Should Moms Fast? (Ep. 32)
Welcome to a New Year! As we always do, we are starting our year with 21 days of prayer and fasting. Now I have done fasts the right way, and I have done fasts the wrong way. Fasting is SO beneficial! So many people have asked me during a fast, “I can’t believe that you didn’t eat for 21 days!” but let me tell you, when you do a fast the right way and you are filling yourself with the knowledge and revelation of God’s Word and seeing things that you’ve never seen before, you get to the end of that 21 day period and I often feel like I can go on! So this is a topic I want to share in this episode since I always receive so many questions about fasting- especially from moms!
Fasting is a requirement as a believer. I am not going to go too in-depth on the purpose and benefits of fasting as a whole here in this specific episode as my husband Ted Shuttlesworth Jr. has already been teaching such a powerful series on our live Miracle Word Broadcast which you can find on YouTube, Facebook, and his audio podcast. So if you’re new to fasting or want to dive more into biblical teaching that will really grow your faith and strengthen your knowledge on this topic, be sure to check those out.
The type of fasting I am talking about today is giving up food. Not giving up television. Not giving up going to get your nails done or anything like that. As a believer, the Lord requires true fasting, and it is commanded in His Word. (Matthew 6) Jesus anticipated and expected His followers to fast. (Acts 9:9, Acts 13:3, Acts 14:23, Luke 2:37, Ezra 10:6) Followers of Christ fasted before doing certain things.
With fasting, there are lots of benefits besides health benefits.
1. You get a deeper intimacy with Jesus. I personally will often receive new revelation of His Word that greatly impacts me while on a fast.
2. Fasting reduces the power of self and strengthens your spiritual discipline. We have to be able to put the plate away with a stronger spiritual discipline than the desires of our flesh. Our spirit man HAS to be stronger than our flesh.
3. Fasting will also give you greater sensitivity to the voice of the Spirit and will allow you to hear His voice louder. We have to make sure we set this time aside when we have the ability to.
4. Fasting will broaden your spiritual understanding.
5. Healing will flow through your body.
(There are many more benefits of fasting that I am not going to go into but as I mentioned, my husband Ted has already been teaching such a powerful series on our live Miracle Word Broadcast which you can find on YouTube, Facebook, and his audio podcast.)
Do NOT fast when you are pregnant. You need proper nutrition for your body and your baby during pregnancy. You do not need to fast a full fast when you’re pregnant. This is the same for nursing unless your baby is around the age of 9-12 months old and slightly weaned and starting on solid food. At that age, your child is not solely depending on your for their nutrition. When you’re nursing you can give up a meal, rather than a full fast. You can still give up something and step into that fast that way. If you’re nursing I would not recommend a full food fast.
When you become a mom to toddlers, and your children are older and not depending on you for their nutrition, which is also a question I receive so often, you can totally do a fast. I understand that it can be tiresome. I understand that lower blood sugar may make you irritable. These are all things that we can work on not happening when we do a fast.
I’ve been there, I’ve done it, I have done multiple 21 days fasts, one-day fasts, a week here, you name it. So I understand how it feels when you have young children and you’re trying to keep up with them.
But this is the thing that I don’t think many people understand or do and that is your schedule is going to have to change. You are going to have to do things differently. I used to think that when I did a fast I could still do my normal workouts and my entire normal routine, but I cannot. It really bothered me when I would try, it caused me to get off a fast a few times- all because I still wanted to do “what I wanted to do” and ultimately my flesh was still trying to be in control. You can set aside your normal workouts for just 21 days! You’re supposed to make fasting a spiritual and sacred time.
Just like you set time aside and plan for a vacation- you plan and set time aside for fasting! We know that at the beginning of the year, every year, my husband and I do a fast. So I already have it in my mind that I am not going to be doing the same thing for those 21 days as I would if I were not fasting. It’s a mindset!
If you can’t do 21 days with no food at all, you can do what many do which is fasting from 6 am to 6 pm each day for the 21 days. And if you start the fast and for whatever reason break it before you intended or wanted- don’t beat yourself up over it, just get back on it and keep pressing in.
But for the moms who are pregnant and nursing, you do not need to feel like you are missing out on a breakthrough or an answered prayer. You are doing exactly what God has created you to do as a mother. You are already walking in obedience. You can fast in other seasons. You can still pray and press in! The Lord will honor what you’re doing.
Now, if you are doing the full fast, it is of the utmost importance to be praying and spending time in His Word. If I never set that time aside, I would be so cranky and exhausted. When you do a fast the right way and press into the things of God you will be strengthened and you can still be a great mom and wife.
If you are pregnant or nursing- don’t be so hard on yourself. That’s the most important thing I could share with you! It’s such a small season in comparison to your life. There will be plenty of opportunities to fast. God will still speak to you!
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