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 told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Ibadan that hatred and unforgiveness could hinder answers to prayers.
He admonished Christians to be focused, prayerful, united and merciful as well as give alms to the needy.
“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.
Fa“After morning worship, they should go for a prayer walk so they can connect with nature and reflect on their fast.
“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.