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A Hunger for God
John Piper
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A Hunger for God

4.23  ·  Rating Details ·  2,294 Ratings  ·  119 Reviews

There is an appetite for God. And it can be awakened. I invite you to turn from the dulling effects of food and the dangers of idolatry, and to say with some simple fast: "This much, O God, I want you."

Our appetites dictate the direction of our liveswhether it be the cravings of our stomachs, the passionate desire for possessions or power, or the longings of our spirits

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Published July 3rd 1997 by Crossway
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Apr 09, 2013 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In almost every way this is the best book I've read on fasting. Piper really sells the importance of this oft-neglected discipline, particularly for our current satisfaction-obsessed culture.

The only real misstep of this book--and it's a jarring one--is the seventh chapter, in which Piper focuses on the importance of fasting over the issue of abortion. Of course, it makes sense to talk about fasting over a particular issue of world concern. But he doesn't do much to justify the topic's inclusio
Diana Barrick
Feb 09, 2014 Diana Barrick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read so many Piper books that they begin to sound like a broken record in my head. "John Edwards...blah...blah..." I skimmed through this book until I got to his chapters explaining Isaiah 58. Reading these chapters came as an unexpected splash of cold water in the face. I had wanted to read a book on fasting because of this very passage I'd stumbled across in my own Bible study! I went back and reread this book; taking notes and the time to digest (hah!) it all. I loved his explanation of ...more
Zack Migioia
May 06, 2009 Zack Migioia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I would highly recommend this book to any and all Christians.

Fasting is not practiced or taught in most churches today and the Bible speaks very clearly to subject of fasting. It's so helpful to look at fasting as a privilege and joy, rather than a duty and dread. Whether we eat or don't eat, we should be joyful. Joyful eating and Joyful fasting make up the Christian's life.

God rewards those who fast, but it's important to know that it's not in a meritorious way. The reward that comes from fas
Daniel Duane
Apr 03, 2014 Daniel Duane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian-living
Insightful and profound in tackling the issue of the Christian fast. I love the way Piper looks at Fasting. Fasting is just like prayer. It isn't like something Christians must or are obliged to do. It's something that IS part of Christian Life, just as prayer and worship. Fasting is not an ends of a means. It should accompany prayer and worship. The goal is not to master the flesh, although mastering fleshly desires and passions can be the result of fasting. But Fasting goes much deeper than th ...more
Feb 04, 2014 Benjamin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him. That's the message of this book for why we fast. This is an excellent biblical expository work on key passages on fasting. Not just why and how, but also the dangers and damage of doing it wrongly, in practice or motivation. The first half of this book taught me a great deal and will be used to keep my own path pure when it comes to fasting. Maybe the most poignant passage being how uncommon this discipline has become being that we a ...more
Josiah Chin-A-Young
This is without question the best Piper book I've ever read. It's full of wisdom gained through time and experience as well as a solidly grounded, biblical understanding of the role of fasting in the believer's life. As another reviewer has noted, chapter 7 (abortion), does not really fit the flow of the book (although he is pretty spot on in his view). That being said, I highly recommend this book for believing friends who are in any way serious about the exercise of their faith.
Amy Kannel
Excellent and so needed. It is to our shame and loss that the discipline of fasting is so much neglected among modern Christians. This was my second time reading this and it was every bit as convicting and inspiring the second time around. I am challenged to grow in pursuing God through fasting.
Feb 25, 2013 Jason rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: church
I'll start with a confession.

I don't like John Piper. I mean, obviously, I don't know the man, and I've never met him. But his book on N.T. Wright highlighted some fairly major presuppositions that he and I disagree on, and his childishness in regards to the Rob Bell fiasco just left a bad taste in my mouth.

But I'm fasting this Lent, and I really needed something to read to move fasting into a more profound level for me, and not just being hungry and irritated for days at a time, and Piper's wo
Mandy J. Hoffman

This is a book I really wanted to read, but it took me a long time to finally read it because I knew I would be convicted. And, yes, I was.

John Piper eloquently and passionately explains fasting and it's Biblical basis as well as it's secular background. He digs into Scripture, both Old Testament and New Testament, to learn what place fasting has in our lives and they why and how behind doing it today in our own lives. I walked away having learned a lot, having been challenged immense
Jan 26, 2014 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great book to read!

