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Fasting Without Prayer Is Hunger Strike, Clerics Warn

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – As some Christians continue to fast and pray in the New Year, the Anglican Bishop of Oyo, Rt. Rev. Williams Aladekugbe, has urged them to pray fervently and eschew unforgiveness.

Aladekugbe disclosed on Friday in Ibadan that hatred and forgiveness could hinder answers to prayers.

He admonished Christians to be focused, prayerful, united and merciful as well as give alms to the needy.

According to him, fasting releases God’s supernatural power that causes breakthroughs.

“Fasting causes us to rely on God, it helps us to be filled with the fruit of the Spirit, makes us to bypass the emotions of our flesh, and opens our heart to hear God’s voice.

“It renews our appreciation for God and His blessings, gives power to our prayers, creates an environment for miracles, it is soul-cleansing, and gives us a desire for God.

“Fasting is a way God’s people have humbled themselves before Him for more than 3000 years,” he said.

The Oyo State Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria, Apostle Joshua Akinyemiju, also advised Christians to pray well during fasting.

“After morning worship, they should go for a prayer walk so they can connect with nature and reflect on their fast.

“Christians should remember that fasting without prayer and/or reading the Word is nothing but hunger strike.

“Fasting is spiritual discipline to achieve intimacy with God.

“The Bible says that 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,” he said.

Akinyemiju said that fasting could be viewed as a physical health decision and a faith-based decision.

“When we fast, we meditate; this helps us cleanse ourselves, allowing us to receive that higher power into us once again,” he said.

Pastor Vincent Ajiboye of the Redeemed Christian Church Of God, Jesus Assembly, Ibadan, advised Christians to fast according to the scriptures, not like hypocrites.

“While fasting, we should pray with all seriousness, otherwise, we might just be on hunger strike; we must be connected to God in the spirit and believe that He answers prayers.

“Moses fasted for 40 days and got the Ten Commandments according to Exodus

34.28; Jesus fasted for 40 days and started a ministry that would forgive the world’s sins and reconcile all the earth back to God according to 1 Peter 3.18 and Colossians 1.20.

“It makes us grow closer to God, to be filled with the fruit of the spirit.

“When we fast, there is almost nothing distracting us from hearing God’s voice,” he said.

Ajiboye added that fasting would open one’s heart to see and understand the goodness of God.

He said: “It gives power to our prayers, there are some breakthroughs that are only got through prayer and fasting; if we have been facing the same unanswered prayer for a long time, it may be time to fast.

“Fasting forces the flesh to go under the authority of God’s Spirit in us; when we are effectively fasting, we are letting God have all the room.

“His Spirit becomes powerful and mighty in our words and actions,” he said.


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