Here are some things to avoid when fasting and praying so your prayer can be effective, and your fast will produce the desired result.
And at the end, you would have made the most of the time.
Some of these things are spiritual and are to be taken serious, while others are physical, natural and simple ordinary things that common sense demands you stay away from when fasting and praying.
From the stand point of a Christian, you should definitely stay away from every known sin when you are fasting and praying and when you are not of course.
You have a call to live holy as God is, whether you are fasting or not.
You cannot keep a practice of sinning and expect God to come through for you on a very good day let alone when you go the extra mile to fast.
In short, you repudiate the fast and make ineffective the power of prayer if you continue in sin while professing to be fasting and praying.
On the other hand, talking about things that relate to the physical, you are not expected to get involved in rigorous work and exercises for instance when fasting and praying.
You would do damage to your body that way and may not be able to sustain the fast, let alone pray.
Let us now go into details on some major things to avoid when fasting and praying so you do not destroy your fast yourself.
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Things To Avoid When Fasting and Praying
The following are things to avoid when fasting and praying so that your prayer can be effective and your fast will produce the desired result:
‘I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.” (Daniel 10:3, KJV)
“When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 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. (Matthew 6:16-18, ,NIV)
1. The Sin Of Fornication And Adultery
This may sound extreme, but we have seen cases when people (I mean Christians) go fasting and at the end or in the process, they will be looking for somebody to have sex with.
Truth is, fasting does stirred up the passions of the flesh, both holy and unholy passions.
It makes you tender and very sensitive naturally and spiritually; that’s why little things suddenly begin to irritate you during fast.
But you have got to watch that.
Unfortunately for Christians who are still struggling with their flesh and have not gained the mastery over their bodies (have not been able to put their bodies under) this becomes a problem.
And a lot of them fall for fornication and adultery at this point.
So, with all you do, stay away from fornication and adultery when you fast.
By the way, fornication and adultery are sins against your body, which is the temple of the Holy Spirit.
2. Vulgarity And Garrulousness
You are supposed to talk less and commune more with the Lord through your spirit when fasting and praying.
So you must set a control over your tongue when fasting.
In short, when you talk too much, you talk out grace and empty yourself of power.
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3. Walkout And Exercises
You will not do well with your fasting and praying if you engage in rigorous walkout and exercises.
You are not expected to continue visiting the gym and doing your early morning (2 hour’s) workout and exercises if you are doing an absolute fast of 3 or 7 days.
That will dissipate your strength quickly, sapping your physical energy.
So don’t go walkout or exercising hard and tough when fasting and praying.
While you are not expected to leave your job unless you are on leave (whether casual or annual), you are expected to work less when fasting and praying.
If possible, avoid work, but if not, work less and avoid hard and rigorous jobs.
Avoid both rigorous physical and mental tasks.
You don’t need too much stress when fasting and praying, otherwise, you may not be able to really do the extra praying and studying of the word that go with fasting.
You cannot get the best of fasting and praying if you are not able to leave your TV.
In short, some fast even require you to abstain from your TV.
And you are to therefore use the hours you would have spent watching TV in praying, studying and in meditating on the word.
6. Social Media
By all means, you must leave Facebook, Twitter, Tiktok and other social media platforms alone when you fast.
Some persons cannot do without Facebook in a day; they spend hours and hours on it more than the owner himself, socializing with everybody in the world.
God may even be calling you to fast your time on social media, so you can spend that time with Him.
Imagine spending at least 6 hours of your time with the Lord in a 7 day fasting and prayer, time that you would have been expending on social media for nothing really serious and profitable.
What a change that will bring into your life!
Seeing that many our sports today are tasking, requiring the exertion of energy, you do not have to engage in them when fasting and praying.
Don’t go playing football or basket ball when fasting and praying, you may fall down dead out of physical exhaustion.
Of course, a lot of the time, you may want to do absolute fast for 3 or so days like Queen Esther and the children of Israel did when they were seeking for deliverance from the hand of Haman.
A 3 day or even 7 days absolute fast may not be too much to do going without food and water.
But any fast longer than that, it is advisable you drink water and stay hydrated.
Please do not go for a 40 days fast like Moses, Elijah and Jesus without water, you may not make it.
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This concerns the married.
You cannot be having that much of sex during a fasting and praying season.
All you need to do is to have an agreement with your spouse for the few days you are going on the fast and when you are done, you should return to your marital sexual obligation.
But it is good to stay off sex when you are doing an absolute fast of 3 or 7 days.
Sometimes, God even requires you to fast sex if it takes the better part of your daily life so you can seek Him some more.
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10. Hypocrisy And Moodiness
You are not fasting for the fun of it or for show off.
You are not supposed to let the whole world know that you are fasting and praying.
Don’t announce it by word or by actions.
Plus, you are not supposed to be moody, down and out when you fast.
In short, Jesus charged believers to stay lively and responsive when they fast.
You cannot continue the practice of lying while fasting, whether it is white lie, black lie, small or big lie.
You cannot bring forth both sweet and bitter water from the same cistern.
12. Bitterness And Resentment
You are not expected to harbor ill will, resentment and bitterness in your mind towards any one when you are fasting and praying.
You cannot be bitter with your spouse or children and go fasting.
It will just be a waste of time.
This is why Jesus said when you stand praying, forgive. (See Mark 11:25, NIV)
You must forgive people in your heart genuinely, if you want your prayers to be effective.
13. Pride And Anger
Spiritual sins like pride and anger must be avoided when you are fasting and praying.
Bitterness, envy, resentment, jealousy and others are spiritual sins you must not allow to surface in your heart and character when fasting and praying.
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14. Hatred And Quarrel
Hatred is also a spiritual sin, one of the primary nature and attributes of Satan; you must not allow it when fasting.
The same is true with quarrel.
Run away from quarrel when it comes looking for you, particularly in your season of fasting and prayer.
15. Rebellion And Disobedience
Disobedience has robbed a lot of God’s children of true blessing.
So when you fast, you must not work in rebellion and disobedience.
Don’t rebel against constituted authority and don’t walk in outright disobedience to God’s revealed will – His word.
To obey is better than to sacrifice and rebellion is equal to witchcraft.
16. Avoid Crowded And Public Places
If possible when fasting and praying, you should avoid crowded and public places.
This was why Jesus admonishes believer that when they want to pray, they should do so in the secret and not in the open. And that the Father who sees in the secret will reward them openly.
You don’t make a show of fasting and praying.
17. Other Things To Avoid When Fasting And Praying
There are some behaviors that are not supposed to be seen and known with believers.
Did you know that some Christians still drink?
What about believers who still go dancing and clubbing?
Though this is on the extreme as Christian are not supposed to be going clubbing, unfortunately some still do.
You don’t need dancing all kinds of passion dance and go clubbing while on a fast.
You are dishonoring the Lord, drinking, dancing and clubbing and doing His kingdom a disservice.
It is even worse when you do when you are supposed to be fasting and praying?
You do not have to, please
What about being judgmental?
That’s not a good Christian habit.
So avoid being judgmental too when fasting and praying.
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To the real Christian, he doesn’t need to be told some of the things to avoid when fasting and praying that are mentioned in this post.
He loves the Lord, walking in fellowship with the Holy Spirit and obeying the impulses of the Spirit.
So, He will mostly do these things without having to give him a list of do’s and don’ts
But there may be some things that may be robbing you of the best of God in time of fasting and prayer.
Some of which are really not bad in themselves, but are just not the best that God will have you do as such time.
You can be sure that the Holy Spirit will not be pleased if while fasting and praying, you still spend too much and most of the fasting and praying time in front of your television trying to catch up with what’s happening around town and the world.
It is definitely not a sin to watch TV while fasting and praying, but it just doesn’t amount to making the most of your time at such time.
It is not wise to do so.
All the best!