Why We Don’t Pray
And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.” Mark 9:28-29
Even though the disciples were given authority over evil spirits (Mark 6:7) and had successfully cast out many demons before (Mark 6:13), they were unable to cast out a spirit possessing a young boy. When the disciples asked Jesus why they were unable to cast out this spirit Jesus answered, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.”
The disciples had either taken for granted the power given them or they had come to believe that this power was inherent in themselves. Either way they no longer depended prayerfully on God for His power, and their failure showed their lack of prayer.
Andrew Murray wrote that, “Prayerlessness is proof that for the most part our life is still under the power of the flesh.”
If you are not praying, then you are quietly confident in something or someone other than God for what you are facing in life. It is often a sign that we have come to rely on our own abilities, money, or just time to make things work.
Jesus was in constant prayer because Jesus knew He couldn’t do life on His own. No matter how busy or tired He was, Jesus made and found time to be alone with His Father.
Martin Luther has been famously known to have said, “I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.”
Godly men and women who have come to realize they are absolutely incapable of handling the pressures of life easily devalue their own productivity and instead spend increasingly more time praying. In fact, time in prayer – practically-speaking – makes you even more dependent on God because you don’t have as much time to get things done! Every minute spent in prayer is one less minute where you can be doing something “productive.” The very act of prayer in itself propels us to rely more on God.
How about you? Does your prayer life reflect this kind of dependency on God or more of a quiet confidence in the flesh?
Here is another related question: do you truly and honestly believe prayer makes a difference? Why do you believe this?
Lastly, is time in prayer something that energizes you or tends to drain you?
Do any of your responses above help you answer the question: “Why we don’t pray?”
Take some of these thoughts and responses into prayer today, and ask the Lord to sharply work in your heart His life-giving words, “for apart from Me you can do nothing.”
Who can fast?
As long as there are no medical reasons for you not to fast it is something anyone can participate in. It is advisable to take great care when considering children fasting. Our advice would be to encourage them to fast perhaps desserts, candy, treats or just one meal a day.
How much do I fast?
This must be determined only between you and God – do what He asks you to. Don’t feel forced or obliged to do more or less than you honestly know God gives you the faith for.
Some people will fast one meal a day. Some will fast two and others will fast all food. Fasting is not a competition or a way of proving your self-discipline to God or people. Be wise about fasting affecting your health and never feel you cannot stop fasting at any time
We strongly advise you to keep your fluid intake up and if you are fasting meals think about the types of fluids you are drinking. Definitely do not consume alcohol while fasting!