Prayer and Fasting for the Homeschool Mom

Many of you have things that are heavy on your heart that you pray and pray about. Have you considered fasting alongside praying? Scripture doesn’t command fasting with prayer, but it does recommend it to us by example. Daniel in the Old Testament prayed and fasted when he faced an impossible situation. “And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes” (Daniel 9:3). This is what Jesus said when the disciples could not cast out a demon. “And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting” (Mark 9:29).

Here are some short testimonies from moms who have fasted and prayed:

I believe fasting enabled me to be more open to hearing God and receiving the ways He spoke to me and blessed me this week, cleansing me in a gentle way of some of the negative weights and burdens I have been carrying around. 

It was a physically exhausting day but a great day for abiding in Him!

The Lord gave me a different Scripture for each sibling and new understanding and love toward them.

There is a special closeness I feel to God brought about by fasting. 

The Lord truly blessed me in many ways. Way too numerous to count—as always. 

Some women struggle with food-related issues. Here’s what one mom experienced when she did a day-long fast.

I did not receive many answers to the concerns I attempted to pray about. Instead, I was led to pray about other things, and received guidance in unexpected areas, particularly in the area of food. God showed me that hunger is something I can tolerate better than I am led to believe. He showed me how I often allow hunger to attach itself to a negative feeling, when they are not actually related.

I saw during the fast how I quickly fall prey to the enemy’s emotional upsets, and how he follows up by suggesting that eating something will make me feel better. My flesh is attracted to being upset because I can use it as an excuse to eat something. And of course the habit of emotional eating feeds the flesh, instead of crucifying it, as God would like to do. At the end of the fast, I was reminded that I am a sinner when it comes to food, and I need to consecrate my eating every day, by God’s grace, in order to have victory over food-related temptation.

What If I’m Pregnant or Nursing and Want to Fast?

While a pregnant or nursing mom or one with other health issues might not be able to fast from food for a day or even a meal, she could find other ways to deny her flesh and give more time to prayer.

Fasting is physically hard for me. When I fast, I do it because I see the value Scripture places on it, not because I feel like it. I will be candid with you. I greatly dislike fasting! I can come up with a multitude of reasons why I will just pray but not fast too.

Fasting Gives More Time to Focus on Prayer

Fasting makes the time I would be eating available for praying, and if others can do food prep, then I have that time to pray as well. Going to a private place to pray at mealtime in solitude or joining with others in the family who are also fasting and praying is a balm to my heart, drawing me closer to Jesus. 

When I fast, it is sometimes just for one meal. Generally, though, it is a day-long fast where I only drink water and tea. I function relatively well in the morning, but by afternoon, my pace slows down. For me, on a full fasting day, I eat a snack before bedtime so that I can function in the morning. Steve is able to fast through until the morning and can even fast multiple days. 

What’s on your heart? What’s the greatest need? Have you fasted with your praying?

Reserved

When you see a parking space right next to a business entrance labeled “Reserved for CEO” what do you think? 1) Nothing. 2) He’s top dog and deserves it. 3) Hopefully, that is yours one day. It is common practice when you reach the top of a company there are perks that go with the job.

Sadly, it is often mirrored in homes, and sadder yet, in professing Christian homes. Dad is the authority and he gets/requires the perks that go with it. He goes to bed when he wants to. He has his special treats. He watches/does what he wants to and others do the dishes. Ahhhhhh, what a life. 

“And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all” (Mark 9:35). Are we living out Jesus to our family? Not putting on an act, but we have died to self, gotten out of the way so our family can see the Lord working through us? 

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).

Power

I reached for my belt, hung in its normal place and lifted–it didn’t budge. I resisted my natural tendency to tighten my grip on the belt, bear-down, and give it a strong pull to free it. My mind overruled my initial response. The buckle was caught on the wireframe shelf, and more force would not have been beneficial. What was necessary was a gentle repositioning of the buckle, and it immediately came free. 

Men (okay, and definitely teenage boys) have this natural tendency that if something isn’t responding quite right, get a bigger hammer, and apply more force. Eventually, we learn, sometimes that works, and sometimes it doesn’t. The times it doesn’t work so well is in human relationships. 

Applying more force to tender, developing hearts may achieve outward compliance for a time, but is a fast-track for creating mere outward compliance which covers up a rebellious heart. Dads: slow, gentle, loving guidance is critical for developing hearts in our children that desire to obey our God and us as parents (in the nurture and admonition of the Lord).

“And he said unto him, My lord knoweth that the children are tender, and the flocks and herds with young are with me: and if men should overdrive them one day, all the flock will die” (Genesis 33:13).