“Entering In – The Servant’s Battle” 
Mark 9:14-29

“So He said to them, ‘This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.’” – Mark 9:29

This was Jesus’ response when His disciples asked why they could not cast out an evil spirit.

Jesus had just come down from the Mount of Transfiguration with Peter, James, and John and they encountered a boy with a “deaf and dumb spirit” [Mk 9:25]

The other disciples were unable to deliver him, and therefore confusion and feelings of helplessness set in. It is what happens when darkness gets the attention. The key is to turn that attention toward Jesus.

Notice the digression from all attention on Jesus at the Transfiguration to all attention on the boy at the mountain’s base.

And while the disciples had compassion for the boy, they were helpless to deliver him. It was an environment of increased fear and decreased faith. “O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you?” [v.19]

This passage also underscores an important feature in this world: Tthere is a spiritual world behind it. What we see in the physical oftentimes needs to be dealt with in the spiritual, which involves faith and prayer [and fasting].

“Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” [Heb 11:1]

And that is where our spiritual arsenal of prayer and fasting comes in. “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places.” [Eph 6:12]

We do not see the “principalities.” But God’s word tells us they are there. They are real and they manifest in a variety of ways, even in people.

Our tendency, however, is to battle things we physically see with physical remedies, like with medicine and therapy. But oftentimes the battle needs to be done spiritually, through prayer and fasting. “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.” These are the very words of Jesus!

And while there may be a place for medicine, it can never replace faithful prayer and fasting.

Our weapons are spiritual, and our battle is prayer. It is the Servant’s Battle as well, for “He always lives to make intercession” [Heb 7:25]. Might we come alongside Him and enter the battle for souls with our own personal intercession.