April 15, 2024


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Rev. Innocent Peace-Udochukwu President Living Fountain Ministries Int’l LIFOM

“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.”
Mathew 17:20-21

Summary: The need to become more dependent on God and less on ourselves.

Prayer and fasting are the combination needed for THIS KIND. It’s the need that calls for the affliction of our body and the determination to hear from God.

There was a need that Jesus’ disciples could not meet – it was beyond their resources (human or spiritual). Previous to this, Jesus had already given His disciples the authority to heal the sick and cast out demons in His Name. And they went about preaching Jesus’ message of the Kingdom of God, and they healed and delivered just as Jesus said that they would.

BUT NOW they have struck a need that is obviously too great for them. This young man, so violently afflicted with a devil that tormented him – and the disciples, no matter what they attempted, had been unable to deal with it. There was an UNMET NEED.

Let’s not be too quick to criticize the disciples for their inability here. Haven’t we all been in those places where we have tried with all that we have to find an answer in our lives, or in the life of some other poor friend needing help? We’ve tried everything; we’ve exhausted all our spiritual resources, and still the need is left seemingly unmet. The sickness remains; the situation is unchanged; the person is unaffected/unsaved/unchallenged. The need is unmet! What are we to do?

“So I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not cure him.”
Mathew 17:16

Jesus and His associates came down the mountain to face AN UNMET NEED.

BUT I praise God that Jesus is the MASTER OF THE UNMET NEED. If you have some situation in your life today that you have no answer for – my friend, your hope is JESUS. He is the Master of the unmet need! Nothing is too hard for Him. Hallelujah!

Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?”

They’d had answers to prayer before, you see. They’d ministered effectively at times – they’d had SOME successes. So what was different this time? “Why could WE not cast out this demon?” “Oh, Lord, we tried everything we knew how. We prayed just as we’ve heard You pray for people. We got louder and louder, and sweatier and sweatier. What went wrong? We were so frustrated! Where did we go wrong?”

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been right where those disciples were so many times. “Why Lord?” UNANSWERED QUESTIONS.

The disciples had an unanswered question: “Why could WE not cast him out?”

But to their question, Jesus gives:


“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.”
Mathew 17:20-21

They came, as it were, to a great difficulty which quite nonplussed them; and the scoffing scribes were there, ready enough to take advantage of them, and to say in scorn and contempt, “You cannot cure this child, for the power you have received from your Master is limited. He can do some strange things, but even he cannot do all things. Perhaps he has lost his former power, and now, at last, a kind of devil has appeared that he cannot master. You see, you are mistaken in following him; your faith has been fixed upon an impostor, and you had better give it up.” Oh, how ready the evil spirit ever is to suggest dark thoughts if we cannot always be successful in our work of faith and labor of love! I believe that it was for this very reason that our Lord gave us this record of the defeat of the nine apostles in order to let us feel that it is not so great a wonder if, sometimes, we have to come back and say, “Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?” It is no new thing that we should be made a laughingstock to the enemies of the cross of Christ because we cannot even do what we have formerly done, and are beaten in the very field where aforetime we have achieved great and notable victories for our Master.
Brethren, why do you think that the Lord allows his servants to be beaten at all? Well, of course, the chief reason in this case was—and of that we will speak presently,—because God gives the victory to faith, and if we will not believe, neither shall we be established. If we fall, as those disciples probably had fallen, into an unspiritual frame of mind and a low state of grace, our commission will not be worth much, our former qualifications will be of little value, and all successes we have had in earlier days will not take away the effect of present failures. We shall be like Samson, who went out and shook himself as he had done aforetime; but the Spirit of God had departed from him; and the Philistines soon overcame him,—those very Philistines whom, if his Lord had still been with him, he would have smitten hip and thigh with great slaughter. If we are to do the Lord’s work, and to do it successfully, we must have faith in him, we must look beyond ourselves, we must look beyond our commission, we must look beyond our personal qualifications, we must look beyond our former successes, we must look for a present anointing by the Holy Spirit, and by faith we must hang upon the living God from day to day.

