The follow types of fasts (adapted from Fasting for Spiritual Breakthrough, A Guide to Nine Biblical Fasts by Elmer L. Towns) are representative of biblical fasts but are not an exhaustive list.  Duration of fasts, as recorded in the Bible, range from a portion of 1 day to 40 days.

The Disciple's Fast

" set the oppressed free and break every yoke..." (Isaiah 58:6c)


Purpose: To free ourselves and/or others from addictions to sin.


Basis: Matthew 17:19-20


Promise: John 8:36; 1 Corinthians 10:13


The Ezra Fast

" loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yok..." (Isaiah 58:6)


Purpose: To ask the Holy Spirit for discernment and guidance in overcoming difficulties.


Basis: Ezra 8:21-23


Promise: Romans 8:28


The Samuel Fast

" set the oppressed free..." (Isaiah 58:6)


Purpose: To pray for revival and renewal of believers; to intercede for the sins of others and the salvation of the lost.


Basis: 1 Samuel 7:5-6


Promise: 2 Chronicles 7:14; Psalm 85:4-7; Acts 2:17, 3:19


The Elijah Fast

" every yoke..." (Isaiah 58:6)


Purpose: To surrender control of our lives to God; to break negative habits.


Basis: 1 Kings 19:3-8


Promise: 1 Thessalonians 5:23; 2 Timothy 1:7; Hebrews 13:5-6


The Widow's Fast

" share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter..." (Isaiah 58:7)


Purpose: To meet the humanitarian needs of others.


Basis: 1 Kings 17:13-16


Promise: 2 Corinthians 9:6-15


The St. Paul Fast

"Then your light will break forth like the dawn..." (Isaiah 58:8)


Purpose: To invite divine discernment and wisdom for decision-making.


Basis: Acts 9:8-19


Promise: Isaiah 48:17, 58:11; Matthew 6:33; Romans 12:2


The Daniel Fast

"...your healing will quickly appear..." (Isaiah 58:8)


Purpose: To acknowledge God as Sustainer and Healer.


Basis: Daniel 1:8-17


Promise: 1 Corinthians 10:31, James 5:13-16


The John the Baptist Fast

"...then your righteousness will go before you..." (Isaiah 58:8)


Purpose: To enhance our testimony and influence for Jesus.


Basis: Luke 1:14-17


Promise: Matthew 5:14-16; Ephesians 6:19-20; Philippians 1:20-21


The Esther Fast

"...the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard..." (Isaiah 58:8)


Purpose: To protect us from the enemy.


Basis: Esther 4:15-16


Promise: Ephesians 6:10-18; Peter 5:8-11