David pleaded with God for the child.  He fasted and spent the nights lying in sackcloth on the ground.  – (2 Samuel 12:16)

After David committed adultery with Bathsheba, she conceived a child and David had her husband Uriah killed.  The prophet Nathan told David: “Because by doing this you have shown utter contempt for the Lord, the son born to you will die” (2 Samuel 12:14).

David responded by beseeching God for the child and by fasting.  The Bible tells us that he laid on the ground, refusing to get up or even eat for seven days (see 2 Samuel 12:16-18).  On the seventh day, the child died, and it was only then that David arose, washed himself, changed his clothes, and went to the house of the Lord to worship God.  After he had worshiped, he returned home and ate.

Many people do everything they know to do when someone they love is sick—some may even go so far as to lie face down on the ground and refuse to move, because they are so consumed by their desire to intercede for the healing of their loved one.

There are times and situations in which fasting is a manifestation of a person’s earnestness before God to the exclusion of all other activities.  Nearly always this earnestness is born of a desire to know more clearly God’s plan and purposes and, if possible, to make a difference through prayer.  This certainly was true in the life of King David.

Jesus, I declare that I have an earnest desire to know God’s plans and purposes.  I know by Your example and that of King David that through prayer and fasting I can more clearly discern the will of God.