“Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?” — Matthew 17:19
“Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.” — Matthew 17:21
I am reading It Is Not Death to Die a biography by Jim Cromarty about Hudson Taylor. I am amazed at how he was able to overcome so many obstacles and to advance the gospel in China during a very difficult time. He was almost always surrounded by war in China. His financial and physical circumstances were often quite dire. And he faced much persecution. Yet, the gospel advanced through him.
Without a doubt, one key to his strength and courage in the face of such obstacles was his walk with the Lord. Early on in his life, he developed great trust in the Lord, learning to pray, to walk with the Lord and to obey Him. It seems that he continued to have a passion for the Lord and look to Him in everything. As a result, he was able to be used mighty of the Lord.
This example of Hudson Taylor demonstrates Matthew 17:14-23. The only way to cast out the demon was with the power of God. The disciples could not, but Jesus did. When they asked why they were unsuccessful, He told them that the power to do this comes only by prayer and fasting.
How sad it was when the man brought his son to Jesus’ disciples and “they could not cure him.” I don’t want to be like that in my life and ministry. I don’t want to be so lacking in faith that I cannot get prayer answered, I cannot help others, and I cannot do anything for God. But if I want to be filled with power, I must be filled with God’s spirit and grow in my walk with Him.