What does Jesus mean by His statement: this kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting?


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“And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.” (Mark 9:29).

This is the story of the father who brought his demon possessed child to the nine disciples for deliverance but they failed at casting the demon out (Mark 9). This incident took place when Peter, James and John were away with Jesus at the mount of transfiguration.

The scribes had attributed the helplessness of the nine disciples to the presumed superior power of the demon. The real trouble, however, lay not in the power of the demon, but in the spiritual weakness of the disciples at the time.

Christ does not here refer to prayer offered in connection with the casting out of this kind, or demons. He is not concerned with momentary prayer, but with a life actuated by prayer. During the absence of Peter, James, and John with Christ, the nine disciples had been dwelling on their discouragements and personal grievances, in a spirit of jealousy because of the favor shown to their absent companions. Their state of mind and heart made it impossible for God to work through them. God can’t work through humans who harbor such negative spirit.

Prayer is the life of the soul. It is through prayer that we connect to God every moment. Once we cut our connection with God, our spiritual life starts to wither and die. The Bible teaches “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

Jesus Himself was often in prayer. Our Savior identified Himself with our needs and weakness. He became a petitioner, seeking from His Father fresh supplies of strength, that He might be equipped for trial. He is our example in all things. He is a brother in our infirmities, “in all points tempted like as we are;” but without sin. His humanity made prayer a necessity and a privilege. And if the Savior felt the need of prayer, how much more should sinful men feel the necessity of constant prayer.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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