Our sword is a two edge broadsword that must be wielded with both hands. The edges are Prayer and Fasting. Wielded together they make you a powerful soldier of Christ. If you let one side or the other go dull or unused and you may falter in battle. If you let both sides go dull then you cease to be an effective soldier for Christ.
“Jesus, on seeing a crowd rapidly gathering, rebuked the unclean spirit and said to it, “Mute and deaf spirit, I command you: come out of him and never enter him again!” Shouting and throwing the boy into convulsions, it came out. He became like a corpse, which caused many to say, “He is dead!”
When he entered the house, his disciples asked him in private, “Why could we not drive it out?” He said to them, “This kind can only come out through prayer.”
Mark 9:25-26, 28-29
Prayer is one of the three tenets of Knighthood in our Order and is the road on which your relationship with Jesus Christ, the God-man, is trodden. Frequent prayer means frequent communication with God, it means frequently asking God what His will for your life is, and it means frequent honing of your mind to work in His ways.
As you grow in your faith and you walk more closely with Jesus you will be attacked. The devil and his angels do not want you to love Jesus or walk with him. Your faith in Jesus Christ and your prayers are your only weapon in spiritual warfare. Keep your sword sharp and pray without ceasing.
For more about this edge of our Sword see the Pray section of the website.
“When you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites. They neglect their appearance, so that they may appear to others to be fasting. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you may not appear to others to be fasting, except to your Father who is hidden. And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you."
Notice Jesus says "When you fast", not if you fast, but "When you fast". This means that Jesus expects you to fast. Just as the Prophets and Kings of the Old Covenant did, just as Jesus did, just as the Apostles and disciples did, just as the saints did and do. Fasting is essential, and fasting and prayer go together like bread and butter, rarely do you find one happening without the other. The reason for this is simple, fasting is a physical way to grow in your relationship with God.
Prayer occurs in the mind and fasting occurs in the body. Just as we are two part creatures: soul and body, our relationship with God should not neglect half of our being. Fasting, at its core, is the purposeful abstaining from the consumption of wanted food or drink. It is purposeful in that it is done for a purpose. We don't fast simply to fast, we fast to obtain graces, reparation for sin, to show obedience to God, to obtain graces or sanctification for other people, and to focus our prayer.
This is why Fasting is the other edge of our sword. Fasting is effective in our spiritual struggles. A man who is used to denying himself things he wants for the sake of himself, his family, and his friends, is better equipped to cut through temptation. Fighting through the thorn bushes of temptation with a dull blade will result in a battered and bruised knight at best and an ensnared knight at worst. Fast and pray to keep your mind and your body firmly in God's hands and ready to join battle with Satan when he attacks.