The Role of Fasting and Prayer in Revival Part 5 of 6
All authorities readily agree that a prerequisite to revival is earnest prayer. The account of most every significant spiritual renewal of history includes the details of an extended period of intercession, preceding the moving of the Holy Spirit. Still, when it comes to focusing on the “means of,” what it takes to have revival, Kaiser warns, “But care must be taken not to place too much emphasis on that word means, however, for it signifies little more than that God holds humanity responsible for such things as prayer and repentance” (Walter C. Kaiser, Jr. Revive Us Again: Biblical Insights for Encouraging Spiritual Renewal [Nashville, TN: Broadman and Holman Publishers, 1999], pp. 131, 132).
A noticeably smaller number of scholars add comments on the use of fasting as a complement to prayer in seeking for revival. One who does, offers a word of caution with his remarks as to the role of fasting in seeking spiritual renewal. Whittaker warns that one must be careful not to enter an extended fast as if it were a “hunger strike” (Colin C. Whittaker, Great Revivals [Springfield, MO: Gospel Publishing House, 1984], p. 191). Indeed, Jesus Himself demonstrated His displeasure against such fasting. He said, “And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words” (Matt. 6:7). Then the Savior added, “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting” (16).
At the same time a library affords a look at several books on the subject of fasting. I well remember a time when the publication of such works was a part of a passing fad among the devout. Several of them presented fasting as a tool for guaranteeing a way for finding power with God. Beall says they guaranteed “‘spiritual atomic energy’ if a person fasted the Prophet’s Fast of forty days in length” (James Lee Beall, The Adventure of Fasting [Old Tappan, NJ: Fleming Fleming H. Revell Company, 1974], p. 17). Further he said, “Fasting is one of those practices that is periodically suggested as a shortcut in obtaining answers to prayer. Every so often it spreads across the nation as a fad, and many testify to receiving new power with God” (p. 9). Some of the books detailed the benefits for the physical body that they declared resulted from fasting. It supposedly purged the system of certain impurities. Consulting medical doctors, of course, is the appropriate source for discussing that issue. It seems to me, though, that if one desires the physical benefits of fasting, he should more correctly call it dieting!
However, without question the best source for a study of the subject of fasting is the Bible itself. Its pages contain information beyond debate as to the nature of fasting, acceptable motives for fasting, the appropriate length of time for extending a fast, the frequency of fasting, and the purpose of engaging in the process. I propose that by following closely the biblical teaching on the subject, one can scripturally engage in fasting in a manner pleasing to God.
The Nature of Fasting
Then, what constitutes a fast? How does one define or describe it?
Using the Physical Body to Demonstrate Humility
The Bible gives its own definition of the nature of fasting, of what fasting is, and of what one does on a fast. In its simplest form fasting directly affects the body, the outer man. As a part of their fast people often dressed their bodies in sackcloth and covered themselves with dirt and ashes. That was the case with the congregation when Nehemiah returned to rebuild the walls of the city of Jerusalem. However, his concern was more about the spiritual needs of those who had returned to the Promised Land. He directed the reading of God’s word to them in solemn assembly, led them in repentance, and promoted moral reform among them. In their response to the reading of Scripture, those in the congregation repented of their sins. The Bible says, “On the twenty-fourth day of the same month, the Israelites gathered together, fasting and wearing sackcloth and having dust on their heads” (Neh. 9:1). They intended their physical actions to depict the humbling of themselves before God. With a similar use of the physical body in prayer for Jehovah to spare Israel form genocide, Mordecai “. . . tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the city, wailing loudly and bitterly” (Esther 4:1).
Denying the Body Certain Foods
Sometimes in the Bible fasting included denying the physical body certain foods. For example, Daniel ate no “pleasant” food (no meat or wine) and did not use the usual “anointing” for his body during a twenty-one day fast (Dan. 10:2, 3). In Nineveh fasting citizens, including even animals, ate no food and drank nothing during their extended fast (Jonah 3:6-8). Moses ate no food and drank no water during a forty-day fast on Mt. Sinai (Exod. 34:28). Ezra ate no food and drank no water while fasting in earnest prayer over the sins in Israel at the time (Ezra 10:6). Since Jesus was hungry at the end of His notable forty-day fast, it is clear that He ate no food while it lasted (Matt. 4:2).
