Only by Prayer and Fasting by Pastor Debbie Kitterman
“This Kind only comes out through prayer and fasting!”
These words found in Mark 9:29 were Jesus’ response to the disciples in private when they asked why they could not deliver a young boy from a demon.
A father of a young boy who was desperate to see his son set free from demonic possession brought his son to the disciples, who should have been able to pray and see the boy delivered. However, that wasn’t the case. The disciples and everyone else were shocked and dumbfounded that the young boy had not been set free.
The Disciples Unable to Cast Out a Demon
Now when they came down the mountain to the other nine disciples, they noticed a large crowd of people gathered around them, with the religious scholars arguing with them. The crowd was astonished to see Jesus himself walking toward them, so they immediately ran to welcome him.
“What are you arguing about with the religious scholars?” he asked them.
A man spoke up out of the crowd. “Teacher,” he said, “I have a son possessed by a demon that makes him mute. I brought him here to you, Jesus. Whenever the demon takes control of him, it knocks him down, and he foams at the mouth and gnashes his teeth, and his body becomes stiff as a board. I brought him to your disciples, hoping they could deliver him, but they were not strong enough.”
Jesus said to the crowd, “Why are you such a faithless people? How much longer must I remain with you and put up with your unbelief? Now, bring the boy to me.”
So, they brought him to Jesus. As soon as the demon saw him, it threw the boy into convulsions. He fell to the ground, rolling around and foaming at the mouth. Jesus turned to the father and asked, “How long has your son been tormented like this?”
“Since childhood,” he replied. “It tries over and over to kill him by throwing him into fire or water. But please, if you’re able to do something, anything—have compassion on us and help us!”
Jesus said to him, “What do you mean ‘if’? If you are able to believe, all things are possible to the believer.”
When he heard this, the boy’s father cried out with tears, saying, “I do believe, Lord; help my little faith!”
Now when Jesus saw that the crowd was quickly growing larger, he commanded the demon, saying, “Deaf and mute spirit, I command you to come out of him and never enter him again!”
The demon shrieked and threw the boy into terrible seizures and finally came out of him! As the boy lay there, looking like a corpse, everyone thought he was dead. But Jesus stooped down, gently took his hand, and raised him up to his feet, and he stood there completely set free!
Afterwards, when Jesus arrived at the house, his disciples asked him in private, “Why couldn’t we cast out the demon?”
He answered them, “This type of powerful spirit can only be cast out by fasting and prayer.” (Mark 9:14-29 TPT)
The disciples, who were being trained by Jesus had failed …or had they?
Yes, they failed to cast the demon out of this young boy, yet on other occasions had been successful. At first glance one could conclude that it was lack of faith that was the hindrance for the disciples. However, Jesus didn’t accuse the disciples of having little faith, well at least not this time. There were other times they had little faith and were called out because of it, but this wasn’t one of them. In fact, when Jesus addresses the crowd, we see He calls them unbelieving and faithless.
Yes, there was an atmosphere of unbelief that surrounded this situation, but that didn’t stop Jesus from operating in power to set the young man free, and it shouldn’t have hindered the disciples either, but it did.
Often times in our own life, there is doubt or unbelief that surrounds us and our situations, but it doesn’t have to hinder the power of God from moving.
When the disciples asked Jesus why, His response had to do with the time spent in advance. Yes, time spent in advance is needed to walk in the miracles, signs and wonders of Jesus.
In the study notes of the Passion Translation it says: Our lives must be saturated with the presence of God through prayer and fasting in order to conquer the evil that is in the world and hiding in the hearts of mankind.
The Bible is our instruction manual. We look to the life of Jesus and see what He did, and we do that. Jesus said,
Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it (John 14:12-14 NIV).
As we begin the fast this year, we need to keep in mind, what God is calling His Church to become. The Prophetic Words that were released during our Proclamation Sunday, posses many exciting and powerful promises, not just for Restoration Church but for the Body of Christ around the world. Jesus said we would do “Greater Things” in 2019!
I believe Him, but in order to do the “greater things,” we need to spend time in advance fasting and praying. We need to spend time with Him praying, studying His Word and teachings and going deeper with Him.
This is our time to prepare in advance for the mighty miracles God wants to release as we partner with Him!