One of the most intriguing questions the disciples ever posed to Jesus is the question found in Mark 9 when they asked Jesus about their inability to cast out a demon. This simple question, “Why could we not cast it out?” has powerful implications for the modern-day church. I feel fortunate that I was raised among people who believed in the power of prayer and fasting. In my life I have personally seen the power of God heal, deliver, and set people free of sin and addictions.
But it seems as if the spiritual climate of the church world has changed. Today’s church lacks power. As a pastor my Facebook feed is inundated with article after article that gives the supposed solution to the situation. Yet very few give Jesus answer. His solution to powerlessness over the darkness was prayer and fasting. I believe that we have to get back to fasting and praying if we are going to see victory in our churches and revival once again.
Please don’t misunderstand me. I am not throwing stones. I am reminding myself of what I need to do as much as I am sharing this with the church world at large.
Let me ask you a question? Have you felt powerless? Do you see the enemy working and you can’t stop it? Then you must fast and pray.
In the book of Mark 9, Jesus had been on the Mountain of transfiguration with some of his closest disciples. The other disciples were left in a nearby town and an amazing event occurred. A man with a very demon possessed son came looking for Jesus. He son was so possessed of the devil, that he kept trying to throw him into the fire to destroy him. And the disciple did as Jesus had taught them. They began to cast out this demon.
Now remember, Jesus had given them power and authority to cast out devils. These same disciples had cast out other demons. But that day, they were facing bigger obstacles. That day they were facing spiritual forces that were stronger. And the scripture says they could not cast him out. Of course, the good news was that Jesus came down from the mountain, cast the demon out and then later had a conversation with his disciples.
Mark 9:28-29 NKJV “And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.”
That was a teachable moment for the disciples. It is a teachable moment for us as we look back on it. There are some forces of the enemy, some problems, some situations, some obstacles that we face that require more effort on our part. It says, “This kind…” This kind as opposed to the other kind. The other kind you don’t have to pray much. The other kind will resolves itself easily. But it seems today the church of today is powerless against “this kind.”
Satan and his work can be seen everywhere, not just in demonic possession. 1 John 3:8 says “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the Devil” Are you facing, “this kind”? If we take “this kind” to mean the works of the Devil then easily we can see what this kind is:
- This kind can mean a bondage, a habit, an addiction that seems hard to break.
- This kind can mean a sickness or a disease that wants to cling and not let go.
- This kind can mean the hardheartedness of a loved one.
- This kind can mean a dry spiritual spell with in a church.
- This kind can be when you are fighting with the Jezebel spirit that wants to control.
- This kind can mean an attack on your finances or your marriage or your spiritual life in some way or another.
- This kind can mean a season of no growth in the ministry.
- This kind can mean a season of perpetual conflict in relationships.
I am talking today about situations, and spiritual battles that an ordinary moment of prayer and contemplation won’t do. I am talking about principalities and powers and spiritual wickedness in high places. This kind can be intimidating. This kind can be infuriating. This kind can be discouraging. This kind can leave you feeling helpless, weak, and powerless. Is there anyone facing situations that if Jesus were here in the flesh you would ask, “Why could we not cast it out? If you are, I have some good news. I want you to notice some words in that scripture.
It says this. It says “This kind can come out…”
Why could we not cast it out? We can if we are willing to pay the price! In other words it says, this kind can be defeated! This kind may be too big for us, but this kind is not too big for God. Nothing is too hard for God! Jesus told his disciples that there is a cost. There is a price you must pay for spiritual victory. There is something you have to do. Salvation is free. But gaining spiritual power and an anointing that breaks yokes will cost you prayer and fasting.
What we need is more of God’s power in our life! The way to gain that power is through prayer and fasting. There are a lot of churches who don’t teach this anymore. There are a lot of churches who don’t believe it is even necessary.
Why could we not cast it out?
Why is the church of today powerless? Could it be that we haven’t been willing to pay the price necessary. I see prayer and fasting as the key to breaking the powerlessness in the church. Fasting and praying are not part of a human-engineered method or plan. They are not the means we use to manipulate a situation or to create a circumstance. Fasting and praying are Bible-based disciplines that are appropriate for all believers of all ages throughout all centuries in all parts of the world.
Biblical fasting is going without food. This is simply a call to return to these spiritual disciplines and break the power of the enemy. Why could we not cast it out? We are lacking in prayer and fasting. On the day we stand before Him at the Judgement Seat of Christ we will not ask Jesus, Why could we not cast it out? We will ask ourselves, why wasn’t I willing to pay the price? Ponder these thoughts.
Do you have a prayer and fasting story please share it with us in the comments below in order to increase our faith in God. Thank you!