Today we will return to our discussion of the plight of the disciples in Mark 9 when they were unable to cast out the dumb spirit that had possessed a young lad whose father had brought him to them for that very purpose. As one might imagine, it is always saddening and even frustrating when the followers of Christ cannot deliver on those things that are expected of us. In this particular case, they could not remove the spirit because their faith along with that of others was not at the level that it should have been. We found out, per the words of Jesus, that the disciplines of prayer and fasting are instrumental in the building up of faith with correlating results. Note the exchange between the Master and His disciples: “And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out? And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.” (Mark 9:28–29 AV) Hence, an important lesson: Difficult situations require extraordinary methods to bring about a solution to them. I believe that concerted unified prayer and fasting on the part of believers will greatly aid in coping with this pandemic and in our emerging with ultimate victory.
While there are other lessons yet to be drawn from this text, which we will address in due course, I’d like to challenge us today to access ourselves personally as to whether or not we have done and are doing our part as a fellow believer in being on all designated prayer conference calls and participating in the specified weekly fast day. We must not treat this time of crisis and lockdown in a business as usual manner. Whenever Israel found themselves in crisis, the whole nation prayed and fasted—it was their unified effort and sacrificial consecration that got the attention of God. I believe if we do this, God will do the same for us.
Are you doing your part? This is the one time that we as God’s church and people must stand together.
Yours in His Service,
Bishop Lambert W. Gates, Sr.