Exploring Prayer With
By Pastor Jack Hyles (1926-2001)
Chapter 49 — “This Kind” of Answers to Prayer
Mark 9:29, "And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting."
Mark 9:23, "Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth."
This chapter deals with God's provisions for the big needs of our lives. There are times when our needs rise far above the normal ones of daily provisions such as food, clothing, shelter, etc. There is a need for healing from a serious illness. There is a need for a wayward son or daughter to be brought back to God. In such cases and in other cases where the need is a great one, the conditions for God answering our prayer may be somewhat different as follows:
1. God is a God Who answers big requests. Jeremiah 33:3, "Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not." Notice especially the words, "great and mighty things." Matthew 13:58, "And He did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief." Notice in this passage that there is a reason why God does not do great and mighty things. Notice especially the words, "He did NOT many mighty works there because of their unbelief."
Psalm 81:10, " I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it." There are times when God wants us to open our mouths wide! There is something big He wants to give us.
Jeremiah 32:17,26,27, "Ah Lord GOD! behold, Thou hast made the heaven and the earth by Thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for Thee: Then came the word of the LORD unto Jeremiah, saying, Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for Me?" Our God is a God of limitless power and there is nothing that He cannot do.
Matthew 17:20,21, "And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting." Especially take note of the words, "this kind." This teaches us that there is a certain kind of need that requires a certain kind of action. This is talking about the big prayers which require big answers for big needs. Such was the case of the boy who was possessed by the demon. While Jesus was on the mount of transfiguration with Peter, James and John, talking to Moses and Elijah, a man brought his demon-possessed son to the disciples. The disciples tried to heal him, but they could not. When Jesus returned from the transfiguration, the man brought his son to our Lord. Our Lord healed his son. Then the disciples asked Jesus why they were unable to do so while He was gone, whereupon Jesus reminded them that "THIS KIND goeth not out but by prayer and fasting."
Ephesians 3:20,21, "Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen." Notice especially the words, "exceedingly abundantly." Again God is talking about big answers to big prayers.
James 4:2, "Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not." If we have not because we ask not, then it could be said we have little because we ask little or we have much because we ask much.
Isaiah 59:1, "Behold, the LORD's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear." Luke 1:37, "For with God nothing shall be impossible." Notice again the limitless power of God which reminds us that God can and wants to answer our big requests.
2. For big answers to big requests, God usually requires prayer and fasting. Mark 9:28,29, "And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out? And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting." Moses needed something big from God when he fasted forty days on Mount Sinai. Jesus needed something big from the Father when He fasted forty days in the wilderness of temptation. Daniel, Ezra, Jeremiah, Paul, Joshua, David, Anna, Barnabas and other great Bible Christians were asking big things from God because we find them fasting.
A big thing was being asked in Jonah 3:5-7, "So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them. For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water."
A big thing was being asked by the Jews in Esther 4:16, "Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish."
A big thing was asked by Joshua after the battle of Ai when he called a fast. It was also a big thing that was being asked by Ezra when he called a fast in Ezra 8:21-23, "Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river of Ahava, that we might afflict ourselves before our God, to seek of him a right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance. For I was ashamed to require of the king a band of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy in the way: because we had spoken unto the king, saying, The hand of our God is upon all them for good that seek him; but his power and his wrath is against all them that forsake him. So we fasted and besought our God for this: and he was intreated of us."
A big thing was being asked in Cornelius in Acts 10:30, "And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing."
Hence, if a child of God learns to get his big needs from his Father, he must learn how to fast. Sometimes this means hours of fasting. Sometimes it means days of fasting. Sometimes it may even mean weeks of fasting. One can have conversions without fasting, but if he has THIS KIND of conversions, he will have to pray and fast. There are some kinds of revival that we can have without fasting, but if we want THIS KIND of revival, we will have to learn to fast. There are some miracles that may be obtained without fasting, but if we want THIS KIND of miracles, we will have to learn to pray and fast.
3. There are several types of fasting. We normally associate fasting with being deprived of food, but actually it includes more than just the appetite for food. It includes at least the following:
(1) food. God wants us to enjoy food. That is why He made it so tasty. It is so wonderful that God provided for us the means of enjoying that which if our fuel. Psalm 103:2,5, "Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's." No doubt when God made the apple He said, "I'm going to make it tasty so My people can enjoy their refueling." When He made the strawberry, He thought likewise. Yet, sometimes for a big request to be answered, God requires us to go without food for a season. In most cases it could be one day a week. Often I have prayed and fasted for one day a week when seeking God's help concerning a big need. There have been times when I have seen fit to fast three days per week or maybe just for three days in begging God for a certain thing that would require a miracle. Then there have been times when the fasting should last for longer seasons. If a person is to fast for the first time, it would be wise for him to counsel with someone who has had experience at fasting before he enters into a fast.
(2) Sleep. The Lord was good to us when He gave us that "R and R" time of the day when our bodies are refreshed through sleep. Psalm 127:2, "It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep." Yet there are times when our needs are great and when to have them met would require a miracle when a person should pray and fast without sleep. Our Lord often spent the night in prayer, and we are admonished that if we would have the mighty power of God upon our lives we will have to forfeit our sleep on some occasions in order to have our big requests answered.
(3) Beauty. Be that, I am referring to the beauty of nature. This chapter is being written while driving through the beautiful mountains of northern California. God certainly must have been loving us when He made this part of the world. I think He said, "My people will enjoy these beautiful evergreens. They will feel secure when they see these mountains. They will love the shade of these beautiful valleys. God must have loved us a lot when He carved the Puget Sound. He must have loved us a lot what He made those pyramidic mountains that we call the Rockies. He must have had us in mind when He raised the redwoods as the Samson of all the trees, when He dropped lakes in Minnesota like teardrops of piety, when He raised the pines of the Carolinas like steeples on the horizon, when He painted the deserts of Arizona and when He mingled all of those colors to form the rainbow. Yet, there are times when we are to deprive ourselves of such satisfaction to our senses. These are times when we need great answers to great prayers from a great God. This is why we are admonished, "Enter into thy closet." There are times when all of our beauty should be found in Him and He should become our bread, our food and our rest. We enter into a closet without sleep and without food, and we plead with God for the miracles!
(4) sex. God was merciful and kind when He made the reproductive process a pleasure, and certainly He reminds us that marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled. Hebrews 13:4, "Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge." Yet, just as is the case of eating, in sleeping and in seeing the beauty of nature, there are times when couples should forego the pleasures of love-making in order to seek the mighty power of God or to receive a miracle from our Heavenly Father. Notice Exodus 19:14,15, "And Moses went down from the mount unto the people, and sanctified the people; and they washed their clothes. And he said unto the people, Be ready against the third day: come not at your wives." Here is an example when husbands and wives were told to withdraw themselves from each other in an effort to seek a miracle.
Fasting could be applied to other things such as sports, music, pleasure, hobbies, etc. There are times when an answer to prayer is going to one of miraculous proportions and we are going to have to have THIS KIND of answer. "THIS KIND cometh forth by nothing but by prayer and fasting." Oh, may God teach us to open our mouths wide to seek THIS KIND of answers by THIS KIND of praying and fasting!
PREVIOUS | NEXT | TABLE OF CONTENTS