Luke 9:37-43a: ‘…but they could not’.(please click for todays passage.)
When I read this story I find that I identify with the disciples’ inability and lack of power in the face of overwhelming need. They had just descended from the mountain top of glory where they had seen remarkable things, but now in the valley of need, they were faced with their own impotence. However,we know from elsewhere in the gospels that the disciples asked Jesus privately why they could not cast this demon out (Matthew 17:19).His reply was because of a lack of faith (Matthew 17:20), and Mark’s version suggests it was also due to a lack of prayer – and even fasting (according to some manuscripts Mark 9:29). In my own ( admittedly limited) experience, I have found that these things go together: prayer, fasting and faith. Faith grows in the fertile soil of prayer and fasting, and real power to bring down strongholds is unleashed as we engage in these thoroughly Biblical disciplines.
Some years ago I read the remarkable story of the Full Gospel Church in Seoul, Korea. In the hills behind the city centre, where the church met, there was a place called ‘Prayer Mountain’. It was a prayer retreat centre, full of spartan rooms,having little furniture. The book said that when members of the church faced problems, they would regularly go to ‘Prayer Mountain’ for two or three days and pray with fasting. Commonly they found that the insoluble was solved, the mountains moved, the miracles came.
Are you facing a situation that intimidates you with its size? You feel helpless before it. Have you considered going to ‘Prayer Mountain’? You can do that without going anywhere near South Korea.