PURPOSEFUL PRAYER AND FASTING

Mathew 6; 16-18 TLB

16 “And now about fasting. When you fast, declining your food for a spiritual purpose, don’t do it publicly, as the hypocrites do, who try to look wan and dishevelled so people will feel sorry for them. Truly, that is the only reward they will ever get. 17 But when you fast, put on festive clothing, 18 so that no one will suspect you are hungry, except your Father who knows every secret. And he will reward you.

Your motives towards fasting really matters because it will determine the reward you will get.

Fasting-going without food in order to spend time in prayer is noble and difficult. It gives us time to pray, teaches self-discipline, reminds us that we can live with a lot less and helps us appreciate Gods gifts. Jesus was not condemning fasting, but hypocrisy fasting in order to gain public approval. Fasting was mandatory for the Jewish people once a year, on the Day of Atonement (Lev 23; 32).The Pharisees voluntarily fasted twice a week to impress the people with their “holiness”. Jesus commended acts of self-sacrifice done quietly and sincerely. He wanted people to adopt spiritual disciplines for the right reasons, not from selfish desire for praise.

Study also Isaiah 58 that will help us know on the best practises we should have when praying and fasting in relation to the above and pray to God that during this prayer and fasting period that you will purpose in your heart to practise the above not to be seen by people but God alone.