Yet, one must not interpret these biblical facts as indicating that denying the physical body its normal demands, somehow pressures God to grant a person his petitions. From its early references to the fast, Scripture speaks of “afflicting” or humbling the soul rather than the body (Lev. 16:29). Punishing the physical body is not what God looks for; He saw all He ever wanted to see of that when He watched His Son die on the cross.
As Finney declares: "The effects of the spirit of prayer upon the body are themselves no part of religion. It is only that the body is often so weak that the feelings of the soul overpower it. These bodily effects are not at all essential to prevailing prayer, but only a natural or physical result of highly excited emotions of the mind” (Charles G. Finney, Lectures on Revivals of Religion [Chicago: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1868], pp. 62, 63).
Some years ago a gospel preacher began an extended fast in seeking the Lord for revival in the United States, and for miracles in his own ministry. He drank water but ate no food as the days of his fast increased in number. He declared that he would continue the fast until either a mighty revival came to the land or until he died. As his physical condition deteriorated, he prepared a signed statement relieving his family of any legal responsibility if his fast brought his death. He refused the counsel of fellow ministers to break the fast. From the beginning he had reportedly declared, “If the Lord wants me to die, I am ready to go.” His life ended on the fifty-first day of his fast (“Fast Claims Pastor’s Life,” [Springfield (MO) Leader-Press, 9 June 1952], sec. 1, p. 1, col. 4). Concerned for the minister’s life, his denomination issued a statement declaring that it did not condone fasting to the extent of doing harm to the physical body.
Avoiding Focusing Unduly Only on the Physical Aspects of Fasting
As a matter of fact, the Lord rejects a fast that is merely outward in nature, or one that is void of noble motives. Speaking through the prophet on one occasion He asked, “When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months for the past seventy years, was it really for me that you fasted?” (Zech. 7:5). God looks more for reality in righteous living than for ritual in fasting. By the mouth of Isaiah He said:
"God looks more for reality in righteous living than for ritual in fasting."
Is this the kind of fast I have chosen, only a day for a man to humble himself? Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed and for lying on sackcloth and ashes? Is that what you call a fast, a day acceptable to the LORD? 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? 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? (Isa. 58:3-7).
A believer should keep in mind that to do without food and not to engage in prayer at the same time is hardly fasting at all. Fasting is a supplement to prayer, not the other way around. The emphasis must always be where Kaiser put it when he wrote, “There is no greater work in a revival than the work and ministry of prayer. Without this most necessarily petitioning of the Lord, revivals are dead before they get started. This is the universal testimony of all the revivals in the Bible and in history” (p. 69).
Provocations to Fasting
Various things in Scripture provoked people to fasting and prayer. They include the following:
A Congregational Decision
Scripture reveals what God's pleasure is as to one's “going on a fast” or what leads to the beginning of a fast. Apparently an entire congregation of people, the nation of Israel, collectively decided to fast on one occasion in response to a message of coming judgment from Jeremiah. The prophet instructed his assistant, Baruch, to read his written words concerning all the adversities that Jehovah had determined to bring upon the people. As a reason for reading the Word of the Lord, the man of God said, “Perhaps they will bring their petition before the LORD, and each will turn from his wicked ways, for the anger and wrath pronounced against this people by the LORD are great” (Jer. 36:7). Thankfully, after hearing the reading of Scripture that day, “. . . a time of fasting before the LORD was proclaimed for all the people in Jerusalem and those who had come from the towns of Judah” (9). The person or persons making the proclamation remain unnamed. However, it appears that there was all but a spontaneous agreement among the congregation that they should fast.
