And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying, Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water. And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him. Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me. And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour. Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? 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.
I have heard people twist this verse to say that we should be praying and fasting to get demons out, but not casting them out. Or maybe some demons shouldn’t be cast out, but prayed out. I want to point out a few things about this passage that will put new light on this situation…
First, Jesus was living a man’s life here on earth, and had no special abilities that we don’t possess today when it comes to casting out demons and healing the sick. Jesus said that by Himself, He could do nothing (see John 5:19), but the reason He was able to go about healing all who were oppressed of the devil is because God was with Him - He was anointed with the Holy Spirit (see Acts 10:38). Therefore, what He did, He also expects us to do as well. He said that those who believe upon Him will do the works that He did and greater (see John 14:12).
Second, how did Jesus deal with this deliverance case? Did Jesus call a fast and “pray the demon out”? No! Jesus CAST it out! Jesus was already prayed and fasted up and had the faith in His father to do the deliverance. The disciples were not prayed and fasted up, and therefore had unbelief in their heart. Notice that Jesus said that the reason that they were unable to drive out the demon was because of their unbelief (see Matthew 17:19-20).
Jesus’ disciples asked, “Why couldn’t we cast this thing out?”
Jesus replied, “Because of your unbelief…”
Jesus didn’t rebuke the disciples for not praying the demon out, but rather because they lacked faith, which they should have been obtaining through prayer and fasting on a regular bases. Jesus on the other hand, was prepared to cast the demon out, without having to call a fast and pray it out. Jesus was already fasted and prayed up!