Orthodox Christians fast for many reasons, but the main reason is to give more attention to their relationship with God. Aside from being a way to make a habit out of prayer, this is also a way to deal with temptation. If you’re thinking about starting a fast, there are several things you should know before you go ahead.
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Fasting is a biblical tradition
The Hebrew Bible introduces themes of dependence on God and messianic hope in a series of motifs that are often associated with fasting. Fasting is a symbol of humility and dependence on the God who is the giver of life. It is a spiritual discipline that highlights the God-ordained ministry of messengers.
There are several reasons why fasting was so popular in the ancient world. Many cultures used fasting as a way of dealing with tragic events. In the OT, it was also a common response to tragedies.
Fasting, like prayer, has a number of functions. First, it is a sign of seriousness. Second, it is an opportunity to intensify the act of prayer. Third, it shows a dedication to the cause. Lastly, it highlights the role of the giver.
Scriptures often use fasting as a launching point for discussing various matters, such as justice, sin, and spirituality. However, these functions are not necessarily tied to fasting.
Fasting in the midst of the world
Fasting is one of the key biblical motifs. In its earliest stages, fasting was a part of the personal and corporate sorrows of the people, as well as a symbol of the solemnity of the message of the Lord. It may also have been used to highlight the differences between Jews and Christians.
The Hebrew Bible contains numerous references to fasting. Among them are the forty day fast of Moses, the fasting of Hannah, the prophetic Fasting of Elijah, and the eschatological fasting of Christ.
While the first two passages are not explicitly tied to fasting, they are important in the study of the fasting tradition. Both passages demonstrate the significance of fasting in the ancient Near East and the early Christian church.
The significance of fasting is in the “living soul” aspect. Man’s life depends upon his connection to God. This connection is a complex dichotomy of physical existence and the spiritual nature of man.
Olive oil is forbidden
The Orthodox Christian Church observes a variety of fasts throughout the year. In addition to the Great Lent, which begins on Clean Monday and ends on Good Friday, there are also the Apostles’ Fast, the Nativity Fast and the Dormition Fast.
Great Lent is a time of prayer and penitence. During this period, many Orthodox Christians abstain from meat, dairy products and alcohol. They also refrain from eating fish and shellfish.
Orthodox Christians are encouraged to observe their fasts on most Wednesdays and Fridays during the entire year. However, they can relax these rules when they travel or if they feel ill.
Strict fasts involve not eating any meat, fish, eggs, olive oil, wine, or any other alcoholic beverage. On these days, the only other food that is permitted is fruit.
As with all fasts, there are variations in the rules. Some areas have a stricter policy regarding oil and wine, while others allow it.
Prayer helps prepare for temptations
One of the most important things for orthodox Christians to do is to be prepared for temptations. When we are tempted, we should first ask God’s help. This will be beneficial to us since we will be able to know more about how to deal with temptations and not get carried away by them. Temptations are also an opportunity to strengthen our faith.
For example, if you are tempted to steal, ask yourself if you have a reason for this temptation. If you do, you might need to ask for forgiveness. Otherwise, you might be just being a thief and not really stealing anything.
Another temptation we face is if our loved ones do something wrong. We should not denounce our family member for this sin. Rather, we should pray with good will for them. Prayer with this intention will be more effective than condemning them.
In order to be more prepared for temptations, orthodox Christians need to focus on their spiritual lives. They should have a regular time for prayer and they should avoid worldly activities. Keeping these guidelines in mind will help you become more attentive to prayer.