THURSDAY, MARCH 14, 2019
And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying,
Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water.
And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him.
Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.
And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour.
Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?
And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.
- Matthew 17:14-21
The story we read in today’s Bible passage highlighted a crucial point in verse 17. That point is that there are some issues that cannot be solved by prayer alone. After rebuking His disciples for their unbelief, Jesus made this vital statement, “However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” This drives home the point that there are issues you cannot tackle successfully unless you add fasting to prayer.
The greatest hindrance to your connecting in the spirit is the flesh and those things described in Galatians 5:19-21 as the works of the flesh- Hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions and dissensions were all included as works of the flesh. During fasting, the flesh is denied its appetites and cravings thereby weakening its assertiveness. Fasting subjugates the flesh to the spirit by mortifying it. Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 9:27, “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection.” Sensitivity in the spirit gains ascendancy and receiving guidance from heaven becomes easier while you are fasting.
In the passage, Jesus said that the disciples could not cast out the demon because of their unbelief. If adding fasting to their prayer would empower them to cast the devil out, it follows that fasting destroys unbelief. The flip side is that fasting increases the faith of one that has engaged in it. Beyond these spiritual reasons, fasting also has the physical benefit of detoxifying the body. Generally, people live healthier and longer lives when they fast regularly. Bad habits are also broken more easily when fasting is added to prayer.
• Pray for a deeper revelation of the benefits of fasting to you and to the church.
I must keep my flesh under so that my spirit will rule. I will constantly fast and pray.