When I was young, the “Law of Fasting” was my least favorite commandment. We were taught to go 24 hours without food or water and to start and end with a prayer. I’ve struggled with this principle because I just couldn’t figure out how God would grant my request by simply starving myself? I now have a system that I feel helps me to fast with power. Hopefully you will find this helpful.
Do you have to fast for a certain period of time? The amount of time you fast is the length of time you plan to PRAY. I’ve learned that it doesn’t have to be 24 hours; it may be an hour or a day or a week. When you plan to approach the Lord in a manner that requires more focus that you would normally use, always include fasting. When we sacrifice anything of the flesh while communicating with the Lord, the Spirit flows directly into us and we can gain better access to His Spirit; like removing static from a radio frequency. Fasting helps us to FOCUS when we pray. (Alma 17:3)
FOOD AND WATER?
The purpose is not that our bodies are hungry or thirsty, but that we have chosen the Lord over anything that provides comfort. We have honored God by choosing HIM! We have said with our spirits, I would rather go without food, water, sleep, fun, friends, computer, and everything else, just so I can spend some time with my Lord. You can fast from just food, or just water, or just sleep. Whatever you choose to sacrifice. I say in my heart, “Lord, I need thy help more than all these things and wilt thou hear my prayer?”
HOW DO I APPROACH A FAST?
I don’t just fast because it’s a certain day of the month. I usually have a purpose and a plan. I come to the Lord with questions. I even write them down beforehand. I know where and when I’ll fast. I often choose to do this in the middle of the night when the kids are asleep and I can be alone. I start my fast after dinner and I’ll go without sleep. I am fasting from food, water, sleep, and everything else. I am choosing the Lord. I am taking time to be holy.
Now, you can fast anytime and anywhere YOU want. You can choose just to fast from food, or sleep, or candy, or anything that your body craves. Powerful prayer is about learning to focus your entire heart, mind, and spirit on receiving the Lord. (Helaman 3:35)
Since my understanding of this principle has changed, I look forward to fasting and see a difference when it is used with prayer. The Gifts of the Spirit flow freely and miracles occur. If you are struggling to receive revelation fasting is the key ingredient. Good luck!