Fasting in a Leader’s Life: 8 Benefits

Fasting in a Leader’s Life: 8 Benefits

Fasting is a spiritual practice the Bible encourages. The Old Testament mentions it many times as did Jesus. We often hear and teach that fasting can help us deepen our walk with Jesus, but I also believe that leaders should consider fasting to help them find clarity and focus. Taken from the book of Isaiah, fasting can bring these eight spiritual benefits to the life of every leader.

The first five verses of Isaiah 58 describe a fast the people had committed to. Although they seemed eager to know God more intimately, they weren’t truly eager for God and God chastised them for their false humility. In the verses that follow, I’ve gleaned, from God’s responses to them, these eight positive benefits fasting offers every leader.

1. The Lord can use fasting as a tool to free you from personal weaknesses or sin areas. 

“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? – Isaiah 58:6

2. Fasting can help you become a more generous leader.

Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter– when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? – vs. 7

3. Jesus can bring emotional, relational, or even physical healing through fasting.

Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear – vs. 8

Jesus can bring healing through fasting.

4. Fasting can help you become more aware of His protection over you as a leader.

...then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard. – vs. 8

5. Fasting can result in your seeing more answers to prayer as your prayers align more closely to God’s will.  

Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I. – vs. 9

6. As you fast, you will become more confident in the dark times you face as a leader.

”If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.   Your darkest hour will be like the noonday sun... – vs. 10

7. Fasting will remind you that Jesus will give you strength to lead well.

The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. – vs. 11

8. Through fasting, you will see your leadership yield spiritual fruit.

…You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. – vs. 11

Andrew Murray, a South African pastor and author who wrote 240 books in the late 19th and early 20th century wrote these words:

“Fasting helps to express, deepen, and to confirm the resolution that we are ready to sacrifice anything, to sacrifice ourselves to attain what we seek for the kingdom of God.”

How has fasting helped you find clarity for your leadership?



Charles Stone

Both my wife Sherryl and I have a heart for pastors and pastors’ wives. We’ve taught hundreds of pastors and their wives in the United States, Canada, Nicaragua, Colombia, and Mexico.

I earned an engineering degree from Georgia Tech, a Masters of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Doctorate of Ministry from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. I’m completing another masters degree in neuroleadership. I’m also an avid Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket fan.

I’ve been professionally trained in these areas by these organizations:

Life Coaching through the Professional Christian Coaching Institute
Strategic Planning through Ministry Advantage (certified)
Vision Clarity through the Church Unique Process (certified)
Conflict Management through Peacemakers
I’m the author of 4 books – Daughters Gone Wild – Dads Gone Crazy (Thomas Nelson, 2007), 5 Ministry Killers and How to Defeat Them (Bethany House Publishers, 2010), People Pleasing Pastors: Avoiding Pitfalls of Approval Motivated Leadership (Inter-Varsity Press, January 2014), and my brand new book, Brain-Savvy Leadership: the Science of Significant Ministry (Abingdon, 2015).