Theme: THE UNSEARCHABLE RICHES OF HIS GRACE
DAY 13, Read Matthew 17:14-21
THE GRACE TO PRAY AND FAST
Key Verse: “However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting” (Verse 21).
The Bible mentions different kinds of fast; the normal fast, the dry fast, and the partial fast. Each kind of fast is necessary to maintain a healthy Christian lifestyle. Fasting has physiological advantages. Medical experts tell us that it helps to detoxify the body system. Nutritionists tell us that the human body needs to be detoxified from time to time.
An effective fast must be accompanied with prayer. The purpose of fasting is to discipline the flesh so as to devote time to meaningful prayer. There is a saying that, “to fast without prayer is to go on hunger strike.” There is truth in this statement. Fasting alone does not produce the desired results unless we combine it with a time of prayer and bible reading. The Scripture is silent on how Jesus prayed when he fasted for forty days, but we can deduce that he must have spent a lot of time in prayer and the word of God because of his lifestyle of prayer.
We all react differently when we fast. Fasting makes some people very tired and weak to the point that they can hardly pray. But for others, fasting disciplines their body to concentrate in prayer and the study of the word of God.
You must have heard of the popular saying that, “prayer and fasting move mountains.” There is truth in this expression. It appears that some problems or “mountains” cannot move unless we pray and fast. When the disciples of Jesus could not deal with a demonic case, the father of the child brought his son to Jesus to ask for his help. When Jesus prayed and cast out the demon, his disciples later came to him to ask, “…why could we not cast it out?” Jesus answered that it was due to their unbelief, but added, “However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting” (Verse 21). It is good to take time to find out why certain problems linger. When we ask the right questions we shall get revealing answers.
PRAYER: May I never give excuses about this discipline of prayer and fasting, but diligently engage in it.