FASTING AND PRAYER

 

 

“He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting” (Mk 9:29)

 

Jesus, Peter James and John came down from the Mountain of Transfiguration. Down in the valley there was a crisis. A man brought his son to the remaining disciples for deliverance from an unclean, suicidal spirit. They prayed but ‘nothing happened’. The disciples did exploits in the past and rejoiced in the glory of the ministry. But now, the demon did not budge. Embarrassed, they waited for the Lord to come. The crowds were gathered for free entertainment. If you are not in need, prayers for others are just a show.

 

When the people saw Jesus they ran to Him with expectation that some miracle will happened. The Lord was grieved at their unbelief. The only one who was also truly grieved was the boy’s father. He expected a miracle and nothing yet…He repeated the story of his son’s sickness…He begged Jesus to do something…Then the Lord rebuked the demon and suddenly, the boy was free. Later, the disciples wanted to know the reason for their failure in ministry; why power was not released from above at their request. Then Jesus directed their attention to an often ignored spiritual warfare strategy: fasting and prayer! What can we learn from this?

 

The first thing we notice is that ministry is not always ‘successful’ especially when done in public. It is possible that the disciples became over-confident of their ‘skill’ as ‘men of God’. In the past, their faith was simply in the person of Jesus Christ. But now, their faith became complicated, stained with doubt, entangled in visible things of this world. True faith is total trust God! Religious ‘failing’ faith trusts God and other things: skill, wisdom or even past experiences of faith. Faith in faith is a snare. Many have been trapped in this disappointing religious strategy.

Jesus is grieved by their unbelief, He rebukes them but gratefully, He does not withdraw from their needs. He patiently allows the father to repeat the story of his son’s illness. It helps to allow people talk about their pains. Then the father quickly discovers that he needs more faith; not only for the present deliverance of his son, but for his life in general, from now on. May we do the same! When we come to Jesus praying to solve our particular problem, may we glean any blessing that comes with the solution! May we repent of doubt and change! May we ask for more faith, for power, for anointing, not just for today but for the future needs!

 

We also discover that not all demons are the same. This particular one did not go away easily. It is like he is used to ‘religious jargon’. Calling the name of Jesus without honoring Jesus will not help! Then we are reminded that fasting and prayer helps us to focus, to repent of any worldly tendency to use the ministry as entertainment, to gain money or fame. When the Spirit is grieved, nothing’ works’. Miracles seize and confusion increases. Lastly, it is good to be reminded that no case is too difficult for Jesus!

 

I counsel that you fast some days at the beginning of this year. The flesh does not like it. The devil will tell you that fasting and prayer is ‘useless’. But the Word of God abides forever. You know yourself! Do not compare with others! If your situation is more of less desperate, then you need radical measures ‘to attract’ God’s attention for your case. Fasting will not kill you. It can only help you, physically and spiritually. May God grant healing, deliverance and breakthrough to you! This is my wish and this is my prayer! Happy New Year!

 

In Christ I declare:
I fast and pray! God shall answer me!

Nothing shall be impossible for me, because I believe!

Nothing is impossible for God!

My faith has increased!

I am free!

In Jesus name

Amen!

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