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Prayer and Fasting

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April 22nd, 2014 | Filed Under: Author, Fasting, Mitch Kuhn, Prayer, Q and A2 Comments | Author:

Hi E____,

I suggest you start with this article to lay a foundation for the answer.

http://tryingthespirits.com/2014-02/what-is-fasting/

 

I’ll elaborate on these verses a bit:

(Mar 9:18 NKJV) And wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid. So I spoke to Your disciples, that they should cast it out, but they could not.”
(Mar 9:19 NKJV) He answered him and said, “O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to Me.”

(Mar 9:28 NKJV) And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?”
(Mar 9:29 NKJV) So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.”

Casting out an evil spirit spiritually is really about waging war in our own heavens and taking every thought captive.

Christ had given the disciples the ability to cast out spirits to a degree, but they were yet unconverted at this time. They were essentially cleaning the outside of the cup and not able to truly overcome the wicked one that was sent to tempt them to sin. We are all under the power of sin and death for a season and are given the ability to clean up our lives to a certain degree. We all go to Church and cast out the evil spirits of drunkenness, fornication, adultery, foul language, etc. Certain spirits come out quite easily it seems, but the deeper matters of the heart remain unchanged. We remain self righteous, arrogant, boastful, and lack the ability to cast out these spirits.

At our appointed time, God loosens Satan in our lives and it is clearly manifest that we cannot make war with the beast.

(Mar 9:17 NKJV) Then one of the crowd answered and said, “Teacher, I brought You my son, who has a mute spirit.
(Mar 9:18 NKJV) And wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid. So I spoke to Your disciples, that they should cast it out, but they could not.”

(Rev 13:4 NKJV) So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?”

When we are spiritually mute, we have no control over our tongue and cannot speak the truth of God’s word.

(Jas 3:8 NKJV) But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
(Jas 3:9 NKJV) With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God.
(Jas 3:10 NKJV) Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.

From the overflow of our heart the mouth speaks, and when we are mute it is clear that nothing good dwells in us.

(Rom 7:18 NKJV) For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find.

Our works then confirm what is in our heart and the lack of goodness proceeding from our mouth.

(Mat 7:16 NKJV) You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?
(Mat 7:17 NKJV) Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.

The Greek word for “becomes rigid” in Mark 8:18 really means “to wither away”.

(Mar 4:5 NKJV) Some fell on stony ground, where it did not have much earth; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of earth.
(Mar 4:6 NKJV) But when the sun was up it was scorched, and because it had no root it withered away.

(Mar 3:3 NKJV) And He said to the man who had the withered hand, “Step forward.”

We want to be healed and go to the yet carnal disciples of the Church world to be healed, but they lack the faith to help us. This is a symbol of how we are yet carnal ourselves and unable to make war with the beast. We have the same false doctrines as the Church of the world and are helpless to overcome.

Notice in Christ’s rebuke that they are a faithless generation.

(Mar 9:19 NKJV) He answered him and said, “O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to Me.”

(Mar 9:28 NKJV) And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?”
(Mar 9:29 NKJV) So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.”

Faith is inextricably linked to prayer and fasting, because faith is the foundation of everything. When we are yet carnal we have faith in our own strength and in our fabled free will, but when we are converted we know that only Christ within us can make war with the beast and cast out the demons that plague us so.

This study is a key to understand the foundation of true faith.

http://tryingthespirits.com/2014-03/2nd-milk-doctrine-faith-toward-god/

Once we have been given a measure of the faith of the true faith of Christ, we then will have the ability to fast and pray as we ought.

Fasting is to abstain from wickedness and prayer is to do the will of God, as this article that I previously referenced will explain.

http://tryingthespirits.com/2014-02/what-is-fasting/

Christ is telling the disciples that true overcoming is a process that takes time. To cast out evil spirits and become like Christ, we must sow to the spirit continually, then in due time we will overcome.

