughout your journey to a deeper understanding of who God is and His plan for you. May these prayers bring you a sharper Godly vision and greater breakthrough!
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A Simple Fasting Prayer
Lord, please forgive us for craving food more than you. Forgive us for craving anything more than you. Lord redirect our hunger. Be our God. Open our eyes to the benefits of fasting. Open our hearts to you like never before. Give us the desire to turn to you with all our hearts, with all our souls, with all our strength. May we no longer live by bread alone but by every word that comes from your mouth Oh LORD. Teach us to fast so that we might hold fast to you. In Jesus Name, Amen. (Alyssa Wollard)
For Fresh Vision
You are a miracle-working God. Give me a vision for what freedom looks like for me. Give me faith to believe You for my miracle. Show me what makes me tired. Show me what masters me and slows me down. Help me to lose my taste for that which weakens me, and acquire a taste for that which strengthens me. Heal me from the inside out! Help me to make the necessary changes. I want to participate with You in my healing process. Awaken fresh life in me! (Susie Larson)
Prayer for Breakthrough
Father, I ask You for a fresh vision for what breakthrough will look like in my life. Help me to pursue healing while I wait for my miracle. Show me how to rest right in the middle of the storm. Help me to enjoy the feast You prepare for me, right in the middle of the battlefield. I want my whole life to testify that there’s a God in heaven who knows my name and who will get me safely home.
Fill me afresh with the wonder of Your love and power. I am determined to win this battle with anxiety. Help me to discern when to rest, when to feast, and how to actively engage my faith as I wait for You to breakthrough. May my life display Your power. Do the impossible in and through me, I pray. Amen. (Susie Larson)
Freedom Through Fasting
Dear Lord, nothing has worked to set me free from the compulsive way I turn to other things when I could be turning to You. I need more of You and less of the stuff that leaves me hungry. Take all these heavy idols I’m laying down and teach me to lean into Your gentle refining. Take my life as I empty it out and fill me with Yourself. Your Word proclaims: “It is for freedom that Christ has set you free” (Galatians 5:1, NIV). I’m choosing to believe that’s true. Set me free! In the bondage-breaking, freedom-giving, sweet name of Jesus, Amen. (Wendy Speake)
Temporary Sacrifice for Greater Peace
Dear Lord, help me to see how the temporary sting of sacrifice will be worth the peace I will find in You. Today I chose to forego simple pleasures to focus on knowing you better and prioritizing my relationship with You. Please help me to have the courage to say no to things that distract me mentally, spiritually, and physically. I long to be empowered with Your strength and Your peace today. I admit I need You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
A Fasting Prayer for a Miracle
Lord, Jesus, here I am again, asking You to do what only You can do in my life. Scripture tells me that You are the same yesterday, today, and forever. You are the God who performs miracles! So do a miracle in me! Heal me through and through! Deliver me from my tendency toward anxiety and worry. Show me how You fight for me.
Give me a vision for what a healthy-healed-me looks like, and help me to go after that girl with tenacity and purpose. Take my efforts and multiply them, Lord. My soul waits for You to do what only You can do. I love You, Lord. Amen. (Susie Larson)
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for Your mercy. Forgive me for those times when I feel like giving up. Your Word tells me I should “press on toward the goal to win the prize” for which You called me. (Philippians 3:14) But sometimes I get discouraged when I don’t feel like I’m making a difference. I know discouragement is not from You. Every good and perfect gift comes from you, and that includes the ability to persevere.
Lord, it seems like I’ve been praying for a long time without an answer. Sometimes I wonder whether or not You hear my prayers. Doubt and frustration make me want to quit when I don’t see a breakthrough in my situation, but You offer hope. As I draw closer to You, You, in turn, draw close to me. (James 4:8) Thank you for this promise.
Your Word says You “reward those who earnestly seek You.” (Hebrews 11:6) Because of this I know You are with me, giving me the strength and determination I need to keep moving forward. Help me remember this truth from Scripture when my thoughts take a negative turn. I may not see the fruit of my prayers right now, but You are working. Even when I don’t see it.