Recently I commented to my wife that in our community there has been a surge of restaurants. In some ways, I suppose that is good for the economy. Yet it may seem strange to people in the west so accustomed to eating “three square meals a day” that fasting should play any role for a conservative evangelical person at the dawn of the 21st century. John Piper’s book on fasting, A Hunger for God, is the best book I’ve read on the subject.

Piper first asks the question: Is Fasti
Dec 23, 2016 Trey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jul 15, 2016 Joeybjab05 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
John Piper points out the dangers and denials of fasting and prayer. If we fast for a selfish purpose, even if we are doing it secretly, the reason we are fasting will not be God-honoring. We must hunger for God in order to find the denial of food fulfilling. While fasting is used in most religions, and even modern movements, self-deprivation is used to reveal our weaknesses, our sins, and our controls. When we completely rely on God, for our needs, those revelations can be answered, dealt with, ...more
Pat Roseman
This was a great book on fasting. Piper explores the scriptural basis and many (if not all) of the reasons for fasting. He cautions against a lot of the pitfalls [Woe to the fasting that leaves sin in our lives untouched. The only authentic fasting is fasting that includes a spiritual attack against our own sin. I sour fasting really a hunger for God? We test whether it is by whether we are hungering for our own holiness. To want God is to hate sin. For God is holy, and we cannot love God and lo ...more
Jan 01, 2009 Ryan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was attracted to this book because of the subtitle: Desiring God through Fasting and Prayer. Like others who have read some of John Piper's work, I appreciate the way he targets our desires as a true reflection of our relationship with God. I was intrigued to see how he would write about fasting in this light.

Piper does his usual careful, persuasive job in this book, and I enjoyed it. Well, I enjoyed it as much as you can enjoy something that is convicting! He writes that fasting can be used a
Nov 18, 2010 Shannon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book several months ago and never got around to reviewing it, partly because I have about twenty pages left to read in the book. But a friend told me a while back that reading non-fiction is different than reading fiction. When she has the author's point in a non-fiction book, she feels it's OK to stop, whether she's read every word or not. I definitely read enough of this book to get its point.

Piper is one of my favorite Christian writers. He really has a heart for God and has used
Mar 14, 2009 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My only complaint with Piper is that sometimes he takes 200 pages to say what he could have said in 130. I think this is the case with this book. It was definitely worthwhile and I highly recommend it but I think it could have been shorter. Perhaps the issue was that I didn't have to be convinced as I'm with one mind with Piper on the topic. The only issue I have is that he indicates that fasting can be applied to something other than food and I disagree with that. There are instances when the B ...more
Aug 07, 2008 Matt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian
This book stems from the basic life principle in the author’s earlier book, Desiring God, which states “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.” He fleshes this statement out in the context of fasting and prayer. Piper builds a case for fasting in the church from a biblical perspective as well as addresses many of the modern day concerns with this spiritual discipline. While food fasting is the most common way to fast, he shows the reader other ways that are biblically app ...more
Jan 12, 2012 Monica rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: faith
I loved MOST of this book. As do most Piper books, it challenged me to hunger for God more than I do. It made me stop and ask myself, "Do I love God like this?"

However, the last chapter was an enormous disappointment. I am pro-life, and I think 90% of abortions are performed because of false information. Nonetheless, I was not convinced that this chapter belonged in a book about fasting. Piper spent the entire chapter talking about abortion laws, how wrong they are, and what a tragedy abortion i
Jeff Short
Dec 19, 2011 Jeff Short rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: discipline
This is a study of fasting and desire for God. Piper takes the principles of fasting from the Old Testament and weaves them together with the teaching on fasting in the New Testament. This book answers a lot of questions about the why’s of fasting. He enumerates the blessings of it and sounds many needed warnings also.

I recommend this book to get a better grasp of this subject. The chapter on Isaiah 58 is convicting and clarifying. There are practical implications for all believers. I believe ev
Apr 20, 2011 Alan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's a great read so far. Pastor Steve asked me to speak to our church about fasting, and I read a couple of paragraphs from the Introduction. I do normally read book introductions but I have never quoted one before.

Typical of Piper, the writing is too deep to skim over any parts, so my progress is slow though very enjoyable so far.

UPDATE - Finished! It was good to the end, a great resource, informative and encouraging. Fasting for prayer has become very valuable to me, very beneficial for focus
Adam Shields
Dec 30, 2009 Adam Shields rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Full review at

Short review. This was a good introduction to fasting as a biblical discipline. It veered into politics in the middle, but other than that I thought it was a very good take on the subject. This was much more of a positive tone than Scot McKnight's book Fasting.

