Mark 9:27 - 29
ESV - 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. 28 And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, "Why could we not cast it out?
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I would take Jesus to be indicating that there are ranks or orders of evil spirits (just as there are among angels), some of which are stronger or more powerful than others. He was saying that expulsion of the particular type of evil spirit that the apostles had been trying to cast out of the child in the account cited in the question (which was not only powerful, but also had apparently been in the boy for a long time) required greater preparation, and a deeper or more profound faith and communion with God, than found in a mere statement (even one made in Christ's name). This could be achieved only by spiritual discipline and dedication, as attained and reinforced by such practices as fasting and prayer -- not done as a show of piety, but as a means of achieving increased focus on and access to God and His greater power.
I believe the reason they could not cast out the demon was not because that demon was more powerful but that the disciples faith was weak. He told them they needed to fast and pray because they needed to build their faith up. Remember the Lord said if we had faith as a grain of mustard seed we could tell the mountain to be cast into the sea. The name of Jesus is powerful enough to cast out any demon provided the person exercising that authority has the faith to believe it.
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