Pastor Jonathan Falwell
Key Verse: Ephesians 3:20 (NLT) Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.
In order to see God accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think, we actually need to ASK AND THINK!
Today, we’re going to focus on the importance and power of prayer and fasting in our lives. There are some important truths about prayer as it relates to our relationship with God.
Prayer is the reflection of our relationship with God.
1. A relationship between THE CREATOR AND HIS CREATION
2. A relationship between the KING AND HIS SUBJECTS
3. A relationship between a FATHER AND HIS SON
Mark 9:14-29 When they returned to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd surrounding them, and some teachers of religious law were arguing with them. 15 When the crowd saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with awe, and they ran to greet him. 16 “What is all this arguing about?” Jesus asked. 17 One of the men in the crowd spoke up and said, “Teacher, I brought my son so you could heal him. He is possessed by an evil spirit that won’t let him talk. 18 And whenever this spirit seizes him, it throws him violently to the ground. Then he foams at the mouth and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast out the evil spirit, but they couldn’t do it.” 19 Jesus said to them, “You faithless people! How long must I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.” 20 So they brought the boy. But when the evil spirit saw Jesus, it threw the child into a violent convulsion, and he fell to the ground, writhing and foaming at the mouth. 21 “How long has this been happening?” Jesus asked the boy’s father. He replied, “Since he was a little boy. 22 The spirit often throws him into the fire or into water, trying to kill him. Have mercy on us and help us, if you can.” 23 “What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.” 24 The father instantly cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!” 25 When Jesus saw that the crowd of onlookers was growing, he rebuked the evil spirit. “Listen, you spirit that makes this boy unable to hear and speak,” he said. “I command you to come out of this child and never enter him again!” 26 Then the spirit screamed and threw the boy into another violent convulsion and left him. The boy appeared to be dead. A murmur ran through the crowd as people said, “He’s dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and helped him to his feet, and he stood up. 28 Afterward, when Jesus was alone in the house with his disciples, they asked him, “Why couldn’t we cast out that evil spirit?” 29 Jesus replied, “This kind can be cast out only by prayer.”
In our lives today, we should all be looking for the “infinitely more”that only God can accomplish. So why is it we miss out so often on God’s “more?”
1. Our LACK OF FAITH
Mark 9:19a Jesus said to them, “You faithless people!…
2. Our LACK OF COMMITMENT
3. Our LACK OF ASKING
Mark 9:29 Jesus replied, “This kind can be cast out only by prayer.”
Mark 9:29 (NKJV) So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.”
“Prayer CONNECTSus to the Father while fasting DISCONNECTS us from the world”
– Chris Hodges
“Fasting is more about REPLACING than it is about ABSTAINING.”
– Gary Rohrmayer
In the Bible, God’s people fasted before a major victory, miracle, or answer to prayer:
SEEKING MIRACLES: 2 Samuel 12:16 David begged God to spare the child. He went without food and lay all night on the bare ground.
SEEKING REPENTANCE: 1 Samuel 7:6So they gathered at Mizpah and, in a great ceremony, drew water from a well and poured it out before the Lord. They also went without food all day and confessed that they had sinned against the Lord. (It was at Mizpah that Samuel became Israel’s judge.)
MAKING DECISIONS:Acts 13:2-3 One day as these men were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Appoint Barnabas and Saul for the special work to which I have called them.” 3 So after more fasting and prayer, the men laid their hands on them and sent them on their way.
Why Prayer and Fasting Matters
1. We rely onHIS STRENGTH
2. We FOCUS ON THE ETERNAL
3. We REPENT OF OUR SINS
4. We RECEIVE THE DIRECTION WE NEED
How to Pray:
Philippians 4:6 — Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
- Tell Him WHAT YOU NEED
- Thank Him FOR ALL HE HAS DONE
How to Fast:
1. Set a REALISTIC GOAL
2. Determine THE SCOPE OF YOUR FASTING
3. Make it about YOUR HEART
4. Focus on WHAT YOU HAVE TO GAIN RATHER THAN WHAT MIGHT MISS