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A Hunger for God

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  2,995 ratings  ·  179 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 lives--whether it be the cravings of our stomachs, the passionate desire for possessions or power, or the longings of our spirits
Paperback, 240 pages
Published July 3rd 1997 by Crossway Books
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Apr 09, 2013 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
Zack Migioia
May 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
May 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Powerful and informative. Thankful for my small group and The Common Rule for pushing me to learn more about fasting!
Jordan Brown
Mar 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An convicting read, especially in our culture of comfort and affluence.

Favorite quote:

“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.”
Diana Barrick
Feb 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Rod Innis
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was truly a great book. It is one of those books that needs to be reread. I plan to do that. A great quote (there were many) is "Jesus is the light of the world. Living near him is the brightest place in the universe. To find out where he lives, read the gospels and follow his path." The main focus of the book is fasting/going without food in order to hunger for God. An intimate relationship with God is worth it! If you want a more intimate relationship with God, I recommend this book. In f ...more
Zach Barnhart
Oct 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: church-life
In my opinion, one of Piper's best books. A very important but often ignored aspect of our faith that Piper meets with deep biblical consideration.
May 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book will dramatically change your view of fasting for the better.
As a Christian you can't afford NOT to read it.
Daniel Duane
Apr 03, 2014 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
Jan 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I remember John Piper preaching on fasting, years ago, before he wrote "A Hunger for God." I was a teenager at the time, and didn't really have categories in my mind for fasting, and I never latched onto the ideas he was teaching. Consequently, I was not interested in reading this book later, when it was published.

I finally got around to reading it, and now, twenty years later, the book resonates with me in many ways. At first, I was a bit skeptical about what he was trying to argue, but as he p
Feb 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Nov 16, 2019 marked it as to-read
Although I'm hearing a lot about fasting from the medical/ health field, I'm not hearing much from Christians who have practiced it for a couple thousand years. Published in 1997, this book seems to be from the previous fasting movement spurred by Bill Bright.

....currently reading...
Josiah Young
Mar 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lifestyle
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.
Sep 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The author begins the book with a statement: "Beware of books on fasting" and then goes on to challenge us on what really constitutes Christian fasting—a longing/homesickness for God.

I learned a lot from this book especially as it owes all its statements to the Bible. The Chapter on Isaiah 58 was an eye-opener.

The greatest take away: Beware loving loving God rather than loving God.

May God be Glorified in our Christian fasting as we hunger for Him.
Mark Hanson
Dec 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A walk through what modern fasting could look like. Views Biblical as well as recent and contemporary examples to show there is no fixed pattern but rather diverse practices. Yet even with no Biblically mandated structure, the encouragement is that it should not be neglected as a means of connecting to God when a situation may warrant.
Amy Kannel
Jun 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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.
David Steele
Feb 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Probably the best book ever written on fasting.
Chad Warner
Apr 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Helpfully makes the case from the Bible that Christians should fast. It's much more than a biblical defense of fasting; it also examines proper motives for fasting, gives historical examples of fasting, and presents purposes or causes for which to fast. I wish it included more practical guidance on how to fast.

You can download the ebook for free.

Reasons to fast
• We're hungry for God's Word and Spirit in our lives.
• We long for God to be glorified in the Church and among the nations.
Katie Ortiz
May 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have read a number of John Piper’s articles, listened to some of his sermons, and Ask Pastor John segments through the desiringGod ministry, but A Hunger for God became my first long text to read of his.  Upon hearing of the book before and asked to conduct an informal book club with this work of nonfiction, I was eager to dive in.  The text discusses the importance of knowing God through fasting and prayer. I feel as though my prayer life has become more real and authentic about four years ag ...more
Bobby Jones
Mar 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great book on the biblical & Christian discipline of fasting. Easy to read and follow for a book by John Piper. My favorite part of the book is the exploration of Isaiah 58 in chapter 6. Ready to put into practice what I've learned.

Favorite quotes:

Regarding Isaiah 58 - "When God tells the people what to do, this is not a job description, but a doctor's prescription." Isaiah 58:8 - "Then your light will break out like the dawn and your recovery (healing) will speedily spring forth."

