What Not to Do When Fasting and Praying

Spiritual exercises are very important for the growth and development of any Christian. Such is true because, during spiritual activities, the focus is on the spirit man to achieve growth and improvement. One spiritual exercise that helps believers develop capacity and grow spiritually is fasting and praying. Prayer is a double communication with God, while fasting is intentionally setting yourself apart and denying certain things to engage in spiritual devotion aimed at edifying your spirit. 

When fasting and praying, you should avoid anything and everything that takes your attention away from God. You should also avoid taking part or involving yourself in sinful activities. The main point of fasting is self-denial geared towards energizing your spirit man and giving him control over the flesh. Another thing about fasting is that it draws you closer to God, which you must be engaged in voluntarily. 

Why is Fasting And Praying Important to a Christian? 

Some Christians wonder why fasting and praying are necessary, as Jesus paid the price and made the greatest sacrifice on the cross. Interestingly, the place of fasting and praying in a Christian’s journey cannot be relegated to the backstage due to its crucial role. The first thing fasting does in the life of a Christian is that it provides resolve to overcome temptation and hold on to God’s word. 

The Bible in Matthew 4:1-11 tells us that even Jesus Christ, our ultimate model at the start of His ministry and before Satan’s temptations, fasted for forty days and nights in the wilderness. Jesus, as a result of the fasting, was strengthened spiritually, so it was easy to overcome the temptations that Satan presented before Him. In line with this, fasting and praying serve as a form of discipline in the spirit, helping us break our lustful and worldly desires

Also, when we fast, we separate ourselves from ordinary things and people, using such moments to commune intimately with God. By doing so, we become closer to God and thus will begin to touch God’s heart. The prophet Isaiah explained this in Isaiah 58:6, which says,

“Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to lose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?”

In the following verses, we would see how light would break forth from him and how much of God’s glory He will begin to reveal after the fast. 

Finally, fasting and praying is one easy way in which you can seek the mind and face of God on several issues of your life. We see this example in the early church, where the apostles fasted and prayed to seek God’s will on important matters. In Acts 13:2-3, the apostles were fasting when God asked them to separate Him, Paul, and Barnabas. Even before commissioning them for God’s work, the Bible records that the apostles also fasted and prayed before laying hands on them. The reason why seeking directions from God comes easily when fasting and praying is that your mind is quieter and more open to God’s word and leading during this period. 

What Not to Do When Fasting and Praying

In fasting and praying, the goal is to set yourself apart and draw closer to God. This also involves avoiding things that might affect your consecration and spiritual life. Here are a few things you should not do when fasting and praying: 

  • Avoid All Forms of Sin

What Not to Do When Fasting and Praying

Fasting and praying are man’s attempts to draw closer to God and should be considered sacred. When fasting and praying, you should avoid all forms of sin, especially fornication and adultery. As funny as it sounds, some Christians still search for people to have sex with when fasting which is not right. It is even more important to avoid fornication and adultery because these sins are sins against the body, which according to the Bible, is the temple of the Spirit of God. The period of fasting and praying should be one dedicated to abstaining from fleshly lusts and paying more attention to the nudgings of the spirit. 

  • Spiritual Pride And Ignorance 

It is easy for you to get a false sense of superiority as regards spiritual things, but it is necessary to avoid such fasting and praying. Pride and arrogance come when you fast and pray so that others may notice and possibly commend you. Jesus Christ warns us against this in Matthew 6:16-17 which says,

“Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you; They have their reward. that thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.”

The parable about the prayers of a Pharisee and a tax collector Jesus shared in Luke 18:9-14 also conveys the same warning regarding fasting and praying.

  • Overlooking Physical Needs

Although fasting and praying would necessarily involve keeping aside food for a while, it is still vital that you pay attention to your physical needs during this period. Even though it is with our spirit that we commune with God, who also is a spirit, our spirit is being housed by a body. If our body, due to neglect, breaks down, all the spiritual gains we might have gotten and grounds covered would be irrelevant as our body can no longer function as it should. To this end, try to take water to prevent dehydration, especially during long fasts. 

  • Avoid Ritualistic Fasting

As much as God wants us to fast and pray, He wishes that we do it to seek Him in sincerity and a genuine heart. God warns us about this in Zechariah 5:6, which points out that true fasting should be done to God and not as a routine or to fulfill a certain ritual. 

What Should You Do When Fasting? 

The time of fasting and praying should be primarily spent on becoming closer to God. As such, your heart posture during fasting and praying should genuinely seek to know and love God. You should use the period to shut down all distractions, focus on the Holy Spirit and align yourself to His will. 

It would help if you also self-examine and meditate to ascertain your consecration levels in your heavenly journey. Also, your fasting may be seen as incomplete without the study of the Word. So while fasting, you should go deeper in studying and meditating on the word of God. You should carry out the exercise with a heart of gratitude even while you intercede and pray earnestly. 

Final Words 

As vital as fasting and praying is for Christians, it should not be carried out in levity as it is an easy way to achieve spiritual discipline. Fasting and praying is also a means of seeking God’s guidance and direction in our lives. To this end, you should avoid things like spiritual pride and arrogance, all forms of sin, ritualistic fasting and overlooking your physical needs. Fasting should also be done with a sincere desire to encounter God and a ready heart willing to listen and learn. 


Follow us on Facebook


Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button