(Matthew 17:14-18 NIV) When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus and knelt before him. “Lord, have mercy on my son,” he said. “He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.” “O unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed from that moment.
Unbelieving: not connected to God.
Perverse: too connected to the world.
(Matthew 17:19-21 NIV) Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn't we drive it out?” He replied, “Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you. But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”
Prayer connects us to God.
Fasting disconnects us from the world.
(Matthew 9:14-15 NIV) Then John’s disciples came and asked him, “How is it that we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast.”
(Acts 13:2-3 NIV) While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.
Successful Fasting and Prayer
Set your objective.
(James 4:2-3 NIV) You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
Declare our dependence on God.
Ask for forgiveness.
Refocus on the eternal.
Invite the presence of God in our lives.
Believe God for answers to specific needs.
Decide what type of fast you will do.
(Daniel 10:2-3 MSG) “During those days, I, Daniel, went into mourning over Jerusalem for three weeks. I ate only plain and simple food, no seasoning or meat or wine. I neither bathed nor shaved until the three weeks were up.
(Luke 22:42 NIV) “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”
(Isaiah 58:3, 5 NLT) We have fasted before you!’ they say. ‘Why aren’t you impressed? ...“I will tell you why!” I respond. “It’s because you are fasting to please yourselves... You humble yourselves by going through the motions of penance.
(Isaiah 58:6-7 NLT) “No, this is the kind of fasting I want: Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you. Let the oppressed go free, and remove the chains that bind people. Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help.
(Isaiah 58:8-9 NLT) “Then your salvation will come like the dawn, and your wounds will quickly heal. Your godliness will lead you forward, and the glory of the lord will protect you from behind. Then when you call, the lord will answer. ‘Yes, I am here,’ he will quickly reply.