Mathew Cowley

Priesthood Blessing

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Power of Fasting

Remember we have great opportunities, great opportunities to bless. Sometimes I wonder if we do enough in our administration of the sick. You know when the disciples tried to cast out a dumb spirit they couldn't do it, or they didn't do it. The Master came along, and he immediately cast out the dumb spirit. Then the disciples said, "Why could not we cast him out?" And what did Christ say? "This kind cometh not out save by fasting and by prayer." (See Matt. 17:21.)

Sometimes we rush in, administer to a person, rush out and say, "Well, he won't make it. I know he won't." Of course, we have to go immediately in case of an emergency. Sometimes I wonder, if we have a little time, if we shouldn't do a little fasting.  "This kind cometh not out save by fasting and by prayer."

A little over a year ago a couple came into my office carrying a little boy. The father said to me, "My wife and I have been fasting for two days, and we've brought our little boy up for a blessing. You are the one we've been sent to." I said, "What's the matter with him?" They said he was born blind, deaf and dumb, no coordination of his muscles, couldn't even crawl at the age of five years. I said to myself, "This is it. 'This kind cometh not out save by fasting and by prayer.' " I had implicit faith in the fasting and the prayers of those parents. I blessed that child, and a few weeks later I received a letter: "Brother Cowley, we wish you could see our little boy now. He's crawling. When we throw a ball across the floor he races after it on his hands and knees. He can see. When we clap our hands over his head he jumps. He can hear." Medical science had laid the burden down. God had taken over. The little boy was rapidly recovering or really getting what he'd never had.

I have a friend down in Honolulu. He was called one day to the hospital by one of our native sisters who had a child there with polio. She said, "Bishop, hurry up to the hospital and give my child a blessing." That was one morning. He never showed up all day. The next afternoon he went up, and she started giving him a tongue lashing. "You, my bishop, your own boss. I asked you to come and bless my child seriously ill, and you didn't show up." He waited until she had finished and then he said, "When I  hung up the receiver yesterday I started to fast. I've been fasting and praying. Now I'm ready." That was early in the afternoon. He blessed the child. The child went home that evening, released from the hospital. "This kind cometh not out save by fasting and by prayer."