The Unbelieving Believer – Mark 9:14-29

prayer2“And he answered them, ‘O faithless generations, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you?” (Mark 9:20, ESV)

The story of Jesus healing a boy with an unclean spirit demonstrates the dilemma many Christians face when trying to live out their faith. They may find themselves become unbelieving believers!

Jesus finds some of his disciples arguing with some Jewish religious leaders and a crowd had gathered around them. A man in the crowd explains to Jesus that since childhood his son has been possessed by a demon that causes the boy to have seizures, convulsions, and not be able to talk.

Jesus’s disciples were unable to cast out the demon, so the father pleaded with Jesus to help the boy if He could.

Jesus seemed astonished at the father’s lack of faith in His ability to heal the boy!

Jesus reminded the father of the great possibilities for those with faith.

The father then changed his plea to these words, “I believe, help my unbelief” (Mark 9:24).

The father’s second plea is an appeal to which I can relate. I think I believe, but my belief doesn’t seem to work as good with the hard problems of life as it does with the easy ones.

Like the father in the story, I am an unbelieving believer! I find myself confessing, “Lord, I believe you can, but I don’t believe you will!”

So how did I get this way?

When the disciples asked Jesus why they couldn’t cast out the demon, He said, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer” (Mark 9:29).

Did He mean the disciples should have prayed a longer, louder exorcism prayer?

No, Jesus meant that you must be prayed up when you encounter a severe spiritual struggle. Prayer must be a mainstay of the way you live your life. Prayer must be an established pattern in your life. You must have a lifestyle of prayer to confront the hard problems of life when they occur.

To stop being an unbelieving believer, you must become a praying believer!

“The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” (James 5:16, ESV)

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