When Fasting Is The Only Way
And when he had come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, 'Why could we not cast it out?' So he said to them, 'This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.'" Mark 9:28-29 There are things that cannot be brought about except through fasting. It is noteworthy that before Jesus, the very Son of God, began his ministry, he went aside and fasted for 40 days. Have you ever wondered why he did that? There is a world that we do not see. A world where very real beings live, angels and demons. They co-exist with us. Derek Prince once said that if our eyes could be opened to see that world around us, we would die of fright. Throughout the Scriptures we see this parallel world mentioned time and time again. The prophet Daniel shut himself up away from the world to fast and pray. It took 21 days for him to receive an answer, and the remarkable thing is that he was told that the angel sent to answer him was delayed because he first had to battle against fallen angels in order to reach him. If you were to do a study on all the mentions in the Bible of various kinds of spirits, you would come away amazed. It is a shame that this subject is hardly taught in the churches of our "modern" world. Knowing how to engage these beings in "spiritual warfare" could change many a life, save many a marriage, bring many a wayward son or daughter to repentance. The Book of Ephesians has much to say about "spiritual warfare," starting with the revelation that the battles in our lives are not with the people or the issues in our lives, but with the spiritual forces behind them. "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places." Ephesians 6:12 These names are names of different kinds of evil spirits in Satan's military hierarchy. These are the ones behind the troubles in your lives. And because you don't see them, naturally you blame the person being used to cause the trouble. Friends, you're blaming the wrong one. Your son or daughter, husband or wife or friend doesn't hate you, no, he or she is being influenced by powers that he or she is totally unaware of. So what does one do? Well ...let's go back to the issue of fasting and prayer. If Jesus said that his disciples were not able to cast out a spirit from a child BECAUSE this kind was only able to be cast out after fasting ...then don't you think this would be a good place to start? Having said that, let me say that the first thing you should do is take it to the Lord and ASK him to draw you into a period of fasting, for even that comes by grace. There have been times when I have fasted and it was just a terrible chore; then there are times when the Lord himself directed me to fast, and it went by easily. So the main thing is to get direction from the Lord. One other thing that has to be mentioned is that if you have a medical condition in which a fast could harm you, then you probably should not do it - and ask the Lord for further direction. Pray with me: Father God, I have this problem in my life (name the trouble), and I come to you for direction. My efforts have not brought victory and I need direction from you how to proceed. I have blamed (who or what) for this trouble, but it never occurred to me that my focus is in the wrong place. I've been blaming the person, not the influence behind it. If this is a case that cannot be changed except through fasting and prayer, then I ask you for grace to do it. Help me to find a time that I can set aside to go into intercession with fasting. And help me to start with forgiveness toward the one involved. Sometimes it is just humanly impossible to truly forgive from the heart, so even in that I ask for help. I stand before you, Father, at the Throne of Grace and ask you to lead me in the CORRECT way to see victory in this battle. I open my heart to you, and pray for guidance. And I will give you all the glory when victory is achieved. In Jesus's Name I pray, amen.