Fasting Drives Away Doubt
29 "And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting."
Prayer and fasting do not drive certain demons out. If the name of Jesus and faith in His name won't do the job, then fasting and prayer won't either. Jesus is saying that fasting and prayer are the only ways of casting out this type of unbelief.
An unbelief that comes as a result of ignorance can be done away with by receiving the truth of God's Word (Rom. 10:17; 2 Pet. 1:4). However, the unbelief that hindered the disciples in this case was a "natural" type of unbelief. They had been taught all of their lives to believe what their five senses told them. They were simply dominated by this natural input more than by God's supernatural input (God's Word). The only way to overcome this unbelief that comes through our senses is to deny our senses through prayer and fasting.
Fasting accomplishes many things. One of the greatest benefits of fasting is that through denying the lusts of the flesh, the spirit man gains ascendancy. Fasting was always used as a means of seeking God to the exclusion of all else. Fasting does not cast out demons but rather, it casts out unbelief. Fasting is beneficial in every aspect of the Christian life - not only in the casting out of devils.
The real virtue of a fast is in humbling ourselves through self denial (Ps. 35:13; 69:10), and that can be accomplished through ways other than total abstinence. Partial fasts can be beneficial, as well as fasts of our time or pleasures. However, because appetite for food is one of man's strongest drives, fasting from food seems to get the job done the quickest. Fasting should be a much more important part of our seeking God.
17 And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit;
18 And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not.
19 He answereth him, and saith, O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him unto me.
20 And they brought him unto him: and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming.
21 And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child.
22 And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us.
23 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.
24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.
25 When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him.
26 And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead.
27 But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose.
28 And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out?
29 And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.
17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.
2 Peter 1:4
4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
13 Yet when they were ill, I put on sackcloth
and humbled myself with fasting.
When my prayers returned to me unanswered,
10 When I weep and fast,
I must endure scorn;
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