A Call from Religious Leaders
At other times the Bible explicitly declared that a religious leader called a fast. For example, Ezra did so on one occasion. He gathered a group of refugees in Babylon with plans to lead them in their return to the Promised Land. He knew well of the hardships and dangers they would meet along the way. He decided he would not ask the government for an escort of soldiers to assure their safety in the trip. He had witnessed to the king saying, “The gracious hand of our God is on everyone who looks to him, but his great anger is against all who forsake him” (Ezra 8:22). Then, rather than lean on the arm of flesh, Ezra led the people to put their full trust in Jehovah. Accordingly, he reported, “I proclaimed a fast, so that we might humble ourselves before our God and ask him for a safe journey for us and our children, with all our possessions” (21). In conclusion he wrote, “So we fasted and petitioned our God about this, and he answered our prayer” (23).
A Call from Secular Leaders
Sometimes the king as a secular leader called his people to fast. That happened in the case of Jehoshaphat as discussed earlier in this series.
The Call of a Prophet
On another occasion a prophet challenged God's people to fast. Joel presented those in Israel with a solemn warning of impending judgment. Their land would be devastated by the coming of swarming locusts. They would destroy vineyards, fields, and the trees of the countryside.
Then the prophet declared: "Despair, you farmers, wail, you vine growers; grieve for the wheat and the barley, because the harvest of the field is destroyed. The vine is dried up and the fig tree is withered; the pomegranate, the palm and the apple tree—all the trees of the field—are dried up. Surely the joy of mankind is withered away" (Joel 1:11, 12).
Joel then called upon the inhabitants of the land to cry out to God for mercy in averting the coming catastrophe. In the process they should demonstrate their humility before the Lord by engaging in fasting as they fervently seek the help of Jehovah. He called upon the priests to lead the way as they clothed themselves with sackcloth in the process. He counseled them to, “Declare a holy fast; call a sacred assembly. Summon the elders and all who live in the land to the house of the LORD your God, and cry out to the LORD” (14).
The Length of the Fast
Further, the Bible offers helpful guidance as the length of a fast. The length of biblical fasts ranged all the way from one to forty days.
However, most of the fasts in Scripture were for only one day. Israel engaged in such a fast while in a state of shock over its defeat in an attempt to capture the city of Ai early in their central campaign to take the Promised Land. Joshua and the elders of Israel fasted the rest of the day of the tragic battle. The sacred record declares, “Then Joshua tore his clothes and fell facedown to the ground before the ark of the LORD, remaining there till evening. The elders of Israel did the same, and sprinkled dust on their heads” (Josh. 7:6). The account does not make specific reference to the otherwise obvious denial of food for themselves. That they were fully taken up with repentance before God during the hours of that day is the only thing that matters. In response to their earnest petitions Jehovah informed them of sin in the camp which led to the defeat. This allowed the leadership of the nation to make the needed corrections.
Members of the tribes of Israel engaged in a similar one-day fast, as to what to do concerning the near annihilation of the tribe of Benjamin. In the first battle between the army of Benjamin, and that of the soldiers of the combined army of the rest of the nation, the larger force lost. Scripture says, “Then the Israelites, all the people, went up to Bethel, and there they sat weeping before the LORD. They fasted that day until evening, and presented burnt offerings and fellowship offerings to the LORD” (Judg. 10:26). Again they spent the rest of the day following their defeat before the Lord. They used fasting as a part of what they did in their pursuit after God. That period of prayer turned the tide. In the next conflict the larger army was victorious. Almost all of Benjamin’s soldiers died in the battle.
Commendably, the victors earnestly sought the Lord for help in preventing total genocide of that tribe. The Bible says, “The people went to Bethel, where they sat before God until evening, raising their voices and weeping bitterly” (21:2). Though it was somewhat incidental to what was really going, they all but forgot about eating the normal meals of the day and instead used all of the rest of the hours of that day in seeking after God.
On another occasion Israel foolishly took the Ark of God with them to the battlefield, thinking its mere presence would guarantee them the victory. Instead, they met a humiliating defeat and the loss of the sacred piece of furniture from the Tabernacle. It remained away from its assigned place for some time. Seeking the return of Jehovah’s favor, Samuel led the people in a solemn assembly where they expressed repentance for all of their sins. The Bible says, “When they had assembled at Mizpah, they drew water and poured it out before the LORD. On that day they fasted and there they confessed, ‘We have sinned against the LORD’” (1 Sam. 7:6). Here, too, they fasted as a supplement to other acts of worship, and, once more theirs was but a one-day fast.
