Author Topic: Fasting with an expectation - wrong?  (Read 489 times)

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Offline Faith2545

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Fasting with an expectation - wrong?
« on: November 01, 2013, 12:33:29 PM »
I decided to start a week long fast tomm, for the feast of St. Nektarios on Nov 9. I decided that I'll do a strict fast with regards to oil and go strictly vegan (which is what I.)

Is it wrong to fast with the intentions of seeking answers from prayers? Meaning to fast with a purpose of receiving something in return, is that wrong?

Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Fasting with an expectation - wrong?
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2013, 01:40:44 PM »
I decided to start a week long fast tomm, for the feast of St. Nektarios on Nov 9. I decided that I'll do a strict fast with regards to oil and go strictly vegan (which is what I.)

Is it wrong to fast with the intentions of seeking answers from prayers? Meaning to fast with a purpose of receiving something in return, is that wrong?

Short answer: no. 

Less short answer: if your intention is merely to add "force" to your prayer, there's nothing wrong with it, even our Lord spoke of the efficacy of combining prayer with fasting, but if you're doing it to bribe God and/or the saint to give you what you want, you're doing it wrong. 
"Do not tempt the Mor thy Mod."

Mor no longer posts on OCNet.  He follows threads, posts his responses daily, occasionally starts threads, and responds to private messages when and as he wants.  But he really isn't around anymore.


Offline Faith2545

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Re: Fasting with an expectation - wrong?
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2013, 02:35:38 PM »
I decided to start a week long fast tomm, for the feast of St. Nektarios on Nov 9. I decided that I'll do a strict fast with regards to oil and go strictly vegan (which is what I.)

Is it wrong to fast with the intentions of seeking answers from prayers? Meaning to fast with a purpose of receiving something in return, is that wrong?

Short answer: no. 

Less short answer: if your intention is merely to add "force" to your prayer, there's nothing wrong with it, even our Lord spoke of the efficacy of combining prayer with fasting, but if you're doing it to bribe God and/or the saint to give you what you want, you're doing it wrong. 

Thanks! However, I don't understand what you mean by bribing? I hope I haven't done it sub-consciously at least. For example, just like women pray for a child and have one, and say they name it after the saint they're praying to, is that bribing? Or praying & fasting for a better job, let's say, is that bribing? I'm not sure now!

Offline Gunnarr

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Re: Fasting with an expectation - wrong?
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2013, 01:30:21 AM »
I don't think that kind of stuff is bribing, its more the thought of "I am fasting, therefore you must answer my prayers" kind of thinking to make sure to avoid in the head. try to keep a mindset of something like, "I am fasting, please answer my prayers" or something. don't demand, instead ask. I think that is all he meant by bribing. I don't think naming a child after the saint one prayed for fertility is bribing, as long as you don't set out in your prayer that "if you give me a child I will name it after you, Saint!"

also something to avoid:

"I have prayed for this amount of time, so I am good"

when it should not be about how long you pray but how heartfelt your prayers are and such

..

anyway, about your original question, I would say no it is not wrong really, i think it would be better to hope rather than to expect I guess though. I think in the end it is fine to fast and to pray and hope for an answer to the prayer, since fasting helps prayer.

sorry if i make no sense
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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Fasting with an expectation - wrong?
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2013, 02:00:26 AM »
Thanks! However, I don't understand what you mean by bribing? I hope I haven't done it sub-consciously at least. For example, just like women pray for a child and have one, and say they name it after the saint they're praying to, is that bribing? Or praying & fasting for a better job, let's say, is that bribing? I'm not sure now!

Basically, what Gunnarr said. 
"Do not tempt the Mor thy Mod."

Mor no longer posts on OCNet.  He follows threads, posts his responses daily, occasionally starts threads, and responds to private messages when and as he wants.  But he really isn't around anymore.


Offline Opus118

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Re: Fasting with an expectation - wrong?
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2013, 01:32:39 PM »
I do not know if it was bribery, but  on October 22, 1962, I prayed to God and promised to give up candy until Christmas (which I did).

All I know is that life on earth (as we know it) continued.

Offline mabsoota

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Re: Fasting with an expectation - wrong?
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2013, 04:39:01 PM »
brother, you are older than me!
congratulations!
 ;)

do you have any more recent fasting stories or tips?

i think extra fasting is fine, and if you are not sure about your motives, then you should be able to get advice from your priest.

Offline Faith2545

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Re: Fasting with an expectation - wrong?
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2013, 09:31:47 PM »
I don't think that kind of stuff is bribing, its more the thought of "I am fasting, therefore you must answer my prayers" kind of thinking to make sure to avoid in the head. try to keep a mindset of something like, "I am fasting, please answer my prayers" or something. don't demand, instead ask. I think that is all he meant by bribing. I don't think naming a child after the saint one prayed for fertility is bribing, as long as you don't set out in your prayer that "if you give me a child I will name it after you, Saint!"

also something to avoid:

"I have prayed for this amount of time, so I am good"

when it should not be about how long you pray but how heartfelt your prayers are and such

..

anyway, about your original question, I would say no it is not wrong really, i think it would be better to hope rather than to expect I guess though. I think in the end it is fine to fast and to pray and hope for an answer to the prayer, since fasting helps prayer.

sorry if i make no sense

I've understood both points - thanks so much :)

Offline Fr. George

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Re: Fasting with an expectation - wrong?
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2013, 12:22:26 PM »
I decided to start a week long fast tomm, for the feast of St. Nektarios on Nov 9. I decided that I'll do a strict fast with regards to oil and go strictly vegan (which is what I.)

Is it wrong to fast with the intentions of seeking answers from prayers? Meaning to fast with a purpose of receiving something in return, is that wrong? 

I agree with what the others have said, and would like to offer an alternate way of putting it: fasting with your prayer indicates your sincerity and dedication to the question/situation at hand.  It is a work that helps enliven your faith (because faith without works is dead).  As long as there is no expectation of quid pro quo (something for something) - i.e. I'm doing this, you must do what I ask - then you're ok.  The prayer may be answered in a way you don't expect; as long as your true goal is salvation for yourself and those around you, be joyful in whatever outcome arises.
"O Cross of Christ, all-holy, thrice-blessed, and life-giving, instrument of the mystical rites of Zion, the holy Altar for the service of our Great Archpriest, the blessing - the weapon - the strength of priests, our pride, our consolation, the light in our hearts, our mind, and our steps"
Met. Meletios of Nikopolis & Preveza, from his ordination.