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?