Upon learning of a decree sanctioned by the king that authorized genocide against her people, the Jews, Queen Esther called upon Mordecai to enlist others to join her in fasting and prayer to disrupt the plans. Mordecai was a close relative who had taken her in and raised her as a daughter, following the death of both of her parents. From the palace Esther send word to him saying, “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish” (Esther 4:16). Jehovah responded and spared His people from annihilation.
Though he had made no such plans previously, Saul of Tarsus fasted for three days immediately following his first encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus. He was obviously greatly sobered by the event. Following the instructions of the Lord he went on into the city to await further directions concerning what he was to do. Luke writes, “For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything” (Acts 9:9). His fast ended when Ananias, a faithful follower of the Master, came to him with life altering directions from Jesus.
Twice, biblical characters fasted for seven days. In one of these the fast became a part of expressing sorrow at the death of King Saul. He had been a miserable failure as Israel’s first king. However, in spite of his flawed administrative activities over the nation and the tragic way he took his own life after being wounded on the battle field, at least the men of Jabesh Gilead risked their lives, to give the bodies of him and his three sons a decent burial. They further demonstrated their respect for Saul during a period of mourning following his burial. The sacred writer reports, “Then they took their bones and buried them under a tamarisk tree at Jabesh, and they fasted seven days” (1 Sam. 31:13).
David also fasted for a period of seven days once. He did so as a part of seeking Jehovah to spare the life of a son born out of his adulterous relationship to Bath-Sheba. When the king learned of the child’s illness, Scripture says, “David pleaded with God for the child. He fasted and went into his house and spent the nights lying on the ground” (2 Sam. 12:16). For seven days the infant lingered between life and death. During that time David maintained his station at his son’s bedside. He refused to eat any food during that period. Following the child’s death, he arose, went to the palace and began to take food again. Those around him were surprised at his actions. They said, “Why are you acting this way? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept, but now that the child is dead, you get up and eat!” (21). He explained that the time for hope that his son’s life might be spared through fasting and prayer had passed. He must again carry on with the normal activities of his life and live before God in such a way as to have hope of seeing the child again in a better world to come.
Only four people engaged in “extended fasts” in Scripture. One of them was Daniel who fasted for a period of twenty-one days. In his report of the experience he writes, “At that time I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks. I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over” (Dan. 10:2, 3). Though the prophet was well advanced in years at the time, his heart was still much in pursuit after God. Hall calculates that Daniel was already well into his eighties (Bert H. Hall, Wesleyan Bible Commentary, Vol. III [Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1969], p. 548). Swim suggests that the prophet was in his nineties (Roy E. Swim, Beacon Bible Commentary, Vol. IV [Kansas City, KS: Beacon Hill Press, 1966], p. 677). Daniel dates the event in verse 1 as being during Passover season, a time for serious devotion, fasting, and prayer.
As referred to earlier in this article, this fast included abstinence from only certain things.
Daniel consumed no “choice” food, eating only the more common portions. He also chose not to eat any meat. Instead, he ate nothing but vegetables on his plate while at the table. He drank no wine with his meals. He chose also to forgo the luxury of rubbing his body with lotions following his baths for the three week period.
What follows in the account makes clear that the prophet was gravely concerned as to the future of his country. That burden provoked this period of special devotion in his life. Once his fast had ended, an angel informed him that heaven heard his prayer from the first day he began to seek the Lord. However, the opposition of hell delayed the response to Daniel’s petitions. Then the messenger from Jehovah informed him, “Now I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the future, for the vision concerns a time yet to come” (Dan. 10:14). He provided prophetic detail as to what would happen to Israel from the days of Daniel through the Tribulation Period and into the time of the resurrection of the dead. Among his final words to the prophet was the declaration, “Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt” (Dan. 12:2).
On three occasions the fast of the worshiper continued for forty days.
