"Then he said to me....not by might, nor by my power but by my Spirit says the Lord of hosts" - Zechariah 4:6
The name "Zechariah" means "God remembers". I think it's easy to forget that in spite of (enter your challenge here), God remembers. His promises are true and what He said will happen, will happen.
In the book of Zechariah, the people of God were in exile...seemingly far away from the promises of God, freedom, and peace. Zechariah, a prophet, offered encouragement to the people of God struggling to rebuild the temple, the place of worship. The task set before them was HUGE! Resources were limited. It was challenging and, I am sure, they felt overwhelmed.
What lay before them were ruins. The trail and stench of sin continued to plague many of them. Zechariah informed the children of Israel that their sins would not go unpunished BUT God will redeem, restore, and rebuild His people.
Zechariah saw snapshots of the future but lived in the harsh realities of the present. The question continued to be asked,...."HOW is God going to do it? How will God take nothing and make something out of it? How will He bring peace to chaos? How will He restore the broken?" The answer is given to us in Zechariah 4:6....it will not happen because of the people BUT by the grace of God. It will not happen because of us, but it will happen in spite of us. It will happen because God is faithful. It is not our skill, strategy, or intellect...it will happen because of the grace and mercies of God. It is by His Spirit alone.
I believe that prayer and fasting are two of the ways we align ourselves with the purpose and plans of God. It's in humility and repentance that we find the hope and promises of God. He resists the proud but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6). I believe that God is rebuilding and restoring His people, but it will not be by might or by power, but by the Spirit of God!