Some Challenges in Life Can Only Be Overcome at the Altar of Fasting and Prayer (Matthew 17:14-21).
Woohoo! We’re already half-way through our miracle lessons. Hope you’re excited. 😁
In our 14th miracle lesson, we saw this same story where Jesus had been away on a prayer retreat with Peter, James and John (Matthew 17:1) when a man brought his severely sick child to Jesus’ disciples. They tried all the prayer styles Jesus had taught them and still couldn’t heal the boy. Fortunately, Jesus returned before the man’s debilitated faith died off completely. He proceeds to heal the man’s son with just a command.
After the dust had settled and the disciples of Jesus had some time alone with Him, they asked him a very curious and sincere question which anyone in their shoes would have asked, “Why could we not heal the boy? As a matter of fact, You Yourself told us just a few days ago that we now had ‘power to cast out evil spirits and to heal every kind of disease and illness’ and it worked for a while. [See Luke 10:17 for reference.] So, how is it that it didn’t work this time?”
In response to His disciples’ honest question, Jesus gave them two reasons. One of them was the one we discussed in the previous lesson. The other reason Jesus gave His disciples in response to why they could not heal the boy was that “this kind does not go out except by fasting and prayer.” Fasting and prayer go hand-in-hand. When you fast but do not maintain an attitude of prayer, then, at best, you are just on a dieting program; at worst, you are on a hunger strike (no pun intended).
An Igbo adage goes, “Anu gba ajọ ọsọ, agba ya ajọ egbe.” This means that when tough situations present themselves, then tough measures must also be taken against them. When we are faced with a fierce situation that refuses to go away even after we pray, then, just as in the story about the fierce demon and Jesus’ disciples, maybe it is time we faced it in an equally fierce manner – depriving ourselves some comfort, e.g. food, entertainment, luxury, or any activity or thing that gives us pleasure and feeds our natural proclivities (the flesh).
To read more on prayer and fasting, see The Fasting And Prayer That Move Mountains – a short piece I have written specifically for you.
Do you hear God speaking to you today through this lesson? Please, leave a comment or question; your comment/question might be a blessing to someone. You could also contact us through our contact page.
For the other miracle lessons, please go to the miracle lessons page.
I was around 5 when, I am strongly convinced, I first heard the distinct voice of God. But, not until I was 11 (2002) did I have a personal encounter with Him. I was in my room that night, about to pray before bed, when I saw a revelation of how filthy my heart was. I didn't argue with God that I was too young to have such amount of filth ('cause I believed I was a 'good boy,' by human standards, at least). I simply cried uncontrollably in brokenness of heart - "The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God" (Psalm 51:17) - and He didn't.
Still crying uncontrollably, I left my room and went to the living room, where my parents were watching the nightly news on TV. After I managed to tell them about the revelation I saw, my sweet mum took me to her room and led me to Christ. I got saved that night. And 6 years later, I discovered my purpose and assignment on earth, which is raising up men and women to be godly, and teaching them the simplicity of Christianity. More than a decade later, I am still fulfilling that purpose to His glory. Hallelujah!