Neither this book or Fasting talks about how to fast. If you are looking for practical discussions about how to fast. You need to keep looking.
Mitchell Elliott
Oct 11, 2014 Mitchell Elliott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Piper gets us modern Christians to think about the of-neglected practice of fasting. After walking through the biblical support in defense of the practice of fasting, he then goes further and uses scripture to examine what, exactly, constitutes proper fasting.

I found this work to be quite biblically sound and easy to read. The only bad thing I have to say about the book is that it suffers from (what could possibly be considered a general Piper-esque fault) being too repetitive in asking and rest
I found this book both challenging and encouraging. Challenging because I have not been utilizing fasting in my own spiritual life. Encouraging because i found myself wanting to fast. In other words Piper does not guilt the read into fasting. Rather he leads you to a theology of fasting and shows you what you have been missing (if you haven't been doing it). The result is a rich theology of this practice which is extremely practical.
Micah Cobb
Jan 08, 2015 Micah Cobb rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Christians
Recommended to Micah by: Wes Gunn
Shelves: my-books
I found this to be an excellent book. John Piper looks at the spiritual discipline of fasting. With his trademark intensity and close attention to the Christian Scriptures, Piper explains why fasting is Biblical, profitable, and world-changing. I would recommend this book to everyone who wants to learn more about fasting, or even if they just want to learn more about developing a hunger and a passion for God.
Dec 17, 2013 Sam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fasting 101. Simply one of the best Christian readings on fasting. The quintessential Piper. Easy to read, easy to understand & easy to put to practice, Piper makes us to understand that when our desire for God reaches the point where ONLY His presence can satisfy, then & only then does our fasting begins. A priceless appendix presents an icing-on-the-cake of quotes from church fathers & foremost christian leaders & authors on satisfying our desire for God through fasting.
Jan 15, 2012 Daniel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book a few years ago, but I think I was still reading it our of mere curiosity instead of a true desire to seek after God. Reading it now Piper's words hit me hard, with truths I fele in the past I was too distracted and blind to see. God will work in us if we are willing to let go. Fasting is a way of telling God we hunger for him and are willing to finally sacrifice somethign of ourselves to seek Him and serve Him, instead of our own selfish needs and desires.
Margaret Roberts
Dec 29, 2015 Margaret Roberts rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fantastic book looking at the importance of fasting and praying. Piper looks at the different reasons as to why we should fast, ie. to be looking for the fullness of God in our lives, seeking Revival, committing to praying for God's Will, and for others etc. He makes note of Biblical and historical facts, adding to his argument. I enjoyed this book, though I would have appreciated also some more tips on discipline and how to fast.
Michael Ibarra
Nov 13, 2015 Michael Ibarra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Agreed with another reviewer: probably the best primer on what fasting is, why it's relevant to us as modern day believers, and the dangers of (and deceitfulness) of our own hearts walking into fasting with the wrong motives and expectations for outcome. Highly useful as a practical resource, especially given the Appendix of great theologians' studies on the subject, but also heavily weighty as a reference model.
Richard Minor
Jul 29, 2014 Richard Minor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have to confess that I am a person who has not given enough thought to fasting. It has been a neglected discipline in my life. That is why I found this book to be so good for me. Piper takes a hard look at what fasting is, why Christians should be doing it, the appropriate way to fast, what to be in prayer and fasting for, as well as quotations from others about fasting that are quite helpful.
Mar 18, 2012 Kiley rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spiritual
i really enjoyed the first 2/3 of this book. sometimes christian non-fiction is tough for me to wade through, but this was a quick read for me. i will say, though, that i skimmed the last 1/3 of the book. it didn't seem to have a lot of new content.

i would definitely recommend this book for those interested in the motivations behind christian fasting.
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John Piper is founder and teacher of and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as senior pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

He grew up in Greenville, South Carolina, and studied at Wheaton College, Fuller Theological Seminary (B.D.), and the University of Munich (D.theol.). For six years, he taught Biblical Studies at Bethe
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“If you don't feel strong desires for the manifestation of the glory of God, it is not because you have drunk deeply and are satisfied. It is because you have nibbled so long at the table of the world. Your soul is stuffed with small things, and there is no room for the great.” 298 likes
“The greatest enemy of hunger for God is not poison but apple pie.
It is not the banquet of the wicked that dulls our appetite for
heaven, but endless nibbling at the table of the world. It is not
the X-rated video, but the prime-time dribble of triviality we
drink in every night.”
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