Beware Loving
Amy Butler
May 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've always struggled with the idea of fasting and I have struggled any time I have fasted because I didn't understand the point. My pastor recently preached a sermon about prayer and fasting and he pointed out how prayer is about dependency on God and fasting is about a longing for God. I have felt God pointing me toward fasting for a long time. In this book I feel that Piper does a great job of showing us that fasting is a wonderful outlet for our longing places. I long for God. I long for all ...more
Tim Suffield
Aug 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a good companion to Arthur Wallis' God's Chosen Fast, it is completely lacking on practical details, so you couldn't really read this book and successfully think "OK, I'll try fasting."

What it does have (in spades) is some deep theological reflection on why fasting is a good idea in the New Covenant, and on why fasting does seem to move God to act, which is what Wallis' book is missing.

There's probably space on the market for a book that does both.

A Hunger for God does the usual Piper th
Brandon Charlton II
Sep 25, 2019 rated it liked it
One of the best books on fasting. Piper is so passionate and so careful and intentional with his words. He gives such DEEP and profound insights. I love his take on Isaiah 58 and fasting, such a deep and convicting message. As well as all of his insights into hunger and how it relates to fasting. My few critics are that he did not talk about his own journey of fasting, it's helpful for people to know how someone is practicing what they are preaching. Second, he goes really off topic and I dont u ...more
Eric Scott
Feb 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I generally like books that are concise. This one had long boring sections. But it has changed my perspective, and hence, my life. The book ties authentic prayer to fasting... whether we abstain from eating food, watching TV, or indulging in a bad habit. The author contends that only when our hunger for God exceeds our hunger for consuming what the world can provide, can we truly appreciate and enjoy what God has to give us from the bounty of His creation. The book would be a good resource for a ...more
Anna Chviedaruk
Feb 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
I always had a big struggle with the notion of fasting. I could never see a sense and a need in this, thus could never actually do that even when I tried. This book has shone some light into this topic to me. Unfortunately, as in many questions, some denominations has ruined the sense of fasting. They put just one reason to it - to get an answer from God. However, John Piper brilliantly brings us to the root and the initial sense of fasting.
Andy Scott
Mar 26, 2019 rated it liked it
In this book, the author considers the main Bible passages that address fasting (Matthew 4, Matthew 6, Matthew 9, Isaiah 58), along with the warnings given in Paul's epistles. The last chapter considers an application of fasting to the current issue of abortion. The appendix includes several quotations about fasting by theological writers of the past and present. A great, in-depth and motivating analysis of the topic.
Tommy Barrow
Dec 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
First published in the late 90s, this book is more timeless than trendy. It is not a handbook on fasting full of tips and tricks, but more so a book on our (individual, societal, and cosmic) need for a savior. This book looks at many different topics from the end of the world, personal sanctification, the nations, and abortion (to name a few) and how fasting fits into it all. Piper paints a broad and wide picture for fasting to the Glory of God and satisfaction of our souls.
Kristopher Schaal
This was a great introduction for me into the topic of fasting. The meat of the book is in chapters 1-5.

Fasting is a way of expressing and increasing our hunger for God. It is never commanded in the Bible (maybe once in the OT), but Jesus expected His followers to do it (“...when you fast...”). Fasting always goes along with prayer.

Fasting is a way of saying to God, “I love You more than food and I need You more than food.”
Nancy C. Mills Shannon
Great Inspirational Read

This book answers many questions I had about true fasting!!! I feel empowered, motivated and inspired to increase in the fasted life. In this book, I've found additional ways to build myself up in my commitment to live the Fasted Life. This is a book I intend to read annually.
Lee Grossman
Feb 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Open my eyes to fasting

I have spent 10 years playing with fasting and asking for understanding on the topic. I see in scripture we are to fast, but I never hear of believers talking about fasting. So thankful to have things to be prayerful and mindful of as I fast. So thankful to hear of other believers fasts.
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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 Bethel Co

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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.” 341 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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