What Are Those Things To Avoid During Fasting And Prayers
KEY SCRIPTURES: Galatians 5:19-21; Matthew 6:16-18
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 spiritual exercise and can be defined as a period of denial of self of things that satisfy the flesh to consecrate oneself to hearing and drawing closer to God. It is a spiritual discipline that is taught in the Bible. Fasting is voluntary and should not be publicly announced as warned in the Bible by making our faces dull when fasting. Fasting goes with prayer as fasting without prayers is just a mere hunger strike. We should always endeavor to pray when one embarks on fast, gives time to communicate and meditate on the word of God too. Prayers and meditating on the word of God helps fasting to be effective. There are some situations that warrant fasting and prayers together to be victorious over such situations. Mark 9:29. Fasting and prayer is not for God but for Christians. They help us nearer to God, promote spiritual freedom, guide one’s path, promote a healthy body system and remind us about the coming back of Jesus Christ.
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Fasting and prayer makes us depend totally on God. In this period of self-denial of flesh gratifications, trusting God for his mercy is made easy. Fasting and prayer is all about the heart posture and not just a diet. It is not just abstinence from food but doing away with things that take more time from you like your phone or social media platforms. Fasting and prayers help Christians to submit their will to God, follow a set of guidelines about food and open your heart to God which makes God to strengthen, empower, fill, and change us. There are many benefits attached to fasting and prayers which are helping to focus and hearing from God, remind us of how much we need God and purify coupled with strengthening of the souls. 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.
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, things to avoid during fasting and prayers will be enumerated, and we should try as much as possible to avoid them so that our prayers and fasting won’t be hindered or rendered ineffective.
- SINFUL THOUGHTS: 2 Corinthians 10:4-5
Christians should do away with sinful thoughts during fasting and prayers. We should meditate more on the word of God to avoid or dwelling more on sinful thoughts. Our hearts as believers should be guided. Anything like listening to bad music, watching bad movies, or reading bad books that promotes sinful thought should be avoided during fasting and prayers. These can affect the purpose and benefits of abstaining from things to seek God intimately.
- INFORMING PEOPLE: Matthew 6:18 “so that it will not be obvious to others 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.”
Fasting and prayers is between you and God so no third party should be aware except your spouse if it is going to be for a long period of time. One should avoid wearing our fasting and prayers on one’s face. It is not a public affair as stated in the Bible. It should be done discreetly and the Lord that sees you in secret will reward you openly for all petitions rendered during the exercise.
- UNFORGIVENESS: When you embark on fasting and prayers, ensure to do away with bitter heart or unforgiveness. Remember you are meeting God to help and empower you and your heart must be in right standing with God when you come into his presence. Forgive all issues and set yourself free from any burdens during fasting and prayers.
- SELFISH PRAYERS: Avoid selfish prayers that only think about selfish desires during fasting and prayers. Prayers that generated from strife and envious of others should be avoided during fasting and prayers too. We should look inward for genuine prayers that are kingdom and gospel focus more than selfish prayers. Allow the Holy Spirit to lead you during fasting and prayers.
- Other things to avoid during fasting and prayers are meaningless / unproductive engagements, idolatry, uncleanness, taking of alcohol, worldly dressing and gestures, bad conversation that promote sins or sexual desires, quarreling, social media contents that are unhealthy to the heart etc.
Fasting and prayers are tools appreciated by God and high recommended by Jesus Christ from the scripture. It makes God know how appreciative we are of his endless infinite amount of love that he provided for all humanity. We should endeavor to set our heart and mind right before we decide to fast and pray to him. It won’t be fair on how the body denies its nutrients and at the end of the day, all was done in vain and not accepted by God. We should endeavor to watch out for things that pollute the body when we are fasting and praying to God and avoid them at all costs. It is better to do away with the things that are not edifying your spirit and perfect holiness in the sight of God as stated in the bible. 2 Corinthians 7:1