(Gal 6:7 NKJV) Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.
(Gal 6:8 NKJV) For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.
(Gal 6:9 NKJV) And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

We are just like the carnally minded disciples at first and expect that just speaking a few simple words or praying one prayer will cast out an evil spirit. When we are yet children in the faith God does give us gifts and delivers us miraculously just as he did Israel from Egypt. They cried out and he sent Moses to save them. They did not make any war, they just followed Moses and watched miracle after miracle. Then the times comes that they must go into the promise land and make war. All but Joshua and Caleb lacked the faith to cast the evil inhabitants from the land.

In 2 Peter we have a great description of the process of prayer and fasting. It all starts with faith, and then though God’s gift of diligence we add to that many other things that are necessary. All of these steps involve an element of abstaining and an element of doing something good.

(2Pe 1:5 NKJV) But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge,
(2Pe 1:6 NKJV) to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness,
(2Pe 1:7 NKJV) to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.
(2Pe 1:8 NKJV) For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
(2Pe 1:9 NKJV) For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.
(2Pe 1:10 NKJV) Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble;
(2Pe 1:11 NKJV) for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

For example: Adding knowledge requires that we abstain from thinking on evil things and instead spend our time meditating on things of the spirit, which is prayer and fasting. As we are given the faith to do this over time consistently, we eventually abound with fruit and are no longer a mute who rolls on the ground and foams at the mouth.

The fast of Isaiah 58:6 is now fulfilled. The bonds of wickedness are loosed and we become slaves to Christ.

Isa 58:6 “Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness, To undo the heavy burdens, To let the oppressed go free, And that you break every yoke?

Rom 1:1 Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God

We are released from our burdens and given rest.

Mat 11:28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

The key is that this rest is not given miraculously through long winded prayers, nor obtained through abstaining from physical food. These are mere shadows of true prayer and fasting. Physical fasting does require great self discipline and effort, because it is quite uncomfortable and unnatural for the flesh, just as abstaining from wickedness is unnatural and difficult for the old man. There is a season of great discomfort, but then great peace does come as a reward for our diligence and labor.

(Heb 4:10 KJV) For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.
(Heb 4:11 KJV) Let us labour (G4704) therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

Our carnal self righteous works must cease, and we must labor through the strength of Christ knowing that it is God working in us to will and do his good pleasure.

Here is the Greek word translated as labour above.

G4704
σπουδάζω spoudazō spoo-dad’-zo
From G4710; to use speed, that is, to make effort, be prompt or earnest: – do (give) diligence, be diligent (forward), endeavour, labour, study.

This labor is described in different ways:

(2Pe 3:14 NKJV) Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent (G4710) to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless;

(2Ti 2:15 NKJV) Study (G4710) to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Prayer and fasting are the opposite of turning grace into lasciviousness. Here is how Paul describes his labor though the strength of Christ working in him.

(1Co 9:24 NKJV) Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.
(1Co 9:25 NKJV) And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.
(1Co 9:26 NKJV) Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air.
(1Co 9:27 NKJV) But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.

(Php 2:12 NKJV) Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;
(Php 2:13 NKJV) for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.

Paul knew without a doubt that nothing of himself could do this work. It was Christ dwelling in him that gave him the ability to labor diligently to enter into rest.

(Gal 2:20 KJV) I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

I hope this is of some help to you,
Mitch

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  • MitchellKuhn

    Hello Grant,

    Sorry for the slow response. I have been thinking and praying about how to respond to your questions.

    Everything Christ did physically was a shadow of a deeper spiritual meaning. Fasting is about abstaining from evil.

    (Isa 58:6 NKJV) “*Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness*, To undo the heavy burdens, To let the oppressed go free, And that you break every yoke?

    (Mat 5:6 NKJV) *Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness*, For they shall be filled.

    His obedience to deny the desires of the flesh was a sacrifice for all of us. He showed us how we all will be saved by overcoming the flesh and entering the kingdom of God.

    (1Jn 2:1 NKJV) My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
    (1Jn 2:2 NKJV) *And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.*

    Christ is the head of the Body and began this work. Other in the Body of Christ, like Paul, are used of God to finish this great work of saving all mankind.

    (Col 1:24 NKJV) I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church,

    This study will explain: http://tryingthespirits.com/2013-01/the-mystery-of-the-kingdom-of-god/