To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, Jan. 18.
One evening, Father announced during family worship that a beloved aunt wanted to get a divorce in the Czech Republic. He and Mother decided to pray and fast from all food the next day.
Thirteen-year-old Larisa Abajyan, spoke up. “I want to fast and pray, too,” she said.
Father slowly shook his head.
“You are too young,” he said.
“But Father,” Larisa pleaded. “I’m already 13. I’m not 9 or 5 years old like my brothers. I really want to fast and pray for Auntie.”
Father and Mother were not sure, but Larisa kept on pleading. Finally Father gave his consent.
In the morning, Larisa remembered that she planned not to eat anything all day. Instead, she would drink water and pray that Auntie change her mind.
She prayed first. “Please, save her family, Lord, because I know nothing is impossible for You to do,” she prayed. Then she drank a tall glass of water. After that, she joined the family had morning worship, and everyone prayed for Auntie.
As Larisa’s brothers ran to the kitchen for breakfast, she went to her bedroom so she wouldn’t see them eating. Inside, she read the Bible and prayed for Auntie. Hearing her brothers still eating, she pulled out a paintbrush and paint and painted tall trees and purple mountains.
After breakfast, Larisa played with her brothers in the living room. From time to time, she prayed silently for Auntie.
At lunchtime, Mother asked how she felt. “I’m fine. I’m fine,” Larisa said. “I’ve got this. Don’t worry.”
After drinking a glass of water, she returned to her bedroom. She was starting to feel hungry. She spent some time searching the Internet for information about England. She wished that she could visit England one day.
In the afternoon, Larisa played some more with her brothers, but she was beginning to feel very hungry. She told Father. “You can do it!” he replied.
Larisa prayed silently for Auntie and poured herself a glass of water.
At suppertime, Larisa went back to her room, where she folded some clothes, dusted her desk, and put things away.
At evening worship, the family prayed for Auntie and talked about the day.
“What did you enjoy today?” Father asked Larisa.
“I’m happy I’m still alive!” she said.
The next morning, Larisa thought that breakfast tasted better than ever.
A few days later, Father announced that Auntie no longer wanted a divorce. Larisa was so happy!
A year has passed since Larisa’s first fast, and now she prays and fasts about twice a month. There are many ways to fast. She can stop eating food for a day. Or she can give up dessert for a day. Or she can stay off the Internet for a day. When she fasts, she prays for something special — a family member, an exam, or a problem at school. She said God can answer in amazing ways.
Part of this quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help fund programs for at-risk children in the Czech Republic.