Mark 9:29~ “And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.”
The boy would foam at the mouth and grind his teeth. This evil spirit kept him from speaking and would violently throw him to the ground. His father watched helplessly as the disciples tried, but they couldn’t cast out this evil spirit that tortured him.
“Have mercy on us and help us, if you can,” said the boys father to Jesus. Since his son was a little boy, he would watch the evil spirit throw him into the fire or cast him into the water, trying to kill him.
“What do you mean, ‘If I can‘?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.” The father instantly cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief.”
Later that evening, the disciples were alone with Jesus in the house. They asked, “Why couldn’t we cast out that evil spirit?” Jesus replied, “This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.”
Who or what is always on your mind? Is it a child, a parent, or your finances? Maybe it’s your own health or possibly your marriage.. We all have something or many things that keep us up at night. We have washed our hands of it a million times. Walked away thinking if it’s out of sight it’s out of mind. Begged and pleaded, maybe even bribed. Nothing seems to work. We’ve done all we can do and still, no change..
Over the years, we have heard the desperation and angry cries. Some of them were our own. So, what do you do when you’ve done all that you can do? No doubt, this father was faced with the same dilemma. He must have taken his boy to the best doctor’s and maybe tried every organic remedy. Probably even walked away a time or two. “Let someone else deal with this, I can’t anymore!!” he may have said.
The disciples were even confused, they followed close to Jesus and did what He told them to, but still they failed. Why???
Some things, Jesus explained, require prayer AND fasting. There is something supernatural that happens when we couple the two and wait quietly. Now, don’t misunderstand. This isn’t a magic trick, every prayer is not immediately answered with a yes, there are times that we will walk a mile in prayer and see our loved ones take two steps in Jesus direction, then ten more back. I have seen the hardest of hearts be softened by prayer and fasting. In my own life, it was by prayer and fasting that Jesus saved my marriage. So, what does prayer and fasting look like? Here’s a suggestion.
Organize a plan:
- When: Set aside a date to fast.
- What: What will you be fasting? Food, activity, luxury? Be specific.
- Purpose: Why are you fasting? What are you asking the Lord to do during this time of fasting?
- Action: What Scriptures will you use as you fast? Will you pray these at the top of every hour or write them on index cards and pray during your lunch hour?
- Length: How long or often will you fast? 24 hours? If you fast an activity like Facebook will you fast 7 days or if you indulge in sweets will you go 30 days with no sugar?
Fasting isn’t ancient or trivial. It does not require a level of holiness, only faith. If you believe that you can pray to Jesus and He will respond, then you can pray and fast. Maybe your faith is weak. If so, like the father in Mark, ask Jesus to help you overcome your unbelief. He is the King of all Kings, the Lord of all. Trust, ask, obey.
Till next time!