Lord, the love of Your son Jesus Christ is all I need. Help me remember that, and not get sidetracked with the challenges of this world. Your strength and guidance will help me overcome any obstacle. The desire to share Jesus’ love with others will inspire me to persevere when I’m tempted to quit. Thank you for unfailing love and unending patience as I learn the power of perseverance. In Jesus’ name, Amen. (Kristine Brown)
A Prayer for God's Provision in Time of Need
Dear God, We thank you that no situation is too far out of your control to provide. For you are Jehovah-Jireh, the God who provides. We thank you that you own it all, and hold everything in your hands. We thank you that you know our needs before we even ask, before we even come to you. You’re aware of all that concerns us, and you have a plan. You hold the provision, you have the solution. You alone can move mountains to make a way for your children. We ask for your answer, in your timing, in your plan, to be given for every need that weighs our hearts down.
Forgive us for doubting you, for worrying, and for trying so hard to work everything out on our own. Help us to trust you more, help us in our unbelief. We choose to recognize and to believe that you are able to accomplish far more, to do far greater, than we even thought possible. We thank you in advance for your miracles, for paving out pathways, for your provision for those who love you. Thank you for the abundance of blessing and goodness you have already stored up. We trust you this day, and every day, and are so grateful for your Power and joy that fills our lives. Thank you for teaching us to be content in all circumstances, we love you Lord, we’re leaning on you, in Jesus’ name, amen (Debbie McDaniel)
For Sin You Can't Shake
Lord, I confess there is sin in my life I can’t shake. I’ve struggled silently for so along against it. I’ve dismissed it, justified it, tried to convince myself it isn’t as bad as I know it really is. Lord, I know Satan desires me to leave my sin in the dark. I confess it to you, and bring it to light.
Lord, I need your strength to defeat this sin. I am thankful that your power is made perfect in my weakness. I don’t boast in my sin, but boast in you who works in my weakness to make me more like you. I know that I have the opportunity to glorify you by fighting against this sin in my life. Give me wisdom and perspective in the moment I am tempted to sin – help me in that moment see my sin as you see it, and not do the sin my heart longs to do.
Oh Lord – who will save me from this body of death! Thanks be to God! Thank you Lord for rescuing me and saving me from my sinfulness. It is only in your grace that I am saved, and I am so thankful. In Your Name I pray, Amen!
For Strength Against Spiritual Warfare
Heavenly Father, each day is a struggle against sin and temptation. Give us the strength to overcome cruelty with grace, and hatred with love. God, remind us that our actions matter. We do not fight a physical battle but a spiritual one, and with each act of compassion we build your kingdom. Help us to be kingdom-builders today. Amen.
Fasting for Holy Spirit Guidance
Father, I pray that You would remind me of Your still small voice. That You would quiet all distractions. I ask for Your call and purpose in my life to be made clear. Remove any and all confusion. I pray for the power of the Holy Spirit to speak to me and guide me as I journey on. Remind me Lord, that You have called your church the set apart ones and I am part of that. All for Your glory, Lord. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Confession in Fasting
Dear Lord, Thank you for making me holy. I couldn’t ever do it on my own! What’s more, you didn’t just forgive me of my sins and then leave me alone to figure out how to stop sinning! You gave me your Holy Spirit to guide, convict, and counsel me. With your help I’m learning to live this holy life. Thank you for lifting me from the mud and the mire and giving me a spacious place to stand up right. Please continue to help me understand how to cultivate holier habits, so that I don’t slip into my old mess again. I humbly ask this in Jesus’ cleansing Name, Amen. (Wendy Speake)
To Know God's Purpose
Lord, I surrender my life to you. I want to do something, to make something happen, all on my own strength, but I know without you I can do nothing. I know my life is not my own, it is yours to work through me. Lord, I am grateful for this life you’ve given me. You’ve blessed me with different gifts and talents. Help me understand how to cultivate those things to bring glory to your great name. Amen.
Surrender in Fasting and Prayer
Heavenly Father, You deserve more than the few crumbs that fall from my too-full calendar. You deserve my best. A heart of worship, night and day. A willingness to add fasting and more prayer time to my life. Please teach me to be still, to wait, to listen and always to give thanks.
I surrender my thought life to You. Please reveal the fantasies I’m using for false comfort. I want to choose Your loving presence in my life instead of worthless mental images. I trust that You will provide for all my needs and help me resist the devil. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
For Wisdom and Guidance
Dear Lord, Please give me Your wisdom and Your guidance as I lay my request before You. Show me the direction that I need to go in and the courage to take the steps in faith. Help me not to be led by selfish desires but only by your Holy Spirit in me. Help me to discern Your will so that I may pray with all boldness. In Jesus’ name Amen