“This kind only comes out by prayer and fasting” – Mark 9:29
The disciples had just returned from a successful mission trip in which, among other things, they cast out all sorts of demons. But in this instance, they were not able to cast this demon out of this young boy…whereas Jesus casts it out with a word. Later, in private, the disciples ask Jesus “why couldn’t we cast it out.” Jesus’ response is that “this kind…only comes out by prayer and fasting.”
At the gym, most of us are able to lift a 10lb weight…but a 200lb weight is a different story. It is the same in the spiritual world. Some breakthroughs do not require a great deal of spiritual power or authority. But a major breach of the spiritual status quo certainly does. The disciples were able to cast out lesser demons with a word, but this kind of demon required more power. Certain breakthroughs in the spiritual realm require a spiritual upgrade. Revival is one of these. To see our city renewed by God, we need more spiritual power than we presently have.
This is where prayer and fasting come in. Seasons of prayer and fasting are a form of consecration that increases and deepens our level of spiritual engagement with our lives and the world around us. Fasting with prayer was assumed by Jesus as a regular discipleship practice for his followers and it was a staple in Jesus’ life and the lives of the people of God throughout history. In our time many of us, especially in the stream of the church Sanctuary sits, have lost touch with these practices. When we fast and pray, we make room for God to pour out his power and blessing in our lives. It is a way to clear out space, and set ourselves apart, for more of God. It is a way of raising the sails of our souls and lives so that the wind of God can fill us with fresh power and move us into a new season, spiritually.
Over the next two weeks, the Sanctuary leadership community is moving into a season of prayer and fasting. We invite you to join us. The fall is a time to hit reset and refresh and move into a new season. It is a time for us to launch or relaunch home churches, to prepare to reach out to newcomers, and to restart many important ministries in the church. We want to move into this season with our sails up, seeking God, ready to be filled with his power. Fasting and prayer are an important way to do this. And specifically, in this season, as we start the fall and pray into the plans and ministries of Sanctuary Church, we are also seeking him for revival. For a season of breakthroughs of God’s Kingdom in our lives, families, home churches, and our city.
- Consider what holy longings God is placing in you in the next season that you want to ask Him for as you fast and pray.
- Consider how and when you’d like to fast.
- skip a meal, or two a day for first seek.
- consider a one day fast.
- consider a longer fast – ask the Lord how long he is inviting you to fast.
- Block off 30 minutes each day for prayer during First Seek – follow the prayer prompts on the website.
- Consider joining us for one or more of these Heart nights (prayer and worship gatherings)