Day 3 of Fast
Of all the scriptures that I have been drawn to, meditated on, and tried to get the Holy Spirit’s clarification on, there is one that has always intrigued me. In Matthew 17:14-21, a man brought his son, who was possessed by a demon, to the disciples to cast out, but they were unable to. Then, the man brought him to Lord Jesus kneeling before Him and pleading for His help. Jesus rebuked the demon and it came out (Matthew 17:18, “And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour”).
When His disciples asked Jesus why they could not cast out that demon, He replied, “This kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting” (Matthew 17:21). We conclude from this that there was more power needed to drive out this sort of demon, one that required both praying and fasting.
In Ephesians 6:12, the Apostle Paul says, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” This indicates that demons are organized under Satan in hierarchical levels known as principalities, powers, rulers, and spiritual forces of evil. Some are more powerful than others.
This leads me to believe that the demon mentioned in Matthew 17:21 was a stronger demon. The good news is God has equipped us with everything we need to enforce His victory that is ours in Christ Jesus. One of the Christian’s strongest spiritual weapons is prayer with fasting. When we fast, we are killing the power of the flesh. When we die to the flesh and deny our carnal nature, we begin to experience a brokenness that reminds us of our dire need of the Lord. Our humble posture draws us to a higher level of intimacy with our Creator. We take our eyes off the things of this world and instead place our focus on God.
Prayer is the weapon we have been given to destroy the enemy’s assignment and plan for God’s children. With prayer, we can enforce God’s victory here on earth as in heaven. It is the battleground where God’s saints must take their place. Whenever we specifically pray God’s Word, we are coming in agreement with God through His Word and uniting our heart with His. Praying God’s Word aligns us with His will, strengthens our faith, and inspires Him to move on our behalf.
Combining the spiritual disciplines of prayer and fasting puts us in a posture to receive the spiritual breakthrough in the heavenly realm that we have been seeking for so long. It breaks all the barriers, and brings forth the victory and miracle we have been persistently praying for.
Scripture says that when our Lord Jesus was led up into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit to be tempted by the devil, He entered a 40-day season of prayer and fasting. Luke 4:14 records that after the end of the 40 days, He returned “In the power of the Spirit.” If our Lord of Glory practiced the discipline of prayer with fasting, that should be enough motivation for each of us, His followers, to humble ourselves to pray and fast, seeking His voice and His focus for our lives.
Written by Suzy Russell