Friday, March 2, 2012

Help my unbelief!




Scripture

Immediately the boy’s father cried out and said, “I do believe; help my unbelief.”
(Mark 9:24 NASB)
And He said to them, “This kind cannot come out by anything but prayer.”
(Mark 9:29 NASB)

Observation

Jesus was asked to heal a boy who was suffering terribly. His condition was destroying his life. The father, in desperation asked Jesus to heal his son. Jesus told him that he had to believe and I find the response of the father probably quite similar to something we may say. " Oh yes, I do believe -- well, sort of. Okay, maybe not totally. You're probably right that I don't have a lot of faith. Oh Lord, I want to believe that you can heal my son. Please, help my unbelief!"
The final tag of that story is that the disciples wanted to understand how Jesus could help this boy. Why could they not help him. Jesus reminded them that it was only possible through prayer. We see that Jesus often took off by himself to pray and to be with the father. The disciples kept their distance and would let Jesus pray, but they themselves usually did not. It is not until they await Pentecost that we see the disciples engaging in any type of meaningful prayer life. And, amazingly, it is after Pentecost that they too are able to perform miracles.

Application

I'm thinking there is a lot of thinking space that happens in that one little sentence, "I do believe; help my unbelief." I think that this one sentence probably defines some of my walk with the Lord as well. I want so badly to have faith. I want to believe in his transforming power to make a real and vital difference. The Lord asks us whether we believe and we blurt out -- "Yes, of course, we believe." But do we. In that instant the doubts begin to arise. Can God really do what he promises? Have I seen him do anything miraculous? Maybe I ought to ask someone else for advice? Maybe God wants to work through someone else? There's a huge amount of doubt which does enter into our lives when he asks us to simply trust in him. How can we deal with this doubt? The same way that Jesus was able to heal the boy -- through prayer. The two are related. The faith to believe that God can do the work, and the ability to do he work both are connected to prayer.

People complain that we no longer see many miracles in this day and age. Why is that? Maybe we need to cry out with the father of the boy -- "Help my unbelief!" And then, maybe we need to retreat to a place of solitude and spend time in prayer, in fellowship with our holy loving Father. I want to be a person of greater faith. My heart's cry today is, "Help my unbelief!"

Prayer

Lord, may I seek you in quiet fellowship today and may you, please, help my unbelief.

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