20 Things To Avoid When Fasting And Praying
KEY SCRIPTURES: Matthew 6:16-18; Daniel 10:3
MATTHEW 6:16 “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly, they have received their reward in full.”
Fasting is a setting aside of a special period to deny oneself of things that edifies the body and engaging in things that edifies the spirit, soul and mind. It is a spiritual exercise and one engages in it to concentrate one’s spirit and mind to God for specific purposes in order to hear and draw much closer to God. Fasting is voluntary and must be done with preparation of heart to achieve the purpose of embarking on such spiritual exercise. Fasting must be coupled with praying in order to be effective. One can’t fast with praying because it will just result in a hunger strike. Fasting and praying are personal affairs and shouldn’t be announced or known by a third party. Fasting is God’s secret weapon and when believers use it effectively, one will enjoy a balanced Christina living. Fasting and praying helps to discipline the body and align one with the purpose of one’s calling into God’s kingdom.
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Fasting and praying have a lot of benefits to a believer’s life and it is advisable to engage in it regularly in order to reap the benefits. Fasting and praying gives one the privilege to hear God’s voice on issues partaking to life and godliness, cleanses your body from toxins, and receives the promises of God’s guidance, provision and strength. Fasting and praying helps to keep our body in check and the spirit is giving full control which allows the body to be obedient to the Holy Spirit dictates. Fasting and praying helps one to grow in faith by ridding one off getting dependent on human intelligence and soul energy but relying on the power of God. There are different types of fasting and prayers which are full fasting which was practice by Esther in the bible consisting on only intake of water, partial fast also consist of only intake of water but for a short period, Daniel fast which consist of intake of only fruits and vegetables and doing away with fat and unhealthy sugary foods and we have the lent fasting which is the traditional way for Christians to honor Jesus before the Passover mostly observed by the some Christians. Fasting helps you to let go of the temporal and seen while prayers help you to reach out to the unseen. Since fasting and prayers involves denial of self-gratification. There are some things to avoid during fasting and prayers. These things do not edify and could hinder the purpose and benefits of fasting and praying to God. In this article, 20 things to avoid during fasting and prayers will be mentioned, and believers should try as much as possible to avoid them so that our prayers and fasting won’t be hindered or rendered ineffective.
- AVOID SINFUL THOUGHTS AND DESIRES: 2 Corinthians 10:4-5
Believers should do away with sinful thoughts and desires when engaging in fasting and praying. Since we are denying one’s self-gratification. We should avoid things, places or situations that will warrant sinful thoughts or desires to dwell in our heart. One’s heart is meant to be consecrated to God in order to hear from Him, but God will not draw to a heart that is filled with sinful thoughts because He is a holy God so total avoidance is necessary when fasting and praying in order to reap the dividend on such practice.
2. AVOID TELLING OTHERS ONE IS FASTING: Matthew 6:18
Fasting and praying is done to hear and draw closer to God personally. It is not a community affair so one should desist from informing others that one is fasting. It is a personal practice, and it should be done discreetly and with no third-party involvement except telling one’s spouse if it is going to be for a long period of time. The bible also encourages discrete fasting and praying so that God can see the genuineness of your heart and bless you accordingly.
3. AVOID VAIN PRAYERS
When fasting and praying, one should avoid selfish and vain prayers. Prayers made during fasting shouldn’t be for self and family alone, but we should learn intercessory prayers too. Motive of fasting and praying should not concentrate on only the self but the world at large until everyone comes to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and accepts him.
4. AVOID HAVING WRONG MOTIVE FOR FASTING AND PRAYING
Fasting and praying is meant to humble one before God and deepen our relationship with God in order to attain the purpose of being in the Kingdom of God. All fasting and praying done should be focused on God rather than ourselves. One must avoid the wrong motive for fasting and praying in order to be beneficial to the person involved in such practice. You should not fast or pray because of a reward, it is a wrong motive and should be avoided. Fasting and praying is meant to deepen spiritual hunger for God and fast intervention of God. Let your heart be right with God before you embark on fasting and praying because God sees and knows the intent of the heart. Make your heart aligned with God and things of God.
5. AVOID DEHYDRATION
During long periods of fasting and praying, avoid depriving the body of water for too long. Stay hydrated when you are fasting and praying. Drink water at intervals but avoid strong stimulants such as caffeinated and sugary drinks.
6. AVOID IDLE TALKS: Ephesians 4:29; 5:4
When one is fasting and praying, one must endeavor to avoid places or environment where idle talks or sexual innuendo talks are encouraged. The heart must be empty of such talks during fasting and praying, so it is better to avoid such areas or people known for such. We are meant to talk less and commune with God more.
7. UNFORGIVENESS: Mark 11:25
One must do away with unforgiveness or any sin during fasting and praying. Before you embark on such exercise, one must be living and acting pure in order to be accepted by God. Forgive all issues and set yourself free from any burdens during fasting and prayers.
8. AVOID EXCESSIVE EXERCISES
During fasting and praying, one is expected to avoid rigorous walkout and exercise that will drain one’s strength faster. One needed to preserve physical energy in order to commune with God better and longer. Don’t sap your energy with excessive walkout and exercise.
9. ABSTAIN FROM EXCESSIVE TELEVISION PROGRAMME
Fasting and praying involves self-denial of some pleasures which includes watching programs on television. Avoid television during fasting and praying, use that time for productive things like meditating on the word of God, studying and praying to God.
10. AVOID SPORT ACTIVITIES
Engaging in sport requires tasking events which sap physical energy, and these should be avoided during fasting and praying. Fasting and praying is not the time to exhaust your physical energy and be sleeping instead of communing with God.
- Avoid worldly dressing and Gestures.
- Avoid Moodiness and pretense
- Avoid Idolatry.
- Avoid taking Alcohol.
- Avoid meaningless / unproductive engagements.
- Avoid Social media content that pollutes the heart
- Avoid bitterness and resentment in any form.
- Avoid pride, anger, hatred and quarrel.
- Avoid being judgmental when fasting and praying.
- Avoid uncleanliness.
Fasting and praying should be done in secret which was admonished by Jesus Christ. We don’t have to show others or do wrong things when we are hoping to be more intimate with God after the exercise. All the things listed above should be avoided when fasting and praying in order to make the effort count and reap the blessings and deliverance attached to such exercise.