Many begin the new year with focused prayer and fasting, which is a great way to launch.
As we face what’s on the horizon for 2024, making choices and decisions that will be strategic at many levels it seems that we need to live not only lives of prayer, but fasted lives. Lives that are characterized by prayer enjoined by fasting.
Jesus had just descended with Peter, James and John the Mount of Transfiguration where Moses and Elijah conversed with the Lord. Those waiting for their return were engaged in a spiritual confrontation with demonic possession of a young boy brought by a desperate father. Jesus appears frustrated with the disciples and the father yet His concern for the boy trumps these concerns and ministers deliverance to the boy.
Afterward the disciples inquire as to “why” they were unsuccessful in their attempts to set the boy free.
Jesus’ initial response is this failure was due to their “unbelief”. As to exactly what expression of unbelief He’s referring to isn’t clear. From the follow up comments He makes concerning “speaking to the mountain”, perhaps it refers to their not declaring the will of the Father in the matter. He concludes with the famous saying “this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting” (vs. 21).
The word “prayer” is a word that also means “worship”.
Jesus says deliverance of this kind is predicated on a lifestyle that is ongoing worshipful/prayer coupled with fasting.
When did Jesus fast? It doesn’t appear that He had specific time where He was praying for the boy’s deliverance.
As we confront situations/challenges this year we need to live the fasted life, a life of prayer.
Perhaps a weekly or monthly time of regular fasting so we’re attuned to Spirit to be effective agents of hope and faith to a desperate culture.