Thursday, April 20, 2006

I Believe, Help My Unbelief

When they came to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them, and the teachers of the law arguing with them. As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him.
"What are you arguing with them about?", he asked. A man in the crowd answered,
"Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.
"O' unbelieving generation," Jesus replied, "how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me." So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth. Jesus asked the boys father, "How long has he been like this?"
"From childhood," he answered. "It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us."
"If you can?", said Jesus. "Everything is possible for him who believes." Immediately the boys father exclaimed, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!"

When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the evil spirit. "You deaf and mute spirit," he said, "I command you, come out of him and never enter him again."
The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, "He's dead." But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up.
(Mark 9:14-27)

It's a story of a father and his son. Neither are named, but I know the father, he lives in my skin.

There are two things I love about this story, both bring encouragement and hope.

One is that God hears my prayers even when my faith is shaky and my doubts are firm. He always stands ready to lift me up, even when I have thrown myself to the ground. The second is that God listens and acts on the prayers I offer on behalf of those who cannot or choose not to voice them on their own.

So to sum it up, I don't have to know God in fullness for Him to hear my prayers and act in my life and those I'm concerned about don't have to know Him at all for Him to be willing to impact their life. So bring your doubts, bring your fears and bring your friends who are confined to a mat. Bring them all before the Lord our God who is faithful to all in need.

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