Fasting and Abstinence

Also called: Ash Wednesday, Lent
Abstaining from something, usually food, because of religious commitment or as an expression of repentance.

Top Bible Verses about Fasting and Abstinence

Leviticus 16:30

Leviticus 16:29–31

“And this shall be a lasting statute for you: in the seventh month, on the tenth of the month, you must deny yourselves and you must not do any work, whether the native or the alien who is dwelling in your midst, because on this day he shall make atonement for you to cleanse you; you must be clean from all your sins before Yahweh. It is a Sabbath of complete rest for you, and you shall deny yourselves—it is a lasting statute. Read Leviticus 16:29–31

Esther 4:16

“Go, gather all the Jews that are found in Susa and fast for me; do not eat or drink for three days, both night and day. I and my young girls will fast likewise, and then I will go to the king, which is not according to the law; if I perish, I perish. Read Esther 4:16
Isaiah 58:6

Isaiah 58:6–7

Is this not the fast I choose: to release the bonds of injustice, to untie the ropes of the yoke, and to let the oppressed go free, and tear every yoke to pieces? Is it not to break your bread for the hungry? You must bring home the poor, the homeless. When you see the naked, you must cover him, and you must not hide yourself from your relatives. Read Isaiah 58:6–7
Matthew 4:2–3

Matthew 4:1–2

Then Jesus was led up into the wilderness by the Spirit to be tempted by the devil, and after he had fasted forty days and forty nights, then he was hungry. Read Matthew 4:1–2

Luke 18:11–12

The Pharisee stood and prayed these things with reference to himself: ‘God, I give thanks to you that I am not like other people—swindlers, unrighteous people, adulterers, or even like this tax collector! I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of all that I get.’ Read Luke 18:11–12

Famous Christian Quotes About Fasting and Abstinence, Ash Wednesday, Lent

Do Not Be Afraid of Self-Denial

Do you dread poverty? Christ calls the poor blessed. Does toil frighten you? No athlete is crowned but in the sweat of his brow. Are you anxious as regards food? Faith fears no famine. Do you dread the bare ground for limbs wasted with fasting? The Lord lies there beside you. Do you recoil from an unwashed head and uncombed hair? Christ is your true head. Does the boundless solitude of the desert terrify you? In the Spirit you may walk always in paradise. Simply turn your thoughts there and you will no more be in the desert. Is your skin rough and scaly because you no longer bathe? He who is once washed in Christ does not need to wash again. To all your objections the apostle gives this one brief answer: “The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory” which shall come after them, “which shall be revealed in us.” You are too greedy of enjoyment, my brother, if you wish to rejoice with the world here, and to reign with Christ hereafter.


Turn Back to the Word

Everyone who does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is an antichrist, and whoever does not confess the testimony of the cross is from the devil, and whoever twists the sayings of the Lord for one’s own sinful passions, and says that there is neither resurrection nor judgment, this one is the firstborn of Satan. Therefore, leaving behind the idle speculation of the crowd and their false teachings, let us turn back to the word which was delivered to us from the beginning, being self-controlled with regard to prayer and being persistent in fasts, making petitions of the all-seeing God to lead us not into temptation, just as the Lord said, “The spirit is indeed willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Polycarp of Smyrna

An Early Mode of Baptism

Concerning baptism, baptize in this way: having reviewed all of these things, baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in running water. But if you do not have access to running water, baptize in other water. And if you are not able to baptize with cold water, then baptize with warm water. But if you possess neither, pour water on the head three times, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. And before the baptism the baptizer should fast beforehand, and the one being baptized and any others who are able. Call upon the one being baptized to fast beforehand for one or two days.

The Didache
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