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Prayer and Fasting

Tenth Sun­day after Pen­te­cost. [I Cor. 4:9–16; Matt. 17:14–23] This kind goeth not out but by prayer and fast?ing. If this kind goes out by the prayer and fast­ing of anoth­er per?son, then it is even less able to enter one who fasts and prays. What pro?tection! Although there are a slew of demons and all the air is packed with them, they can­not do any­thing to one who is pro­tect­ed by prayer and fast­ing. Fast­ing is uni­ver­sal tem­per­ance, prayer is uni­ver­sal com­mu­ni­ca­tion with God; the for?mer defends from the out­side, where­as the lat­ter from with­in di?rects a fiery weapon against the en?emies. The demons can sense a faster and man of prayer from a dis?tance, and they run far away from him so as avoid a painful blow. Is it fea­si­ble to think that where there is no fast­ing and prayer, there already is a demon? Yes, it is. The demons lodg­ing in a per­son, do not always reveal their pres­ence, but lurk there, stealth­ily teach­ing their host every evil and turn­ing him away from every good thing; so this per?son is cer­tain that he is doing every?thing on his own, but mean­while he is only ful­fill­ing the will of his ene?my. Just com­mence prayer and fast?ing and the ene­my will imme­di­ate­ly depart, then wait on the side for an oppor­tu­ni­ty to some­how return again. And he tru­ly will return, as soon as prayer and fast­ing are abandoned.

Saint Theo­phan the Recluse