Sharing Time: Fasting and Prayer

“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Ps. 119:105).

Fasting and Prayer

It was early on Sunday when Dad called the family together.

“Where’s Mom?” six-year-old Katie said.

“I took Mom to the airport this morning,” Dad answered. “Grandpa called to tell us Grandma is very sick. Mom has gone to help them.”

“Is Grandma going to die?” Melanie worried.

“Mom will call us after she talks to the doctor,” Dad explained. “Meanwhile, there is something we can do.”

“We can pray for Grandma,” Katie said.

“Exactly right,” Dad said. “And we can fast for Grandma today, too. Let’s begin our fast with a prayer.”

The family knelt together, and Katie prayed, “Heavenly Father, please bless Grandma. Bless Grandpa, too, so he won’t worry too much. And help Mama to come home soon. We are fasting for them.”

Everyone felt peaceful as they prepared for church.

At home later, the family looked at photo albums and talked about Grandma. When it was time to end their fast, they knelt and prayed again.

Mom phoned as the children were getting ready for bed. “Grandma is going to be fine,” she said. “I’ll stay to help Grandpa for a few days while Grandma rests.”

After talking to Mom, the family gathered for family prayer. Dad said, “Tell me what you learned today.”

“Heavenly Father answered our prayers,” Rachel said.

“That’s true,” Dad agreed. “He always answers our prayers. Sometimes the answer is yes, as it was today.”

“Sometimes it’s no,” Melanie added, “like when I prayed for my team to win and we lost.”

“That’s right,” Dad said. “And sometimes the answer is not yet—just wait and be patient. But He always answers our prayers in the way that is best for us. Did you learn anything else?”

Katie said, “I felt close to Heavenly Father.”

Natalie added, “Fasting wasn’t as hard as usual. I didn’t feel hungry!”

“Fasting helps us learn to control our bodies and to develop faith,” Dad said. “When we are baptized, we promise Heavenly Father we will bear one another’s burdens. We kept that covenant as we fasted and prayed for Grandma.”

Family prayer was a prayer of gratitude—for Grandma feeling better, for Mom coming home, and for their baptismal covenant.


Mount the pieces on page 3 on heavy paper. Color them and cut them out on the dotted lines. Assemble them into figures by putting the ball of each joint into the socket (see illustration). Use the figures to tell the story of fasting and praying for Grandma. Add the praying faces to the figures (secure by folding the tabs) when the family kneels and folds their arms in prayer.

Cut outs for fasting(click to view larger)

Melanie; Natalie; Dad; Katie; Rachel. (Illustrated by Tadd R. Peterson.)

Sharing Time Ideas

  1. 1.

    Give each class one of the following scripture references. List the headings WHO and RESULT on the chalkboard. Have the classes tell their stories. Ask the children to identify who fasted and prayed and the result; write each answer under the proper heading. Suggested scriptures: 2 Chr. 20:1–3, 13–24; Ezra 8:21–24, 28–31; Dan. 6:16–23; Matt. 4:1–11; Alma 5:1, 45–46; Alma 17:2–3.

  2. 2.

    Present a readers’ theater (see Teaching, No Greater Call: A Resource Guide for Gospel Teaching [1999], 177) using the story of Esther (see Primary 6 manual, lesson 38, 167–71). Then attach the name of one of the characters (Haman, Mordecai, Esther, Servant, King) to the back of each child. Have the children ask each other questions that can be answered with yes or no to determine which character they represent.