There exists a concept in pharmacology where prescribed therapeutic medications become the killers, hinging on over dosage and wrong timing of use. Thus, it’s no news that religious activities could also kill, when the timing and proportions are wrong! This principle applies to virtually everything; when the timing and proportion are wrong, even the best of acts are made wrong. So, as good as genuine religious activities are, when the timing and proportions are wrong, they’re tagged as Spiritual Overzealousness, which, apparently, God frowns at! Pharisees were constantly guilty of same. God doesn’t need overzealous workers, He wants Faithful Children!

Spiritual overzealousness is defined as any religious activity done without a divine mandate…Revd. Lakin Olabiyi

Or, every religious act done with the basis of “we’ve being in the system for some time; we can do it; this is how we do it”…Pastor Isaiah Durosawo

Salient , but prominent, examples are the traditional annual revivals that our Churches organize, which most likely were first held following divine instruction, but you may be poised to ask if God sanctioned them to be yearly, or we fix them up to have enough programs in our Churches. Remember Uzzah [2 Samuel 6], who tried helping the Ark of God when the oxen stumbled? Verse 7 says “the Lord’s anger burned against Uzzah because of his irreverent act; therefore God struck him down, and he died there beside the ark of God.”

Note that the following few religious acts have their proven Spirit and Health – enhancing benefits, but I’ll call our attention to situations when we put our lives at risk in observing them; or when they become rituals!

  • Fasting and Prayers: Great things happen by fasting and prayers [Mark 9:29]; but worst things happen by fasting and prayers when wrongly practiced in the following health conditions:
  • Malnourishment/Undernourishment: Malnourishment is abnormal feeding; while Undernourishment is insufficient feeding. Malnourishment could be secondary to undernourishment; and both are often associated with low Socio-economic status; and also, are often leading causes of infections- primarily due to consequent low body immunity. Our body’s immune system primarily helps to fight diseases with the aid of antibodies/immunoglobulins, which are body proteins that are formed when we eat good foods. Thus, high incidence of infections and disorders (e.g. kwashiorkor, marasmus, poor energy nutrition, failure to thrive, LAD, etc) is self-explanatory. But you can’t believe the number of Christians who become sick from malnutrition, and on getting to their Pastors and Prophets or from self-conviction, are made to fast before God can heal them! How can you be healed by the same factor killing you? But unfortunately, we conclude that their resultant deaths are the Lord’s will! I wish Christians could be smarter.
  • Ulcers: These are open sores on the external or internal surface of the body. I’ll rather discuss internal ulcers, mainly peptic ulcers, which can be gastric or duodenal. The mechanism behind peptic ulcer is mainly excessively high acidity level in the affected organ. Normally, gastric acid (HCl) is proportionately secreted in the stomach, as they help in food digestion and killing of ingested microbes! But the acidity level often exceeds normal with high alcohol intake, high acidic drinks (e.g acidic fruit juices), insufficient feeding, etc. Thus, the excess acid “eats” up the inner lining {mucosa} of the stomach or duodenum {because they don’t have food to consume}, resulting in ulcer(s). But unfortunately a lot of ulcer patients still excessively fast, and end up with few complications of peptic ulcer, which include, perforated ulcer, peritonitis, sepsis, aortico-duodenal fistula, massive hemorrhage, duodenal cancer, gastric cancer, death, etc. So it’s important for ulcer patients to be careful with how and when they fast.
  • Pregnancy: In pregnancy, the need for all requirements for healthy status increases due to the baby in the womb, and this typically explains why pregnant women eat more, heat more, etc…because their BMR increases, and they literarily share everything they have with their babies; and the extent to which these needs are met determines the proper development of the baby. Now, excessive fasting in pregnancy is tantamount with malnourishment for both the mother and the baby. Malnourishment in pregnancy could be a prerequisite for abnormal development in the baby, possible mental retardation, increased susceptibility to infections; possible spontaneous abortion [loss of pregnancy], etc. Thus, all pregnant women should be careful with how they fast and pray.
  • It’s also important to state that all menstruating females should limit their fasting when ‘on’. Remember that menstruation involves loss of blood, fluids, etc. and these need to be replaced to maintain body homeostasis, otherwise, their health may be endangered.
  • Faithing Healing without divine assurance: Sometimes I smile when obituaries read ‘…called home after brief illness’, especially, when there was no involvement of the health professionals when the dead was ill. It makes me wonder the number people God calls home every minute! Even a reckless driver that dies from reckless driving is called home! Sometimes, all the dead did was to go to Church and pray, and you know, I believe it’s probably an example of ‘praying amiss’; if not, why does He seem not to answer many long-term prayers for healing, though He answers others? Is He cruel? or we just present Him as cruel? Sometimes, when we present Him as the God that doesn’t answer prayers, we make him look no different from Baal [1Kings 18]. Someone said, ‘If the Name of Jesus doesn’t work for you the first time, there’s no guarantee that the Name will work for you, even if called 10 times before making your request’. I still wonder why Christians prefer going to Clergy men, and not health professionals, when ill; Isn’t that synonymous with going to a teacher to help construct your house? Many negligent and ignorant Christians will continue to die until we reasonably become smarter. When Christians need education, we go to School; when we need money, we go to work; but when we need medical treatment, then, we go to Pastors and Prophets. I’m not against believing in and praying to God for healing. In truth, most health practitioners believe that ‘we treat, while God heals’; and most times, God tend to heal by making us treat; not because He can’t heal without doctors and nurses treating, but to certify His wisdom given to mankind in the way of art and science of medicine. You won’t believe the number of Christians that die from illnesses that can be treated or managed, and also assured of healthy long life. But they often choose to go to mountains and Churches for prayers. The most disturbing part is that they often end up with complications, and are then referred to the hospital by their Pastors and Prophets, when death is sure! I thought it should have being the other way round! A lot of our situations won’t change with only prayers, but with right attitude. Surely, the Art and Science of Medicine is God’s Wisdom to mankind; thus, health workers aren’t devilish, they are humans who master God’s Wisdom revealed to men!
  • Vigil: As a student, I attended weekday vigils that continued as the ‘spirit’ led. Even as students’ fellowship, ‘weekday’ vigils ran till about 4am/5am because it was a proof of passion for God, or better still, the ‘spirit’ wouldn’t let us go on time, even though some of us still had to be in class for lectures by 8am for lectures! So, it wasn’t surprising that we had Christian brothers and sisters who wouldn’t perform well in their academics (even those who performed well would have performed better); neither was it surprising that many of the members stopped coming for vigils. Few of us had to argue with our parents who weren’t happy with the vigil timing and frequency; but we felt they were partly being carnal! But in truth, you don’t expect someone who left a vigil about 4.30am to be fully alert for a lecture/class/work that starts by 8am.

Also of importance is the frequency of vigils. Vigils involve denial of bodies their due rest. Normally the body has a hormonally-controlled wake/sleep cycle called the Biological clock. This explains why everybody tend to reflexively sleep at nights and wake up in the morning! So, vigil attendance causes alteration in this well-coordinated cycle; and that’s why having sleepless nights make people sick with headaches, etc. So let me encourage us to give our bodies adequate rest and it’s no news to say adequate body rest precedes good health.

In conclusion, I should reiterate boldly that religious activities are perfect for both the spirit and the physical, as long as the timing and proportion are right! And remember that, it’s not unto him that runneth, but the Lord that showeth mercy!

’Written by :’Boluwaji Lasehinde drgabriel001@yahoo.com


  1. No matter how happy people may be with their life, stress may find its way in. Sometimes stress is so hard to control because people do not know how to go about fixing their stress.

  2. You are right Jefferyhah!

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