John usually raced downstairs when Mom called him for family home evening, but tonight he was already sitting on the couch when Mom came in the living room. The smell of Dad’s brownies had teased him in, but that wasn’t the only reason for his smile. Every week at family home evening, Mom read the latest e-mail from John’s brother David, who was serving a mission.
“Did David talk about his wrist this week?” John asked. Last week, David had mentioned that he had been in a bike accident and might have broken his wrist.
“Let’s find out,” Mom said.
“Dear family,” she read. “The doctor says my wrist is definitely broken. The broken bone is pushing other bones in my wrist out of alignment. I will probably need surgery. I am not in pain, and it is not swollen. It just is very broken.”
Mom kept reading. David had written about his companion and the people he had taught, but John’s mind was still on his brother’s wrist.
“Mom? Can I say family prayer tonight?” he asked when Mom finished.
“Sure,” Mom said.
The family knelt for prayer, and John made sure he prayed extra hard for David.
When they had brownies, John felt a little better, but he was still worried about his brother.
During the next week, John spent a lot of time praying for David. The next Sunday at dinner, Mom had an announcement.
“David is going to have surgery this week,” she said. “But the doctors are concerned because this type of injury is difficult to heal. They aren’t sure it will heal properly after the surgery.”
“Will David be able to finish his mission?” John asked.
“I’m not sure,” Dad said.
John stared at his plate. As much as he missed his brother, he didn’t want David to have to come home from his mission.
“Dad and I have an idea,” Mom said. “I know we’ve been praying for David, but we’d like to have a special fast for him.”
“A special fast?” John asked.
“It wouldn’t be on fast Sunday, and we would ask our friends and family to fast and pray that the surgery will go well.”
“We think you’re old enough to fast, so you can fast with us if you’d like,” Dad said.
“I like that idea,” John said.
A month and a half later, after a difficult surgery and several weeks in a cast, David sent an e-mail.
“Dear family, my wrist is an interesting story, especially the reaction from my doctor. He couldn’t find any sign of the fracture! He took lots more X-rays and told me that the bone had completely healed and that he didn’t need to put me back into a cast. My doctor isn’t a member of the Church, but he said my healing was a miracle. It’s incredible how all those prayers really worked.”
John leaned over Mom’s lap to read the e-mail for himself. “The fasting helped cause a miracle, didn’t it?” he asked.
Mom nodded. “The fast and all those prayers.”
“Fasting is a principle of power. It changes lives. I testify that God is mindful of the fasting and prayers of all His children, young and old.” 4
Elder Shayne M. Bowen of the Seventy
“Fasting with Power,” Ensign, Apr. 2009, 67.
Illustrations by Steve Kropp