Bear up the hands that hang down, by faith and prayer; support the tottering knees. Have you any days of fasting and prayer? Storm the throne of grace and persevere therein, and mercy will come down.
- John Wesley
I have food to eat that you know nothing about.
- Jesus (Jn. 4:32 NIV)
Every request needs humility of spirit. Fast then, and you will receive from the Lord what you ask.
- Hermes "The Shepherd" AD 150
When you are going to fast, observe it int this way:
first, avoid any evil and desire, and purify your heart of all the vain things in the world. Your fast will be perfect if you do this.
And this is the way you should eat: after fulfilling all you are supposed to do on your fast day, then eat nothing but bread and water, and of the food which you were going to eat, measure out the same quantity and give this to a widow or orphan or other needy person.
- Hermes "The Shepherd" AD 150
The pagans give New Year's gifts; you give alms!
They find amusement is licentious songs; you entertain yourselves with the instruction of Holy Scripture!
They run to the theater, you to the church;
They drink to excess, you keep a fast!
If you are not able to keep a fast today, at least partake of food with moderation.
- St. Augustine
Of the things that enter the stomach, not all are turned into nourishment, for not all of the food itself is nutrition, but part of it in the process of digestion is turned into nourishment and the rest into the stool...Now if food be taken in too great a quantity, even the nutritive part can be harmful... for when gluttony, like a rain storm, has flooded the intestines, it throws everything into a turmoil, and it makes organs that up till then had been quiet and healthy drift sluggishly on the surface...So physicians tell us that want is the mother of health.
- Chrysostom AD 400
Fasting is better than prayer - St. Clement
Fasting possesses great power. If practiced with the right intention, it makes man a friend of God. The demons are aware of that.
The smoking fumes, as it were, of rich and plentiful food, ascending, cut off like a thick cloud the illuminations of the Holy Spirit which are infused in the mind.
- Basil the great
Every one must study his own nature. Some of you can sustain life with less food than others can, and therefore I desire that he who needs more nourishment shall not be obliged to equal others, but that every one shall give his body what it needs for being an efficient servant of the soul. For as we are obliged to be on our guard against superfluous food which injures body and soul alike, thus we must be on the watch against immoderate fasting, and this the more, because the Lord wants conversion and not victims.
- Francis of Assisi
Fating is not an end in itself; it is a means by which we can worship the Lord and submit ourselves in humility to Him. We don't make God love us any more than He already does if we fast, or if we fast longer. Fasting invites God into the problem. Then in the strength of God, victory is possible.
- Elmer L. Towns
Fasting reminds us that we are sustained by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Matt. 4:4). Food does not sustain us; God sustains us.
- Richard Foster
Fasting is important, more important perhaps, than many of us have supposed,... when exercised with a pure heart and a right motive, fasting may provide us with a key to unlock doors where other keys have failed; a window opening up new horizons in the unseen world; a spiritual weapon of God's provision, mighty, to the pulling down of strongholds.
- Arthur Wallis
In Shansi I found Chinese Christians who were accustomed to spend time in fasting and prayer. They recognized that this fasting, which so many dislike, which requires faith in God, since it makes one feel weak and poorly, is really a Divinely appointed means of grace. Perhaps the greatest hindrance to our work is our own imagined strength; and in fasting we learn what poor, weak creatures we are - dependent on a meal of meat for the little strength which we are so apt to lean upon.
- James Hudson Taylor
Fasting, if we conceive of it truly, must not... be confined to the question of food and drink; fasting should really be made to include abstinence from anything which is legitimate in and of itself for the sake of some special spiritual purpose. There are many bodily functions which are right and normal and perfectly legitimate, but which for special peculiar reasons in certain circumstances should be controlled. That is fasting.
Prayer is reaching out after the unseen; fasting is letting go of all that is seen and temporal. Fasting helps express, deepen, confirm the resolution that we are ready to sacrifice anything, even ourselves to attain what we seek for the kingdom of God.
- Andrew Murray
Do you have a hunger for God? If we don't feel strong desires for the manifestation of the glory of God, it is not because we have drunk deeply and are satisfied. It is because we have nibbled so long at the table of the world. Our soul is stuffed with small things, and there is no room for the great. If we are full of what the world offers, then perhaps a fast might express, or even increase, our soul's appetite for God. Between the dangers of self-denial and self-indulgence is the path of pleasant pain called fasting.
- John Piper