Do you ever pray and wonder if or when God will answer your prayers? I used to almost give myself a panic attack trying to figure out if God would answer my prayer and if so, when. I would become stressed and worried. I had no patience, because my faith was not strong enough. I should have prayed, knowing that God would want the best for me. Maybe what I wanted, was not the best thing for me. Maybe God needed to work on me, before I was ready to receive an answer to my prayer.
This morning, I read a bible passage about the disciples asking why they couldn’t perform the miracle of removing a demon from a boy. Jesus gave them a few answers.
- Some things require prayer and fasting
Sometimes, we think we believe, but we are not really convinced. We want some proof. Jesus said that if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can move mountains.
And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour.
Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?”
So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”
–Matthew 17:18-21 (NKJV)
I think Jesus chose the image of a mustard seed for a reason. A mustard seed is tiny, so this creates a vivid picture in your mind. This little sphere is hard and solid. When you smash it, a pungent smell is released. All this stuff is packed into this teeny, tiny seed. Is the faith that I have solid, without interruptions? Or, is my faith loose and not bonded? I think that it can be both, so I need to make sure it is always compact and solid. Unshakeable.
The other interesting point is that Jesus says that some things require prayer and fasting. I have to admit that this is new to me. One Sunday, our church Pastor explained that some sins have a strong hold on you and require prayer and fasting to break. It is a powerful strong hold of sin weighing you down. I have known people that have prayed and fasted and their prayers were answered.
After being baptized, Jesus prayed and fasted for 40 days in the desert. When Jesus was fasting and praying, Satan came to tempt him. Satan used bible verses. Jesus replied back with bible verses. In order to fight Satan’s attacks, you need to know your bible verses.
Satan Tempts Jesus
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”
But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ ”
Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written:
‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’
‘In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’ ”
Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’ ”
Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.”
Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ”
Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.
–Matthew 4:1-11 (NKJV)
Some habits are hard to break. Is there anything in your life that you cannot pray away? Jesus says some things require prayers and fasting. I need to reflect on my own prayers and see if some require prayer and fasting. When Jesus was fasting and praying, God was with him. God gave him the strength and guidance to resist Satan and even to get rid of Satan.
Some things require us to call out to God to rebuke Satan from our lives. I often pray this verse in my head. I am trying to teach my kids as well, so they will call out to God to rebuke Satan.
And the Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, Satan!”
–Zechariah 3:2 (NKJV)
When I started this, I planned to talk about faith, but it evolved. I think these are the items that belong in my tool kit: faith, the bible and prayers.