My earliest fasting memory involves praying for the thing I wanted most of all: a My Little Pony DreamscapeSomethingOrOther. I started fasting at age 8. I knew I was to pray for something while I fasted so I prayed for the toy I had seen in commercials that I knew for sure I could never get. If I were to ever have the stables and estate for my ponies it would only be through supernatural means.
Obviously my fasting and prayer for a toy did not result in said toy. Over the years the objects of my fasts have varied. At times they were for urgent, pressing, and personal issues: jobs, health, passing a class. At times they were more global or esoteric, like world peace or an end to the pandemic.
But ultimately the most fruitful fasts have been for the personal but intangible. When I fast for understanding, compassion, peace (personal, not global,) it feels less like calling into the void and more like a transformation within myself. And that’s what I think it’s really about. I’m learning that my relationship with Diety is not transactional, but transformational.
I still sometimes pray for things in a way that appears that if I try hard enough I can change the will of God, but my most profound moments are never found there.