I grew up on the scripture, Matthew 17:21, which states, “However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting” (Matthew 17:21; NKJV). This also appears in Mark 9:29.
Or it did.
In recent years, revisions have been made to several Biblical translations, and the word fasting has been dropped from this particular passage. I was deeply disturbed when I learned this, and I take it as an attempt to decrease the church’s power.
Matthew 17:21 and Mark 9:29 are about demon possession. There was a father asking Jesus to heal his son. Initially, he had taken his son to the disciples, but the disciples could not heal him, so they took him to Jesus.
Jesus recognized it was a demon in the boy and casted it out.
The disciples asked Jesus why they couldn’t do it, and Jesus told them they could not cast out the demon because a) they didn’t have enough faith, and b) because this kind could only be driven out by prayer and fasting.
So, again the scriptures I’m focused on are Matthew 17:21 and Mark 9:29:
These kinds only come out by prayer and fasting.
Matthew 17:21 (NKJV):
“However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”
Mark 9:19 (NKJV):
So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer [a]and fasting.”
Growing up, we lived by these scriptures. I attended Family of Prayer and Praise COGIC, where we held prayer meetings every Friday night. The people wanted to come, especially the young people, because the power of the Holy Spirit was there. Looking back now, I see that fasting was a big part of prayer because we recognized that when we fasted, we were giving the spirit of God a gateway or a portal to operate in our world.
Now, concerning these Biblical revisions, I hear some people saying:
God does not need our fasting to show His power.
God does not require our permission to move in a mighty way.
I reject this notion, because it is God's order to not tamper or interfere with our own free will.
As stated before, prayer with fasting is giving the spirit of God a gateway or a portal to operate in our world. It is a way for us to become empowered with the Holy Spirit and to be equipped to co-labor with Him in bringing His kingdom here on earth.
I’m also hearing and reading people say:
It’s prideful to think that God needs our works of fasting.
It’s prideful to show our public displays of fasting.
I understand what some are trying to say; I do not encourage publicly announcing that one is on a fast. However, fasting to ask God to move in our world is the opposite of pride. It’s the most humble act. Fasting is sacrificing your body and setting aside your desires for God to move like only He can.
In this day, we need fasting like never before. The world knows the power of fasting. That’s why you hear about intermittent fasting, fasting for weight loss, meditation, mindfulness, balance, and fasting to reach higher chakras. All of this you hear is allowed and is widely practiced. Even other religions practice fasting.
So why is there an attempt to take out fasting in our Bible?
Some want to think that higher levels of faith are attainable without fasting. Here’s the thing. Fasting helps your faith grow. When you fast, things start to shift. When you fast, your flesh starts to decrease. And whatever you are fasting from, whether it be food, media, or whatever you give up for God, when you replace that thing with prayer and the word of God, God’s strength will actually increase in you.
What scripture does that sound like? God says: My strength is made perfect in your weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).
In 2016, a Roman Catholic pastor published a blog that stated that the earliest and best manuscripts of the Bible did not include the word “fasting” in this scripture where Jesus casted out the demon in the boy. Several translations have removed the word “fasting” from Mark 9:29, and many have removed Matthew 17:21 all together.
I reject this action, in the name of Jesus! We need prayer AND fasting. Fasting decreases our flesh and increases our spiritual being. Fasting increases our spiritual power and gives us the ability to heal the sick, and perform miracles, signs, and wonders, in Jesus’ name.
Fasting will give us power so that when we pray for the king’s heart or the leader’s heart to change, we can say the king’s heart is in the hands of the Lord, and like the rivers of water, He turns it wherever He wishes (Proverbs 21:1).
These kinds come but by prayer and fasting.
I’m hearing people pray for the anointing of Esther, Daniel, Elijah, etc. I want to remind you that each of these Biblical figures prayed and fasted.
We want to avoid situations where demons don’t recognize us or where they see we have no power and no anointing. We want to avoid them saying, “Jesus I know, and even Paul, but who are you?” (Acts 19:15) We want to prevent this from happening.
Hear me out, church. Fasting is the missing piece of prayer. Do not miss this!
I hear God saying, “Don’t let intellect make you foolish and lose your power!”