Fasting For What?

Fasting. What is it good for?

Actually, it’s good for many things.

I am a believer in the fast. I can’t give you any specific miracle from my fasting, but because I fast regularly, all the blessings/miracles in my life could be attributed to a fast. I pile them up — my fasts. And hope. 

And good things happen.

Last Fast Sunday, I had a hard time getting my mind ready. I didn’t start my fast until Saturday night. I was in bed, and then my son brought in a hot, out-of-the-oven oatmeal cookie with raisins, and I had two. And they were so good. Then I began.

I need to prepare for a fast. That is a big part of having it work for me. Once I have my mind right, I appreciate the fast on many levels. Some of my best fasts are not on the specific “Fast Sunday” that Mormons participate in on the first Sunday of every month.

Sometimes, I start a fast, realize I just can’t stick with it — maybe I get a headache, or I am just grouchy — then I stop. I have to have my heart into it. I tell my kids, don’t fast unless you have a reason.

Although we often talk about the spiritual side of a fast, I have come to acknowledge an important physical aspect, as well.

I realize that I am in control. 

I can resist. 

There is strength in knowing this. It may sound funny, but my spirit becomes stronger as I suppress my physical needs.

I think to myself, “wow, I can do this.” I have fasted for 24-hours. I have fasted for three days. And I am always reminded that I am in charge.

I always fast with water because I feel going without food and drink does not preclude water. Plus, I feel better with water and can fast without getting a headache. With a three day fast it’s a must.

There are known positive effects of intermittent fasting. Fasting lets the body rest. All the organs involved with digestion get a day-off. reports that studies show that fasting once a month has health benefits:

“Fasting might also improve longevity by delaying the onset of age-related diseases including Alzheimer’s, heart disease, and diabetes. One study showed that skipping meals once a month, as members of the Mormon religious group do, reduces the risk of clogged arteries (the build-up of plaque that can lead to heart attacks and strokes). However, it is not clear from this research whether fasting alone or the Mormons’ generally healthier lifestyle (they also abstain from coffee, alcohol, and smoking) is responsible for the improved heart health.”

I believe the fast has spiritual results and physical results, and since our body and spirit are combined while we sojourn on this earth, a fast affects both. By controlling the physical, our spirit is strengthened, when our spirit becomes stronger, our physical body becomes stronger.

It is amazing to me.

Medical References:
Effects of modified alternate-day fasting 

Reduce the Risk of Coronary Artery Disease
Intermittent fasting 

  • Julie Harward

    I so agree and fasting always brings me closer to God and I love that. :D

  • Patty Ann

    I also agree. I also know that there are people who cannot fast. If you cannot fast, it works just as well if you give up something that you love. For instance, you might need to eat, but you can eat something simple instead of something that you really enjoy. You can drink plain water, instead of milk or juice. You don’t have to let the fact that you can’t do everything stop you from doing the few things you can do.

  • Marie

    Great post. I, too, have learned that fasting is a powerful thing and works–and sometimes I have days where I just cannot do it–either physically or spiritually. Some days I just have to give up and ready myself for another try. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one.