I haven't blogged in a while because I was starting to feel like it was pointless and I was just throwing random thoughts out in to an oblivion. But, I feel a desire to take a different approach in my posts so I will continue to give it a shot.
Today was fast Sunday and I really wanted to make this fast meaningful, so I looked up fasting on www.lds.org and read a few articles. At times, I am not good at fasting mainly because I don't plan ahead. But, the principle if practiced promises to bring blessings, give you answers, and increase your spiritual strength. These are things that I feel are worth investing in. :)
So while reading an article titled Fasting with Power I found a few things that stood out to me.
1. To fast with a purpose
I have always tried to do this because if I don't it is just as if I am starving, which is pointless. Also, there a lot of good things to fast for and lives you can bless through fasting.
2. Fast for 24 hours or 2 meals.
I have fasted both ways and I believe it is personal preference. I did find something interesting in the above article, which led me to choose to fast for the full 24 hours. I found the end result of having an increased sensitivity to the Holy Ghost enticing.
"Fasting requires discipline. Fasting helps us accomplish one of the vital purposes of life: developing self-mastery.
King Benjamin referred to this self-mastery as overcoming the natural man. He taught that the natural man is an enemy to God, always has been, and ever will be. If we don’t overcome the natural man in this life and become “a saint through the atonement of Christ” (Mosiah 3:19), we will never live with our Father in Heaven again. Our physical bodies are created in such a way that we can have a spiritual victory over the natural man each time we properly fast.
“When a person starts a fast, biochemical adjustments begin in the bloodstream to compensate for the lack of food. A carbohydrate substance known as glycogen is released from storage areas in the liver and the muscles. The body uses glycogen as food to keep cells supplied with energy. After 24 hours this food source is used up, and another source of energy is needed.
“Dr. Siegfried Heyden of Duke University’s Department of Community and Family Medicine says when this happens, the body starts looking for other energy sources. ‘The first thing happening after a 24-hour fast is the breakdown of fat cells. And these fat cells, when they break down, produce ketone bodies, as they are called. And these ketone bodies seem to have an effect on our psyche in that they make us no longer hungry.’”1
After 24 hours without food or drink, the body (the natural man) submits to the spirit (the spiritual man). When the spiritual man is victorious, we experience greater sensitivity to the influence of the Holy Ghost."
3. To keep a Fasting Journal
This is another idea that I came across as I was reading about the topic of fasting last night. I decided to write down my specific purpose for fasting and to take notes throughout the day, when I gained insight or felt the spirit.
This was my first round at approaching fasting more seriously and it was a good experience. I didn't feel any lightening bolts or receive any visions, but I felt the spirit rejuvenate my soul and give me increased strength and hope. Also, I did notice that by the 24th hour my hunger was not as noticeable. This may be due to the fact that I was talking to my mom on the phone and so I was distracted. But, when I prayed to end my fast, I felt that I wanted to talk to Heavenly Father more and I felt more connected to him.
This experience leads me to want to do this again the next time that I fast. I thought since it was a meaningful experience for me that I would share :)