The Pastor Who Died After 21 Days Of Dry Fasting And Prayers: Did God Forsake Him?
By Kwame Danso Acheampong
The Bible encourages Christians to fast and pray. Pray without ceasing.
In fact so emphatic is this statement to the extent that in Matthew 21:22 God says anything that is requested in prayer shall be granted.
I’m sure you are familiar with the story about the pastor who passed in Ghana, West Africa, last Wednesday after a grueling 21-day dry fasting and prayers.
According to reports from the West African country, the Presiding Bishop of Holy Fire International Church, Rt. Rev. Dr Reginald Ofori-Twumasi , 68, died at a private hospital at Anaji near Takoradi, Ghana’s oil production hub.
The pastor is reported to have told his congregation “he will be back after his 21 day fasting.’’
But reports say the Man of God died few days after he completed the fasting.
A member of the church who told the media the pastor was suddenly taken ill after the fast and was admitted to the hospital.
He subsequently died.
I am certain that most Christians can identify with this sad story because as they say, true Christians fast and pray.
The police are yet to determine the cause of death, but obviously 21 days of dry fast - without food and water - is enough to cause havoc to any human body.
But the question running through the minds of many, including me, is did God forsake the Rt. Rev. Dr Reginald Ofori-Twumasi?
Now beyond the fact that this story is of particular interest to the Christian community, I guess it perhaps opens the discussion on the need to explore further the import of that call to fast.
Christians do believe that God is an all-knowing God. If so, why can’t people appreciate that due to the obvious differences in people’s health and mental stamina, not everyone can go through the strenuous distressing experience of fasting and praying for long hours?
I have come across several instances where a number of days for fasting are imposed on sick people who have gone to prayer camps or centres in a desperate search for healing.
Make no mistake I believe in miracles and the fact that God works in several ways, however I also believe that God has given us wisdom and the willpower to make decisions that affect our lives.
Thankfully this case has received wide media attention. How about the thousand and one people who die at prayer camps across Africa while observing long periods of fasting?
Couldn’t we as Christians make distinction between those who can survive several days of fasting and those vulnerable ones who obviously cannot, due to the frailties of their bodies?
I don’t believe that the directive by God is absolute as some believers are making it seem.
God understands our individual circumstances and has demonstrated amply to always meet those who call upon Him at the point of need.