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.
The disciples had just tried and failed to cast out a devil (Matthew 17). Jesus had to step in and finish the task. The disciples never questioned Jesus’ ability, but they did question their own weakness. “Why, they said, could we not cast him out?” Jesus answers by pointing our three important things.
Some problems require special preparation! This was a problem of a very stubborn kind. The word “kind” is the Greek genos, and it seems to have a similar meaning as our English word “genre.” This problem was in a particularly difficult category and required certain tools to repair it.
Prayer, partnered with fasting, was needed to cast out a devil. Prayer is one of the most difficult disciplines in the Christian life. We are uncomfortable with it. Many do not even offer a table grace at mealtime. Fasting, of course, requires us to ignore the cravings of the body.
Dr. Charles Stanley comments on our need to yield our will to His will in prayer. “A barrier to discovering God’s will in a matter is our feelings about what should be done. Sometimes we feel so strongly about something, that we can’t get past our will to find His! If we feel compelled to pray about a matter, we usually are far from neutral on the subject. We come to God convinced of what He should do.
Neutrality is essential to finding God’s will. That is why Jesus began His model prayer by saying, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt 6:9-10).
Copyright 1999 (c) by Charles F. Stanley. All rights reserved.
Dear Lord, help me to desire Your answer to my problems. AMEN