Summary: This sermon deals with Prayer with Fasting and what Jesus said to us. Excerpts from a message of Phil Morgan.
Prayer with Fasting is Powerful!
Scripture: Matthew 17:1-17:21
READ: Mark 2:18-20 (NKJ) 18The disciples of John and of the Pharisees were fasting. Then they came and said to Him, “Why do the disciples of John and of the Pharisees fast, but Your disciples do not fast?”
19And Jesus said to them, “Can the friends of the bridegroom fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them they cannot fast. 20But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast in those days
Note Jesus’ words - “Then they will fast”.
Charles Spurgeon said the condition of the church
can be accurately gauged by its prayer meetings
1. Jesus knew there would come a time when He would not be
physically present any longer with His disciples / with the
2. Perilous times would come when supernatural strength
would be needed. “Then they will fast IN THOSE DAYS.”
3. Church, we are living in such days today - the Bridegroom is
absent and our needs for spiritual power are SO very great.
4. Jesus intends for us to seek after God with great prayer and
5. I believe that there is great power in the principles of
prayer with fasting. But so many people either
a.) ignore fasting (“it’s not for me”), or
b.) misunderstand what fasting is all about, and what is
required for true Christian fasting.
6. In order to see something of the power of prayer and fasting, we need to turn to another passage of Scripture: MATTHEW 17:1-21. [READ.]
7. Jesus returns from His transfiguration, having been aside in
the mountains with Peter, James and John.
8. Upon His return down, they are met by the other disciples
and the crowd of people who were following Jesus to see
the miracles He might perform. And the first thing that
we see is waiting for Jesus is:
1. AN UNMET NEED.
READ v16. 16So I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not cure him.”
A. There was a need that Jesus’ disciples could not
meet - it was beyond their resources (human or
1. Previous to this, Jesus had already given His disciples the authority to heal the sick and cast out demons in His Name.
2. And they went about preaching Jesus’ message of the Kingdom of God, and they healed and delivered just as Jesus said that they would.
B. BUT NOW they have struck a need that is obviously too great for them.
1. 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.
2. There was an UNMET NEED.
C. Let’s not be too quick to criticize the disciples for their inability here.
1. 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?
2. We’ve tried everything; we’ve exhausted all our spiritual resources, and still the need is left seemingly unmet.
3. The sickness remains; the situation is unchanged; the person is unaffected/unsaved/unchallenged. The need is unmet! What are we to do?
D. Jesus came down from the mountain, where He and His closest associates had been in the presence of God, to be faced with this unmet need.
1. They come down from the presence of God where anything and everything is perfect and the possibilities are unlimited - back to the grim realities of life.
(Ever been in a powerful church meeting where you experienced such a touch of God that you felt you could turn the world upside-down, only to go out and bump into someone down the street that you’ve been praying for and there’s no discernible change in them - in fact they seem worse than ever?! You feel the wind leave your sails very quickly. You are confronted by the dilemma - the failure - the tragedy.)
2. Jesus and His associates came down the mountain to face AN UNMET NEED.
a. BUT I praise God that Jesus is the MASTER OF THE UNMET NEED.
b. 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!
17Then Jesus answered and said, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him here to Me.” 18And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour.