“I believe; help my unbelief!”
In Mark 9, the disciples are confronted with a demonic presence they were powerless to cast out. Jesus had just come from the Mount of Transfiguration where three of His disciples (Peter, James, and John) had seen Him for a brief moment in all of His glory. As so often happens, this mountaintop experience was followed by spiritual conflict and seeming defeat. The father of the demonically oppressed son says to Jesus, “I brought my son to you for deliverance. I asked your disciples to cast it out, but they were not able.” This was odd because this was what Christ had directly authorized them to do (Mark 3).
Jesus tells the father to bring the child to Him with the admonition that all things are possible to him who believes. He does, and the demon is cast out. But the disciples were left with the question as to why they were powerless when it was clearly in their authority to do it. Jesus answers that the problem was a deficiency in two areas: 1) a lack of faith (Mt 17), and 2) a lack of prayer with fasting. Faith is the currency of God’s kingdom – the medium through which the Holy Spirit impacts our lives. Faith makes it possible for ordinary people to take hold of the work of God. Faith moves us to pray. Prayer with fasting sensitizes the soul to know where the Holy Spirit is at work so that the prayer of faith is directly linked to the movement of God. We must have a supernatural connection with God that compels us to pray. Faith does not move God; God moves our faith to ask and receive. People will not encounter Christ in an atmosphere where little faith results in little prayer.
During these 21 days of prayer and fasting, it is absolutely essential to understand that fasting has spiritual significance only as it draws us into the presence of God. Fasting was designed by God to bring us to Him with greater intensity. Fasting is a covenant we make with God to encounter His presence where all things become possible.
Read Mark 9:14-29. In what areas do you need to ask the Father to help you overcome unbelief?