This strange case wakes them up; they have something to deal with now that is very different from that they have had before, it is not a common fever, or even an ordinary case of Satanic possession, but it is a dreadful demoniac who is now before them, foaming, and raging, and wallowing in their presence, and altogether beyond their power to heal. This wakes them up; and the Lord permits us sometimes to have trouble in the church, or a shock in the family, that we may wake right up, and not go on mechanically with no spiritual life in us.

there was, within the heart of their question, this earnest prayer, “O Master, help us to cast out devils again! Take not thy Spirit from us, but renew in us our former strength, and give us even more.” I am sure that anything that makes us often came back to our Lord must be a blessing to us.

“This kind—this sort of devil—this peculiarly furious kind of demon—will not go out by the exercise of ordinary faith. It must be faith that rises into prayer.” You will frequently meet with persons to whom you desire to be blessed, but you never will be blessed to them till first of all you pray for them; and it may be that you will have to pray long and earnestly, and that the praying will have to rise to wrestling, and the wrestling may have to be continued all night, as in the case of Jacob, and you may have to go to God as often as the importunate widow went to the unjust judge. It may be that there are cases in which God will not yield to your faith until your faith works in prayer; and then, when prayer has wrought to its utmost, you shall get the blessing.

In response to His disciples inquiring why they couldn’t drive a seizure-producing demon out of a boy when He had been apart from them, Jesus spoke the critically important truth put forth above. In Mark’s account, Jesus called this particular demon a deaf and dumb spirit; it robbed the boy of speech, and caused him to have what we call grand mal seizures today, complete with convulsions, rigidity, foaming at the mouth, and gnashing of the teeth (Mark 9:17-29).

Picture how frightening such a demonic manifestation would have been for the disciples to apply their faith to in Jesus’ absence! Nevertheless, the Lord’s word here is that even a tiny mustard seed of faith is sufficient to move mountains such as this. Praise God, His Word is omnipotent – all powerful, always effectual. Incongruence between God’s word and our experience today is always due to an issue with the earthen conduits…

Now here is our point: regardless of what name is applied to this faith-crippling supernatural power, the Lord is revealing that intimacy with Christ and self-denial are the means by which He has ensured that His disciples may be delivered of it. Praise God! The same Spirit that empowered Jesus of Nazareth to perform miracles delivers us from captivity and then empowers us to heal and deliver others as well: I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. (John 14:12-13).

Joel 1:14, “Sanctify ye a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the Lord your God, and cry unto the Lord,”
We find here we are to call for a fast to declare our dedication or to show God we mean business, It’s a way of turning to the Lord. Joel 2:12, “Therefore also now, saith the Lord, Turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning:”
When something needs to change, we fast to promote a reformation.

Nehemiah 1:3-4, “And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire. And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven.”
If you are tired of the oppressing circumstances, it’s time to fast and pray.
It’s time to fast when pending judgment is about to fall.
Jonah 3:5, “So the people of Ninevah believed God, an proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.”
The results of their fasting, their lives were spared. King David also tried to release God’s mercy for his baby by fasting. Even though it was not to be, David knew the principal of fasting
II Samuel 12:16, “David therefore besought God for the child; and David fasted, and went in, and lay all night upon the earth.”
When we need direction and are determined to hear from God we should fast. But when everything is running smoothly, we should also fast as part of our ministry and service to God.
Acts 13:2, “As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.”

We who love the Lord are, I trust, all agreed on that matter, that no cost on our part should be spared to win a soul from the dominion of Satan, and bring him into the glorious liberty of the children of God.


E.M. Bounds wrote: “God’s cause is committed to men; God commits Himself to men. PRAYING MEN are the vice regents of God; they do His work and carry out His plans”.

In this day we have great need of His power in our lives, in our church, in our families, etc. I believe that Jesus means for us to fast and pray.

Do you feel dry, spiritually? Powerless against the world and the enemy? In need of renewal? FAST and PRAY.




EMAIL: revinnopeace@gmail.com

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