Luke 2:37 “Then she lived as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the Temple but stayed there day and night, worshiping God with fasting and prayer.”
Can you think of the time when you saw that prayer made a definite difference? What are your experiences with fasting with prayer? What difference does fasting make to prayer, does it affect prayer in any way? I think we can liken prayer with fasting to driving an automatic car as opposed to a manual car. When you add fasting to prayer, it makes prayer more effective. Not because fasting changes God but because it changes us. It makes us more in tune with the Spirit of God, so our prayers become more effective.
Please study Mark 9:26-29. The background to this story is, this boy was brought to the disciples for prayers because he needed deliverance. The disciples had prayed and prayed, but nothing happened. Jesus arrived at the scene and the disciples immediately went to Him with the problem, they had been trying to cast out the demons without any success. Then Jesus prayed for the boy and that is where our study (Mark 9:26-29) picks up from. Mark 9:29 (KJV) “And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.”
After having this experience with Jesus, the disciples went back to speak to Jesus. “Master, You taught us what to do in cases like this. We did what You taught us to do, so how come this boy did not get healed?” (paraphrased). Then Jesus let out a little a secret, something He had not told them previously. There are different kinds; some would go with prayer alone, but some kinds will not go with prayer alone. This kind does not go but by prayer and fasting. Now let us think about this for a bit. Did Jesus see the situation and say, ‘Wait, let me go and fast and pray then I will come back.’? No! Jesus saw the situation and addressed the situation immediately. What does that tell you about Jesus? Jesus fasted consistently; Jesus did not wait until there was a crisis before he fasted.
Know this, fasting and prayer are cumulative. It is like an inoculation. It is filling your fuel tank for the journey ahead. So that your drive will not be interrupted. When you do not pray and fast when you should, you will now have to pray and fast when there is a crisis. My grandmother puts it this way, “fast so that you will not have to fast! Pray so that you will not have to pray!”
Prayer: Father, as I wait on You and pray, let everything that represents “this kind” in my life be completely eradicated, in Jesus Name. Amen!