National Fast and Prayer Day is a national holiday observed on the second Friday of April in Liberia. This year, it takes place on April 12. It’s a day of supplication, meditation, fasting, and prayer, dedicated to collective reflection and self-discipline. On this day, public offices, business houses, and marketplaces are suggested to remain closed. All residents throughout the country — no matter their religious creeds — are asked to gather together with one accord in their respective places of worship. So, gather with your family or friends to observe the day together.
History of National Fast and Prayer Day
National Fast and Prayer Day was observed following a bill enacted by the Legislature of Liberia in 1883, declaring the second Friday in April as “National Fast and Prayer Day” for the safety and welfare of the nation and its people with penitent reverence to God. The day is usually observed as a day of supplication, meditation, fasting, and prayer. Citizens and foreign residents are called upon to stop from their daily occupations and avocations to recognize and further God’s love and guidance.
The President of Liberia proclaims this national holiday each year. Fast and Prayer Day was a Christian holiday at first. But today, the holiday is for all residents to join, regardless of their religious creeds. The fast starts at 8 a.m. and ends at 6 p.m. People will meet in the places of worship, and some of them will wear sackcloth and ashes as in the Bible. The day is focused on the prayer for the prosperity as well as guidance, protection, and peace of the country.
The day is dedicated to reflection and self-disciplined, which can be attained through prayer, fasting, and meditation. Prayer can be a way to reflect on oneself, thinking seriously about what one needs, lacks, or wants while directing those to almighty God. And fasting or meditation can teach a person about self-discipline. Fasting requires a serious commitment, and so does meditation. And both use the same method, which is refrainment. While fasting, one refrains from eating and drinking, and in meditation, one tries to focus, refraining from unwanted intrusive thoughts. If a person successfully fasts and meditates, it’s possible to acquire self-discipline.
National Fast and Prayer Day timeline
The Republic of Liberia is declared an independent state.
The United States recognizes the Republic of Liberia on September 23.
The Legislature of Liberia enacts a bill that declares the second Friday in April as National Fast and Prayer Day.
The Republic of Liberia signs the Charter of the United Nations on June 26, among other 50 countries.
National Fast and Prayer Day FAQs
What prayers can I say while fasting?
“Lord, thank you for the lessons you taught me during fasting. Thank you for the ways you grew me in fruits of the spirit like patience and self-control. I know I could not have accomplished this by my own power, but only because of Your work in me. Guide me as I move forward.”
What is a dirty fast?
Dirty fasting means you consume some calories during a fasting window.
How long can you fast without food?
It is said that the body can survive for eight to 21 days without food and water.
How to Observe National Fast and Prayer Day
Fast and pray
Both fasting and prayer have benefits. Fasting can support weight loss and improve heart health and brain function. On the other hand, prayer can be a way for you to talk to God, releasing you from negative feelings like anger, disappointment, or resentment.
Meditation can be challenging, so it will take time to master. You may want to spend some time meditating on this particular day while you’re fasting.
Spend quality time
Since it’s a national holiday, your family members may be home. The quality can include meditating and breaking your fasts together.
5 Facts About Liberia You Need To Know
It means free
Liberia is derived from the Latin word ‘liber’ which means ‘free.’
Its flag is like America’s
The flag of the Republic of Liberia is similar to that of the United States of America, with one large star and 11 stripes.
It’s home to the pygmy hippopotamus
The pygmy hippopotamus, native to Liberia, is a small hippopotamid and is categorized as endangered species.
It has 16 ethnic groups
There are 16 ethnic groups in Liberia, making up its indigenous population.
Its first president was not born there
The first president of Liberia was Joseph Jenkins Roberts, an African-American man who was born in Norfolk, Virginia.
Why National Fast and Prayer Day is Important
It’s a chance to repent
Sometimes we forget to pray due to our busy schedules, let alone repent. National Fast and Prayer is one of the best chances we have to repent.
It’s a time to learn
Fasting and meditation can teach us. We can learn commitment and patience from both of them. Besides, it can be a time to better our meditation.
It can be for quality time
National Fast and Prayer Day can be spent on quality time with our loved ones. Whether it’s meditating together in the backyard or breaking fasts in the dining room, quality time is a good time.
National Fast and Prayer Day dates