In Matthew and Mark we read how the disciples attempt but fail to cast a devil out of a man. The Lord appears and sets things right pretty quickly. When the disciples ask why they were unable to perform the miracle Jesus seems to accomplish so easily they receive a couple answers. First we read in Matthew 17:20:
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.
So we learn that with only a fraction of faith we can perform amazing feats. Yet, Christ qualifies this statement through both Mark and Matthew. He clarifies “Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.”
Christ very quickly and nearly effortlessly commands what the disciples are unable to and he tells them why he can and they can’t; His faith is the product of his own continuous communion (prayer and fasting) with His Father. This could be the opening to a long analysis of the relationship between faith and works. However, what I have in mind is simply that great and small works, whether they be to lose weight, earn a degree, raise a child, buy a home, learn a language or even to cast out demons (personal or otherwise), will require substantial work. 30 seconds to fab abs, late night exam cram, letting the TV raise your kids, sub-prime mortgages and learning a language without immersion will take you only so far and generally not in the direction you want to go.
So what devils are in your life? What are you prepared to do about them?