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CityLight Pastor Commentary:
Mark 9:29 tells us that if we are to minister effectively, we must pray and fast in advance. Surely Jesus was not telling His disciples that in this specific instance, with a possessed child in front of them, they should have asked the boy and his father to come back for prayer after they had a chance to pray and fast. Jesus was issuing an opinion on the disciples’ lifestyle. If they had been praying and fasting adequately on a routine basis, they would have had all the confidence and anointing they needed to cast out the spirit. We must pray in advance. When we do, God will give us all the instructions we need – in advance – so that when we encounter tough situations we are fully prepared.
“Father, I want to have a lifestyle of prayer! Help me to pray and fast in advance of tough situations, even when I don’t feel like I ‘need’ to. Your presence builds faith, and I want to spend more time in it.”