Don’t React, Prepare! (Week 7 of 8)

Scripture:
Matthew 17:16-21 So I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not cure him.” Then Jesus answered and said, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him here to Me.” 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.”

Observation:
To prepare means to get ready in advance in anticipation of something. Soldiers prepare for war by maintaining their weapons, keeping up with training, and reviewing battle strategies. If they didn’t, they would be surprised by an enemy attack and be left scrambling – reacting to the enemy while being unprepared. They would lose the battle, and maybe even the war altogether.

If anything is certain, it is that we live in an uncertain world fraught with fear and danger – BUT Jesus is on the throne, and He has the solution!

This account centers on a man’s son that a demonic spirit threw into fire and water in order to kill him. The father understood that his son was in trouble. The disciples were not able to help, the therapists were not able to help, the doctors weren’t able to help.

So, this father did the wise thing… he brought the boy to Jesus.

Application:
We have a responsibility to bring our children to Jesus (whether it be our natural children, spiritual children, or the call on our life – what God wants to birth through us). We have a responsibility to pray for them and to talk to them; to bring them to church. The solution for the problems and attacks against our sons and daughters, is Jesus!

Hear me, Kingdom Culture, the next time your child, grandchild, or ministry is in trouble, there’s a powerful interaction between prayer and fasting. Prayer attaches us to God fasting detaches us from the flesh.

The disciples did not have the power or discernment to overcome the physical and spiritual problems of the child. That’s why it’s important to live a lifestyle of prayer and fasting. Not to just fast when it’s convenient for us. Not to just do a first-of-the-year fast (even though that’s great), but to have a reservoir of fasting.

Today, it may be their children, tomorrow it may be yours. Prayer and fasting should be normal because we don’t know what tomorrow may bring. Let’s live a lifestyle of prayer and fasting!

Prayer:
Jesus, I love You. Thank You for my life, my family, and my purpose. I need You to come into my life and into my situation. My children, what You have placed in my life, need You. Give me the strength to develop the discipline of prayer and fasting. Holy Spirit I ask that You increase in me and that my flesh and sin would decrease. I ask that You give me wisdom and discernment and remind me not to try to do it all on my own, but to come to You for every issue of life. I want to know You better and to see You more in my situation. Amen.

Worship: