In Mark 9:29 Jesus told his diciples the reason they could not cast out the dumb and deaf spirit was because this kind of demon can come forth by nothing but by prayer and fasting. Why?
Regarding the passage in Mark 9, the disciples' collective failure to casting out the demon was not due to an inability to fast. It is actually part of a much larger spiritual issue, and we have a specific teaching regarding this scene and the meaning of Jesus' words available online.
The teaching is found in Lesson 11C in our series on the Gospel of Luke (since Luke records the same scene). Please download the audio teaching for Lesson 11C or read the accompanying teaching notes.