They thought they could do it. They were charged by Jesus to heal the sick, so when a man
brought his son to the Disciples for a healing it was just a matter of following procedures. But this time, something was off. They were unable to heal the boy.
The story is picked up in the Gospel of Matthew (in chapter 17). The man brought his son to Jesus for a healing complaining that the Disciples were unable to remove the evil from his son. Jesus heals the boy by extracting the disease and illness from his body. The Disciples had tried but failed. They wanted to know why they were unable to expel the disease from the boy?
Jesus explains, “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you. But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”
It is to the two conditions of faith – the catalysts of the faith in action, so to speak – prayer and fasting on which we focus today.
We have the power within us to bring about the changes necessary to move mountains, that is, to make the seemingly impossible truly possible. Healing disease and illness, amending our lifestyle, altering our course and direction, mending the holes in our relationships and living in harmony are all attainable. The mustard seed is of such small size and proportion. When faith is there, it’s there. The quality control on faith, so to speak, is governed by prayer and fasting.
The parable of the “Unrighteous Judge” in the Gospel of Luke (chapter 18) is a rather bizarre story of a powerless woman who brings down the politically potent and ruthless magistrate by being persistent. The story is so off that it warrants a note of intention by the author so that there’s no misunderstanding by the reader: “And Jesus spoke this parable about their need to always pray and not to lose heart.”
Faith is yours. You have it. You’re on this journey, aren’t you? The need for prayer and fasting are matters of discipline. They are the necessary tools by which faith stays alive, that is, faith does not stay dormant and useless, but alive and active. It might be easy to think of it in scientific terms of potential and kinetic energy. Our faith is stored (potential), waiting to move the mountains in our life. When we pray and fast, the energy is pushed into motion, so that it manifests in the actions of our life.
Prayer is the conversation you have with God and yourself. Fasting is the cleansing and the discipline of body so that mind and soul find a place within the whole. The seemingly impossible is made possible because faith is now activated in your life.
We pray today,
Lord, open my heart to your love. Open my mind to your wisdom. Open my body to your healing. I acknowledge the faith that is planted in my spirit. Push it to the brink of my soul so that it moves into every part of my body to become the action of my life, to bring about complete recovery of my ills, peace and harmony to my spirit and the world. Amen.