Fire | Pentecost 2020 Silence and stillness before God (2 minutes) Reading: Mark 9:29
29 "He replied, "This kind can only come out by prayer and fasting."
When Jesus rebuked the spirit in the boy, he called it what it was - a deaf and mute spirit. He knew who and what He was dealing with. He called it out, rebuked it, and sent it away. He didn't dilly dally and spend time with it, He went straight for it. Of course He's God, we know that. But He'd spent time praying, fasting, with the Father, knowing His heart. He knew what to do and how to do it. When the disciples could not figure out how to pray effectively for the boy, they went to Jesus and asked, “Why could we not cast it out?” And Jesus responds, “This kind can only come out by prayer and fasting.” (Mark 9:28-29)
How can fasting make a difference in praying for others, and seeing results - especially in seeking freedom for those being prayed for? Fasting involves sacrifice. And sacrifice is a way of portraying a greater sincerity in our worship. I remember hearing the term, "A sacrifice of praise" when I first started going to church and wondering what that meant. Sacrifice costs something. It's putting yourself aside for the greater thing. Fasting, when coupled with prayer, brings a deeper dependence on Jesus. Realizing that we can do nothing apart from Him, and driving us to His feet as we wait on Him.
Another powerful effect in fasting is that it is a form of worship - deep and meaningful worship that confounds and disturbs the enemy to no end. He cannot be where Jesus is lifted up. The enemy cannot coexist where the Lord is exalted. There is no room for him. Not only are others touched by His presence, but we are ourselves are transformed.
Jesus invites us into a deeper relationship with Him through fasting and prayer - not just for ourselves, but to learn to pray for others with effective worship and laser-focus prayer. We are allowed the sacred privilege to be a part of His deep work in others' lives, as we trust Him to meet us there and bring transformation. Prayer: Lord, you are awesome and mighty - worthy of our sacrifice and praise. We trust You to do Your work in our lives and others’ as we worship You and pray for those around us. Would you meet us during this time, give us insight so we can pray effectively. We pray for strength to seek after You through fasting. Would you transform us and continually make us to be more like You, Jesus. In Your name we pray, Amen. Conclude with silence and stillness before God (2 minutes)