10 Important Things to Do When Fasting and Praying to Deepen Your Connection with God.

There are certain things to do when fasting and praying fasting and praying to be more effective and fruitful. Although fasting and praying may not always be pleasant for the body, they are indispensable for healthy spiritual growth and development. They are also required for handling certain stubborn challenges, as stated in St. Matthew 17:21: ‘Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.’

If you are a Christian who wants to fast and pray, and you want your fasting and praying to be fruitful, this post outlines the necessary things to do when fasting and praying. However, before we dive into these things, I must sincerely tell you that they may not be easy to do. Remember, whenever you know what is right, you must also have the courage to pursue it.

As David Cottrell once said, ‘Doing the right thing isn’t always easy – in fact, sometimes it’s really hard – but just remember that doing the right thing is always right.’

See also, 15 major things to avoid when fasting and praying for effectiveness.

10 Necessary Things to Do When Fasting and Praying:

Things to Do When Fasting and praying

Here are the 10 necessary things to do when fasting and praying.

1. Humble yourself: 

Humbling oneself is one of the things to do when fasting and praying.

Fasting and praying is a way of seeking God, but He hates and opposes the proud. It is therefore necessary to keep a humble heart when fasting and praying.

2 Chronicles 7:14 states, ‘If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.’ (KJV)

Fasting and praying are excellent spiritual exercises but can lead to pride if not done with proper care. You should avoid exalting yourself in your heart, as it might lead you to think that because you fast and pray, you are more righteous than others. This makes the entire act of praying and fasting futile.

Fasting is for you to come to God with a humble heart. Thus, while fasting, see yourself as one in need of God’s mercy and having nothing to boast of.

Consider this Pharisee from Luke 18:11-13:

‘The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’.

Now take a look at Jesus’ statement in St. Luke 18:14:

‘I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For the proud will be humbled, but the humble will be honored.’ (NLT)

2. Engage in Ardent and Sincere Prayer:

A time of fasting should be a time of fervent praying. That’s why it is called fasting and praying.

You have to pray in understanding and also in the Holy Ghost (if you are baptized in the Holy Ghost).

It should be a time to pray long prayers and also a period of more frequent ejaculatory prayers. Make sure you pray more than you are used to. You have to give heaven no rest while you deny yourself food and pleasure. Even when you still go to work while fasting, make sure you tune in to heaven. Make sure you pray, even though it is on your mind while you do your work. Praying while fasting is very important.

3. Immerse Yourself in God’s Word:

Again, one of the things to do when fasting and praying is the study of God’s word.

As you fast and pray, it will be very helpful if you feed very well on God’s word.

You can read your Bible, listen to audio Bible, study deeply some Bible characters, or do topical or book study. The goal is to fill and saturate your heart with the word of God.

Have time to meditate on the scripture and make an effort to memorize the scriptures that speak to you.

The saturation of your heart with the word of God should be a must-do when fasting and praying. So, do not fall into the trap of only praying and praying when fasting.

4. Fix Your Eyes on God:

Sometimes during the period of fasting and praying, you may not have the luxury of spending time alone with God. You may be required to go to work. So, there is a need to fix your focus on God even while you engage in other activities.

If it is a kind of fasting and praying where you set yourself apart to seek God, fixing your mind on God is also a necessity. So it is one of the things to do when fasting and praying.

You have to ponder on God’s love, Jesus crucified, and Him calling on you to seek Him. Remember He said, “I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth: I said not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain…” (Isaiah 45:19 KJV). He is a rewarder. He is willing to grant you your request. “Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.” (Daniel 10:12 KJV).

God can do whatever you ask of Him. He doesn’t reject sincere seekers. Therefore, never lose focus on Him.

5. Worship God:

As you fast and pray to seek the presence of God, remember His unmatchable greatness and offer Him worship. Take time to reflect on who He is and how great He is, and offer thanksgiving for the things He has done and is doing in your life. 

Sing songs of praise to Him and you can also listen to worship songs that can stir your spirit.

6. Listen to sermons:

Listening to sermons is also one of the things to do when fasting and praying.

In addition to music, listening to sermons can boost your faith and provide edification for your soul. God may even speak to you through these exhortations, so make sure to listen to sermons.

7. Read Christian books:

Good Christian books can help clear up doubts and offer encouragement on your journey. 

Choose books from trusted authors that speak to the reason why you have set your heart to seek God through fasting and praying. 

Consider audiobooks as well, and aim to feed yourself with faith-increasing exhortations because without faith it is impossible to please God.

8. Keep sin, temptation, and distraction at bay:

If you’re fasting and praying, it’s natural to want to see results. However, sin is a major obstacle that separates us from God, according to scripture.

Isaiah 59:1 says, “Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear,” but verse 2 adds, “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.”

To keep sin at bay, it’s important to stay away from all forms and sources of temptation. While we may say that the devil tempts us, the reality is that we often tempt the devil to tempt us, as James 1:14 explains: “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.”

Moreover, it’s crucial to avoid distractions that can affect our focus on God. While some things may not be sinful in themselves, they can still divert our attention from spiritual matters. Examples of distractions include entertainment, watching movies or television, spending excessive time on social media, and talking unnecessarily. Even intimate relations with one’s spouse, while not sinful, should be avoid, if possible, but with mutual agreement (see 1 Corinthians 7:5)

See also, 20 Obvious Hindrances To Spiritual Growth

9. Practice Forgiveness, Compassion and Extending of Mercy to Others:

The Bible teaches us about the importance of showing mercy to others. In St. Matthew 5:7, it says, “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.” Therefore, if we want to receive mercy from God, we should also show mercy to others.

In Matthew 6:14, it says that if we forgive others, God will also forgive us. We should let go of resentment and forgive those who have wronged us. This is an important aspect of seeking forgiveness from God.

Isaiah 58:6-8 provides further guidance on how we can please God through our actions. We should free those who are wrongly imprisoned, stop oppressing those who work for us, and treat everyone fairly. We should also help the poor and the needy by sharing our food, welcoming stranded strangers into our homes, and providing clothing to those in need. By doing so, we can find salvation, healing, and protection in the glory of the Lord.

In a nutshell, if you want God to attend to our needs, you should attend to the needs of others. You should show mercy, forgiveness, and kindness to those around you, especially those who are less fortunate. 

So, the practice of forgiveness, compassion and extending of mercy to others is also one of the necessary things to do in when fasting and praying.

10. Wear a good countenance:

The Bible, specifically in St. Matthew 6:17-18, reminds us to maintain a positive and presentable appearance when we fast and pray. In this passage, it is suggested that we anoint our head and wash our face so that we may not appear to be fasting before others but rather for our Father in heaven. It is important to fast and pray with a sincere heart and avoid making a show of our religious practices to gain recognition from others.

Keeping our fasting private is also emphasized in this passage, as it allows us to receive a reward from God openly. By maintaining a humble and private demeanor while fasting and praying, we can develop a deeper connection with our faith and receive blessings from God that are not driven by the approval of others. Therefore, let us remember to wear a good countenance while fasting, and keep our intentions pure and sincere as we seek to strengthen our relationship with God.

Conclusion: Things to do when fasting and praying.

In conclusion, as Robert H. Schuller once said, “The truth of the matter is that you always know the right thing to do. The hard part is doing it.” 

If you’re considering fasting and have read through this post about things to do when fasting and praying, it will be beneficial to put these practices into action. 

Remember, while it’s easy to acquire knowledge, it’s often challenging to put it into practice. But, my hope and prayer for you is that God will grant you the grace and strength to implement the principles outlined in this post. May you experience the transformative power of fasting and prayer. God’s grace!

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