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The Supporters of Faith


April 25, 2024

This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.

 - Mark 9:29 


In the successful application of faith, we must flow from receiving the information in the word of God, downloading it into our hearts, understanding the word, having a revelation of who God is and be fully persuaded, to conviction (action). For that to happen, we need prayer and fasting.  


Prayer and fasting bridge the gap in the sequence of faith. Prayer (and fasting) give us an interpretation of the Word of God when we first receive it as information. It transforms the knowledge into understanding in our hearts. When our understanding gets questioned through unbelief, doubt and fear, prayer and fasting helps us to overcome by providing answers.


Finally, even when we are persuaded, that is fully convinced about the Word of God, we still need prayer (and fasting) to obediently take action. 


How does prayer give understanding? In the book of Daniel 9, Daniel studied the Word of God, and understood that the desolation of Jerusalem would last 70 years (v2). He prayed between verses 4-19 and in verses 20-22 while he was still in prayer, an angel of the Lord appeared to him saying “Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding”.


Similarly in Acts 10, the Bible records that Cornelius, who prayed regularly, had an encounter with an angel of the Lord (v2-6). It follows that anytime we receive the Word of God, we must pray for understanding. 


In tackling the gap between revelation and persuasion, we need prayer to overcome unbelief, doubt and fear. In Mark 9:17 – 29, Jesus’ disciples had failed at driving out a demon from a man’s son. When the man came to Jesus, He told him in verse 23 “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes”. The man responded. “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”(v24) This response from the man is a prayer. The disciples would later ask Jesus why they could not drive out the demon and he answered them saying “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting”. Again, in Mark 11:24, Jesus says “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them”. Put simply, prayer and fasting are the antidotes to unbelief, doubt and fear. 


When we have stayed in the place of prayer and fasting, we approach full conviction over the Word of God we have set out hearts upon, to take action. We still need to press in further especially when the action to be taken requires obedience. Often times, we know what to do when we come across untoward situations, but we find ourselves lacking in strength, character and grace to act.


Jesus provides an example for us to follow in Luke 22:41-43. He knew His time to go the cross had come. Fully convinced about his purpose on earth, yet the Bible records in these verses that an angel of Lord appeared to Him strengthening Him. Even at that, the Lord was in agony and prayed more earnestly till his sweat was like blood falling to the ground. 


How earnestly have we prayed over a matter? We want the results of faith but have not put in the work of faith. Peter in Matthew 14 wanted to walk on water just like Jesus, while he was battling the waves of the sea (v24),.


The responsibility is on us to work out our faith in the place of prayer and fasting for whatever we may be going through. James 5:13 “Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray”. It is not that God’s Word cannot come to pass in our lives, after all, His Word does not return to Him void (Isaiah 55:11) and He watches over it to perform it, (Jeremiah 1:12). It looks more like we do not persist enough in the place of prayer and fasting (Romans 3:4). 

May God grant us the grace to persist in the place of prayer and fasting (Luke 18:1, 1 Thessalonians 5:17). 


Song of Worship  

 Prayer is the key – 2x 

Prayer is the master key, Jesus started with prayer and ended with prayer 

Prayer is the master key 

Prayer -  Dear Lord, grant me the grace to persist in the place of prayer and fasting so that my faith can be strengthened to bring about the change that I desire in my life in Jesus name, Amen. 

 

 

Bible in 1 year: 1 Kings 1-2

 

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