October 13, 2019

Today is the 13th of the month. There’s always something I do on the 13th day of every month. Actually, it’s something I don’t do. I don’t eat a bite of food all day. I pray and fast.

This routine started many years ago when I was a student at Saint Paul School of Theology. Three of my friends and I were sitting at a table together in the dining room having lunch. It was a particularly good meal that day. One of my friends commented on what a good meal it was and said he wished all the hungry people in the world could enjoy good meals like this.  Then we started talking about what it would feel like to be truly hungry. Of course, none of us had never been truly hungry. One of my friends suggested we start a habit of fasting one day a month, just to see what it felt like to be hungry for just one day. It was the 13th. of the month, so we decided to make that our fast day.

I added that according to the Bible, fasting was also a time of praying. So I suggested that we not only fast, but also use that time that we are skipping meals to pray. It’s been a good habit for me, filled with many blessings. Jesus pointed out that there were some problems that could only be solved through prayer and fasting. Many have asked me concerning this habit, “What do you pray about all this time you’re fasting?”

I was at a men’s prayer and Bible study breakfast a few weeks ago when one of the men asked the leader what do you do when your mind starts wandering while you’re trying to pray? Several other men admitted they had the same problem. I didn’t comment on that problem, but I do have an answer for it. Concentrate on the needs you are praying for.

That’s what I do when I pray and fast. Moses once fasted for forty days. So did Jesus. There are many great stories in the Bible about prayer and fasting.

People also ask me if I get hungry when I pray and fast on the 13th. The answer is yes and no. Naturally, one gets hungry when not eating all day. But I remember what Jesus said about man not living by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God (Matt. 4:4).
So when I’m busy praying, and thinking on the word of God, I don’t even feel the hunger.

What specifically do I pray? First, thank God and praise him for life and all your blessings. Then pray for yourself, for strength to serve him and others. Then pray for your family, then your friends. The needs are endless. I especially pray for the hungry, the homeless and poor, the sick, the unsaved, and people in war. On and on I could go with this list. Again, the needs are endless.

You may never desire to fast a whole day once a month as I do. But would you consider fasting and praying just one meal occasionally? It’s easier than you think. And it’s not only good for your spiritual health, but I think it’s also good for your physical health.

God Bless You,
Spencer Plumley