Martin Luther on Fasting

Of fasting I say this: It is right to fast frequently in order to subdue and control the body. For when the stomach is full, the body does not serve for preaching, for praying, for studying, or for doing anything else that is good. Under such circumstances God’s Word cannot remain. But one should not fast with a view to meriting something by it as by a good work. (SL 19, 1017)


No commandment of the Church, no law of any order, can enhance the value of fasting, watching, and labor as means of re- pressing or mortifying the flesh and its lusts. . . . For the body is not given us for us to kill its natural life and work but merely to kill its wantonness. . . . On the other hand, care must be taken lest a lazy indifference to such suppression of the flesh grow out of this freedom; for the roguish Adam is exceedingly tricky in pleading the ruin of body and mind (as a reason for indulging his wanton desires). (SL 10, 1353f)

From Luther’s Works, St. Louis edition

My earlier post on fasting, encouraged me to look up what Martin Luther said about the topic. For what Luther said on other topics see these posts:

Martin Luther on Serving Others

Martin Luther on Married Love

Martin Luther on Growing Our Gifts

This entry was posted in October 2019: Rest and tagged , by jculler1972. Bookmark the permalink.

About jculler1972

My husband is the retired pastor of St. Paul's Free Lutheran Church in Leitersburg, Maryland. I have two grown daughters, three grandchildren and am retired after a career in Purchasing. I have published articles in The Lutheran Ambassador, Lutheran Witness, and Lutheran Digest. My Bible study on the Book of Acts was published in 2016 by the Women's Missionary Federation of the AFLC(Association of Free Lutheran Churches).

1 thought on “Martin Luther on Fasting

  1. Pingback: A Different Kind of Fast | Lutheran Ladies Connection

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