President Russell M. Nelson invited everyone around the world to fast and pray on Good Friday, April 10, 2020 for relief from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I invite all, including those not of our faith, to fast and pray on Good Friday, April 10, that the present pandemic may be controlled, caregivers protected, the economy strengthened, and life normalized.…”
“Let us unite in pleading for healing throughout the world,” the prophet said. “Good Friday would be the perfect day to have our Heavenly Father and His Son hear us! … Let us prayerfully plead … that the present pandemic may be controlled, caregivers protected, the economy strengthened, and life normalized.”
“During times of deep distress, as when illness reaches pandemic proportions, the most natural thing for us to do is to call upon our Heavenly Father and His Son—the Master Healer—to show forth Their marvelous power to bless the people of the earth. …
“As part of our April 2020 general conference, I am calling for another worldwide fast. For all whose health may permit, let us fast, pray, and unite our faith once again. Let us prayerfully plead for relief from this global pandemic.”
“But you decide what would constitute a sacrifice for you, as you remember the supreme sacrifice the Savior made for you,” he said. “Let us unite in pleading for healing throughout the world.
“Good Friday would be the perfect day to have our Heavenly Father and His Son hear us!” (President Russell M. Nelson)
What is Fasting?
The New Testament’s Paul admonished Saints in Corinth to “give yourselves to fasting and prayer” (1 Corinthians 7:5). And the Savior Himself taught that certain things go “not out but by prayer and fasting” (Matthew 17:21).
When members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints fast, they go without food and drink voluntarily for a certain period of time for the purpose of drawing closer to God and requesting His blessings. Church members are encouraged to fast one Sunday each month (fast Sunday) and at other times as needed or desired. Latter-day Saints believe that fasting combined with sincere prayer can provide spiritual strength, closeness to God and preparation to receive His blessings.
Latter-day Saints may choose to fast for many reasons, among them: to worship God and express gratitude to Him (see Alma 45:1), to ask God to bless the sick or afflicted (see Matthew 17:14-21), to receive answers to prayer (see Alma 5:46), to gain strength to resist temptation (see Isaiah 58:6), to receive guidance in Church callings (see Acts 13:2-3; Alma 17:3) and for comfort during times of difficulty, sorrow or mourning (see Alma 28:4-6; 30:1-2).
Fast Sunday and Fast Offerings
The Church designates one Sunday each month, usually the first Sunday, as a day of fasting. Members are asked to go without food and drink for two consecutive meals, or approximately 24 hours. They are also asked to contribute the money that they would have spent on food for those meals to the Church, which, through its welfare system, uses to care for those in need. This money is called a fast offering. The Church uses the fast offerings to assist the poor and needy.