Among them was the experience of Moses on Mount Sinai. As he waited for Jehovah to give directions in forming Israel into a nation, the sacred record says, “Moses was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights without eating bread or drinking water” (Exod. 34:28). Elijah found strength enough to sustain his body for forty days from a divinely provided meal. Scripture reports, “So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God” (1 Kings 19:8). During His encounter with Satan in the wilderness the Savior’s special time with the Father lasted forty days and nights. Matthew records in his Gospel, “Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry” (Matt. 4:1, 2). Circumstances suggest that in these incidents all three persons were supernaturally sustained; else they would have died, since it is unlikely that the human body can go without water for forty days. Beall observes, “Three forty-day total fasts are mentioned in Scripture, but each one was supernatural. God initiated them and enabled the men to be sustained. These fasts were so beyond the ordinary that we would do well to dismiss any thoughts of duplicating them” (p. 49).
The Frequency of Fasting
Certainly, what the Bible says as to frequency of fasting needs to be observed. The Law of Moses required only one fast per year of only one day's length. Jehovah instructed, “The tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. Hold a sacred assembly and deny yourselves, and present an offering made to the LORD by fire” (Lev. 23:27). This was the day when the citizens of nation of Israel confessed their collective sins and presented the sacrifice as required to provide a covering for them.
With the passing of time Israel added annual fasts for various reasons. With words of great promise of a better time to come for the nation the prophet declares that its sorrow will be turned to joy. Severe calamities, including their defeat and deportation to Babylon, had led them to cry out to the Lord with fasting and prayer during several periods of the year. They found that the Day of Atonement was no longer sufficient for them to repent and ask for mercy from the Jehovah. However, if they will turn from their sins and seek justice in the land their God now says, “The fasts of the fourth, fifth, seventh and tenth months will become joyful and glad occasions and happy festivals for Judah. Therefore love truth and peace” (Zech. 8:19).
Then, by the time of Jesus many in Israel fasted twice a week (Luke 18:12). A certain Pharisee boasted before God in worship that he maintained that schedule. However, because of the spiritual pride expressed in his words, neither his fasting nor his prayer met with the favor of God. Comparing the Lord’s response to him with his attention to a tax collector who demonstrated genuine humility in his prayer on the same day, Jesus said, “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 18:14). Perhaps his example serves as a warning to those in biblical times who added ritualistic fasts to their religious calendar while they drifted further from God!
"He who humbles himself will be exalted."
The Purpose of Fasting
Without doubt, in the subject addressed here the most important of all is what Scripture says as to the purpose of fasting. Both Old and New Testaments shed light on the subject.
In the Old Testament
The Old Testament contains at least nine examples indicating the purpose behind fasting. Since I have referred to some of these elsewhere in these articles, I will just offer the list in summary here. They include the fact that:
1. Hannah fasted as she prayed earnestly that Jehovah would give her a child (1 Sam. 1:7).
2. Some in Israel fasted to show grief at the death of Saul (2 Sam. 1:12).
3. Ezra and a remnant in Israel fasted while praying for God's protection in the return trip from Babylon (Ezra 8:23).
4. Nehemiah fasted in prayer because of his burden over the dilapidated state of Jerusalem (Neh. 1:4).
5. The citizens of the nation of Israel fasted to express repentance of their sins (Neh. 9:1-3).
6. The Jewish people, Esther, and Mordecai fasted as they prayed to prevent the annihilation of Israel (Esther 4:3, 16).
7. David fasted while asking God to spare his son (2 Sam. 12:16).
8. The king fasted the night Daniel was in the lions' den (Dan. 6:18).
9. Daniel fasted as he prayed for the restoration of Israel following the Babylonian captivity (Dan. 9:3) and out of concern for the future of his people (10:2, 3).
Early in his discussion of the fast Towns focuses on its purpose. He writes, “Fasting 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 that He already does if we fast, or if we fast longer” (Elmer L. Towns, Fasting for Spiritual Break Through [Ventura, CA: Regal Books, 1996], p. 17).
