Scripture Reading: Mark 9: 14-29
Welcome to the second day of the Year of Divine Destiny and Preservation 2016. Starting from 6th January 2016 all members of the Daily Strength Family shall be embarking of her annual 21 days fasting and prayers program. The reason is our conviction that starting the New Year in God’s presence and committing all that concerns us into his able hand would be the best to happen to us. Dear friends in Christ, our experiences of 2015 may not be different from the bitter experiences of the Israelites in Egypt, which in our case may be characterized by unspeakable hardship in various areas of life, ranging from unfulfilled expectations, failure in our attempts to overcome some evil and sinful habits, spiritual fruitlessness, prolonged sickness, and so on. You may not be the one involved in this hardship, may be your son, daughter, relatives or a close friend, but the person’s condition gives you some concern.
Like the father of the demonic possessed boy, “Jesus asked the father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood Beloved, the common thing with heroes of faith in the scriptures is that none despaired despite the number of years in captivity and suffering; they kept hope alive. It was hope and faith as our scriptural reference tells us that pushed the father of the child to move forward to meet the apostles for a solution. When the apostles failed, he did not give up, rather he moved further to meet Jesus; the only and last anchor of our faith. “Why did we fail?”, the apostles asked our Lord, “And He replied to them, this kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer and fasting” (Mark 9:29, AMP). With this, Jesus reveals the secret of spiritual power that makes the difference, the power to achieve the impossible. Without this spiritual secret, it was impossible for the apostles deliver the boy from the torment of Satan. Hear this; it is the secret which made Elijah and Moses outstanding in their ministries. They were men of fasting and prayer, (Deut. 9:9, 1King 19:8). Even our Lord Jesus was a man of fasting and prayer (Matt. 4:2).
Child of God, the decline in the act of fasting and prayer as it was in the early church may be partly responsible for the poor manifestation of divine power as it was in the days of old. Fasting and prayer help us acquire mastery over our instincts and freedom of heart, (cf. CCC 2043).
Once again time has come, during this 21days fasting and prayer program organized by the DAILY STRENGTH DEVOTIONAL family to seek the Lord, time to achieve the impossible, time to cross the red sea that have been preventing you from moving forward, time to employ the exercise of fasting and prayer to crucify our flesh and its ungodly passions, time to fast and pray in order to gain victory over the forces of evil. St. John Chrysostom summarizes the importance of fasting thus, “Fasting is the support of our soul: it gives us wings to ascend on high, and to enjoy the highest contemplation. Fasting and prayer is a general necessity for spiritual advancement, it is a powerful spiritual weapon to pull down demonic stronghold and a powerful invocation for divine help. “Let us conclude today’s reflection with the words of St. Francis De Sale “We must fast with our whole heart, that is to say, willingly, whole-heartedly, universally and entirely”. To be continued tomorrow.
- Begin your prayer with this song: “Give me grace to follow, abundant grace to follow…”
- Tell God to empower you to be able to participate in this new year’s 21 days fasting and prayer
- Father prepare me for an encounter with you during this new year’s 21 days fasting and prayer
- Lord take away anything that will hinder me from participating actively in this new year’s 21 days fasting and prayer
- I receive the grace, the power, the strength, the zeal, the disposition, the spirit, the hunger, the enablement to participate in this New Year’s 21 days fasting and prayer in the name of Jesus-Amen.
- Take the Prayer “Stay with me Lord” by St. Pio
Exercise: Invite someone to be part of this year’s fasting and prayer program.
Memory Verse: Matthew 6:16