A man came to Jesus with his son and, kneeling, asked the Lord if He could heal him and cast out the devil in his son. The man explained that he had already brought his child to Christ’s disciples, but they were unable to help. Saddened by that fact, Jesus rebuked the devil and it departed from the child. Later, His disciples came to him and asked why they could not cast out the demon.
And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting. (Matthew 17:20-21)
The Savior explained to them first their lack of strong faith. Not so much a lack of quantity, but a lack of quality. A mustard seed is indeed small, but it’s the energy and life stored within it that Christ wants us to realize. Out of a mustard seed grows a large mustard plant. It’s not that we only need a small amount of faith, but our faith must be strong and able to yield great results.
Second and, at least for the sake of this blog post, most importantly, Christ tells them that “this kind” can only be dealt with by prayer and fasting. Even having strong faith alone wasn’t enough. They needed to take the extra step and do something more. This short, sweet, and simple sentence uttered by the Savior shows the huge impact that prayer and fasting can have in our lives.
We all have our demons in our lives, those sins we keep repeating or those attitudes we keep having. We all have them. We all find ourselves vexed with “demons” at one point or another. We have often tried to conquer these devils, big or small, and failed time and time again. Perhaps you’ve had the hopeless thought that you’ll never overcome those habits or addictions that plague your life and bring you down. I’ve certainly had that thought more than once. But like the devil that vexed the child, perhaps the devilish addiction or behavior that so vexes your life “goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.”
I know that there is great power in prayer and fasting. Jesus obviously would say so as well. Through sincere prayer and fasting, our devils can be cast out. To read about fasting, and some other of God’s commandments. Visit this link.