In the New Testament
The New Testament also offers instruction concerning the purpose of fasting. Indeed, Jesus Himself taught on the subject. He showed how wrong it is to fast in order to be seen of men. In His famous Sermon on the Mount He said:
When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you” (Matt. 6:16-18).
On another occasion He answered an enquiry about fasting. The students of John the Baptist asked, “How is it that we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” (Matt. 9:14). In His reply He responded to two implied questions. The first is, “When should one fast?” To paraphrase His remarks He answered, “When circumstances warrant or demand it.” In essence the Teacher asked, “A couple do not fast on their honeymoon, do they?” (15a). Applying his answer to their direct question, He explained that circumstances would change for His disciples. The “honeymoon” would soon end for them and then they would fast more (15b).
Then the Lord responded to the second implied question, “Why should one fast?” In essence He said one should fast in order to show a burden or express a hunger for God as a natural result of sorrow, repentance, or trouble which turns the soul away from ordinary things to God. This is much the case with a young widow desires no food upon the tragic death of her husband. When friends and relatives insist that she must eat to keep her strength up, she replies, “I think if I tried to eat food now I would choke on it.” Beall observes, “At times fasting is a natural response. We cannot handle too much emotion and food at the same time. We temporarily refrain from eating” (p. 54). As Kaiser writes concerning the fast of Israel as a part of their seeking after Jehovah at Mizpah (1 Sam. 7:6), “. . . they voluntarily afflicted their bodies to do without food in order to physically join in the grief of their souls” (p. 68).
Likely, even the disciples of John were caught up in a type of fasting which had them often doing without food for what might have been improper motives. Jesus went on to make clear that He rejects ritualistic fasting as playing any part in the kingdom of God; He will not put the new wine of the kingdom into the old wineskins of ritualistic fasting in Judaism (Matt. 9:16, 17). Beall speaks of those who promise all kinds of spectacular results from fasting. He writes, “The fast itself is to produce all the results. God has been lost in the mechanics of abstaining from food” (p. 45).
In addition to the teachings of Jesus on fasting, other passages in the New Testament provide insight on its purpose. Cornelius fasted as he prayed in seeking the way of salvation (Acts 10:30). Leaders of the church at Antioch fasted while they prayed about evangelizing the world (Acts 13:2). Paul indicated that a believer does well to enter into periods of special devotion occasionally when he leaves off some normal things of life (even in relating to husband or wife) in order to pursue God for worthy causes through fasting and prayer (1 Cor. 7:5).
Then, believers can and should fast scripturally if they follow closely the biblical teaching on the subject. This includes information as to the nature of a fast, the selection of a fast to combine with prayer, the length of a fast, the frequency of a fast, and the purpose of a fast. Certainly, if believers ever did, those of today should give thought to fasting because of the needs of their times.
Currently the world reels under the blows of unbelievable suffering in several parts of the planet. Fellow believers, brethren suffer persecution and martyrdom in some parts of the world even more than at other times in history. The nations of the world are headed for certain judgment, though, alas, they are hardly aware of it! In some ways the Church is perhaps at its weakest point ever spiritually, with shallow religious ritual replacing the deep commitment to God which its fathers knew. The time for revival is now!
Beall, James Lee. The Adventure of Fasting. Old Tappan, NJ: Fleming Fleming H. Revell Company, 1974.
“Fast Claims Pastor’s Life.” Springfield (MO) Leader-Press, 9 June 1952], Sec. 1, p. 1, Col. 4.
Finney, Charles G. Lectures on Revivals of Religion. Chicago: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1868.
Hall, Bert H. Wesleyan Bible Commentary, Vol. III. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1969.
Kaiser, Walter C., Jr. Revive Us Again: Biblical Insights for Encouraging Spiritual Renewal. Nashville, TN: Broadman and Holman Publishers, 1999.
Swim, Roy E. Beacon Bible Commentary, Vol. IV. Kansas City, KS: Beacon Hill Press, 1966.
Towns, Elmer L. Fasting for Spiritual Break Through. Ventura, CA: Regal Books, 1996.
Whittaker, Colin C. Great Revivals. Springfield, MO: Gospel Publishing House, 1984.