Year of Youth 2018

Fasting: What Your Prayer Life is Missing

Last edited 17th September 2017

Fasting: What Your Prayer Life is Missing

We were fasting from sweets, and, let me tell you, it was rough.

This past summer, I had the great blessing and privilege to serve as a Life Teen Summer Missionary at Camp Covecrest. Each week, our missionary community chose a new fast to take on together, and, during our first week, we fasted from sweets. When I heard the news about our first fast, my brain melted and poured out of my ears. I was in for it, because sweets and I have a dangerously close relationship.

I remember thinking, “How in the world is this supposed to make me a better person? I’m not getting any holier by eating fewer churros at lunch!” In fact, I think back to one night at Covecrest during dinner. The dessert looked so delectable and my sweet deprived body was so irritable that I looked over to the missionary sitting next to me, shrugged my shoulders, and said, “I might just go ahead and eat it.” Suddenly, from across the table, I heard my missionary brother Steve implore me to remain faithful to my community. “No, don’t break your fast!” In that moment, I rolled my eyes (something from which I am now fasting), pushed my dessert to the side, and moved on from the situation, marking it as an obnoxious restriction of my freedom.

Now, as you might have guessed, at that dinner with Steve, I was missing the whole point of fasting! My focus fell almost exclusively on what I was losing from my fast. I hadn’t for a moment stopped to consider all of the graces I was gaining. Fortunately, since my experience as a Life Teen Summer Missionary, I’ve come to understand more fully the power, beauty, and freedom that fasting brings.

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