The Power Of Prayer and Fasting - Matthew 17:19-21

The Power Of Prayer and Fasting

Matthew 17:19-21

The power of prayer and fasting is shown in this parable. Both are important to the Christian and are tools given to us by God to promote our relationship with Him and to conquer sin.


Powerless People - v. 19

The disciples wondered why they couldn't cast out the demons as Jesus had instructed.
Spiritual weakness - vv. 14-18. The disciples could not cast the demon out of the man's son (John 15:5).
Perhaps Christ used this as a lesson to show the disciples how helpless and weak they were without God's help and the lack of His power in their lives.


Practice of Prayer - v. 20
Problem - "And Jesus said unto them, because of your unbelief..."

  • Heb. 11:6. Without faith, we cannot please God.
  • John 12:37. Jesus performed many miracles, yet people did not believe.
  • Heb. 3:12. "An evil heart of unbelief" leads one away from God.

Picture - "Have faith the size of a mustard seed" - a very small seed that grows to become a tree. This faith would move mountains, do the impossible, perform miracles.

  • Possibility of faith - Matt. 26:26. With God, all things are possible.
  • Power of faith - Mark 9:23. All things are possible if we believe.
  • Practice of faith - James 1:6. Ask in faith; do not waver.


The Power of Prayer—v. 21

  • Purpose of fasting: to weaken Satan's powers - Isa. 58:6; to receive answer to prayer - Isa. 58:8-10.
  • Power of fasting: Paul - II Cor. 11:27; Jonah (the whole city was converted) - Jonah 3:3-10. All are encouraged to fast - I Cor. 7:5.
  • Plan of fasting: Daniel - Dan. 9:3; Samuel - I Sam. 7:6; Moses - Deut. 9:18.
  • People who fasted: Paul - Acts 9:9; Moses - Exod. 34:28; sailors with Paul - Acts 27:33; Elijah - I Kings 19:8; Anna - Luke 2:37; Cornelius - Acts 10:30.

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