Prayer and fasting needed for ‘This Kind’

By Dr. John W. Lewis - Religion Writer

Prayer and fasting are the combination needed for THIS KIND. It’s the need that calls for the affliction of our body and the determination to hear from God.

Matthew 17:16-21, “And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him. Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me. And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour. Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? 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.”

The next question that needs an answer is, what is fasting? Fasting is letting go the visible to get in touch with the invisible. It may be food, sleep, or any other enjoyment of life that we deny ourselves. Fasting is self-inflicted and expected from time to time in a Christian’s life.

Matthew 6:16-18, “Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.”

Notice it is when you fast and not if you fast. We are also told not to make a big production about our fasting, it’s between us and God.

When should we fast and what is fasting for? Let’s examine, examples from God’s Word.

Joel 1:14, “Sanctify ye a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the Lord your God, and cry unto the Lord,” We find here we are to call for a fast to declare our dedication or to show God we mean business, It’s a way of turning to the Lord. Joel 2:12, “Therefore also now, saith the Lord, Turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning:”

When something needs to change, we fast to promote a reformation.

Nehemiah 1:3-4, “And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire. And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven.”

If you are tired of the oppressing circumstances, it’s time to fast and pray.

It’s time to fast when pending judgment is about to fall.

Jonah 3:5, “So the people of Ninevah believed God, an proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.”

The results of their fasting, their lives were spared. King David also tried to release God’s mercy for his baby by fasting. Even though it was not to be, David knew the principal of fasting

II Samuel 12:16, “David therefore besought God for the child; and David fasted, and went in, and lay all night upon the earth.”

When we need direction and are determined to hear from God we should fast. But when everything is running smoothly, we should also fast as part of our ministry and service to God.

Acts 13:2, “As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.” It’s part of our service until the Bridegroom comes for us. Luke 2:37. “And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.”

What is the, THIS KIND, you need to fast and pray for?

Anchor Baptist Church

456 Jamison Rd

Washington Court House, OH

(740) 333-7777

By Dr. John W. Lewis

Religion Writer