THE DOS AND DONTS OF FASTING
As we get to our prayer and fasting week which will run from 27th January – 31st January 2020, it is paramount that we as believers understand the importance of fasting as well as the right way of doing it as so many of us have got the wrong idea of fasting.
One may wonder, if God has generously created food ‘to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth’ (1 Timothy 4:3), what possible reason could there be then for abstinence. You see, far too often the focus of prayer and fasting is usually based on abstaining from food, instead of us being able to take our eyes off the things of this world and focus our thoughts on God. We therefore need to take a moment and determine as best as we can, what the Bible says about fasting.
Prayer and fasting is defined as voluntarily going without food in order to focus on prayer and fellowship with God. Prayer and fasting often go hand in hand, but this is not always the case because you can pray without fasting and fast without prayer. It is when these two activities are combined and dedicated to God’s glory that they reach their full effectiveness.
That being said, the following are points we should remember while deciding to engage in prayer and fasting;
Have in mind that prayer and fasting is not a way of manipulating God into doing what we desire. Rather it is simply forcing ourselves to focus and rely on God for the strength, provision and wisdom that we need.
While fasting, constantly pray and read the Bible.
During this period remember to do good to others.
Remember to stay hydrated by drinking either water or herbal tea. The body can survive without food for days but not without water. Dehydration happens quickly causing fatigue and ultimately organ failure and death.
Lastly as Dr. Bill Bright – founder of Campus Crusade for Christ put it, God loves us and is not displeased with us when we do not fast.
To be seen fasting not a sin but fasting to be seen is. (read Matthew 6:16) godly fasting is motivated by a heart for God and not by human admiration.
Fasting is not something you do for God but is instead an appeal of total dependency on God. Therefore do not do it as an act of willpower but a declaration of weakness.
Do not fast so as to make a statement that food or other things are bad, rather do it with the intention of knowing that God is better.
May the Lord bless us and help us as we begin our prayer and fasting week.
Magdalene Kamau & Joseph Gaithuma.