The disciples have witnessed this whole scene and naturally they wonder why they were unable to heal the boy. So they ask Jesus about it in Mark 9:28-29. After the disciples’ failure, they see how this father responds to Jesus in faith, and they wonder why they couldn’t perform the miracle. So Jesus gives them a lesson in discipleship. He teaches them that if they are going to do what he has called them to do, they have to pray. There are going to be times when they can’t just coast. There are going to be times when they are going to have to fall on their face before God. There are going to be obstacles before them that they won’t be able to overcome unless they pray. He shows them that their failure to pray is failure to exercise faith. Prayer is the action brought about by faith. A person who practices faith in Jesus prays. It is a demonstration of dependence upon God rather than ourselves. The reason they failed to perform the work of healing the boy is found in their prayerlessness and faithlessness, not in Jesus’ power. Jesus’ followers will fail, but he won’t. Jesus was willing and able to heal the boy, but when his disciples attempted it in their own power, without relying on God, they failed. If we are going to be involved in the work God is doing in our lives, our church, our homes, our community, and our world, one essential way we involve ourselves is through prayer. If we fail to pray, we fail.
There is a great book called “the Autobiography of George Muller”. He entered into ministry in a round-about way and pastored a small church in England. He was moved to start an orphanage that had only a handful of children. By the end of his life, he oversaw the care of over 1000 orphans. Many times in his morning prayers he would ask God for the food or the rent that was needed that day, and as he rose from praying, a knock would come at the door and a person would be there to provide the need. He would pray for a precise amount of money to pay the rent, or for that day’s food for the children, and it was provided over and over. He put himself in a position where God had to come through for him and over and over he did. He didn’t strategize or market or fundraise or network. He prayed and God moved. If you struggle to trust God with your needs pick up this book. Reading it will encourage you greatly.
Everyone recommends prayer, but few devote themselves to prayer. MC Hammer sang, “You’ve got to pray just to make it today.” Even Justin Bieber has a song called “Pray“. But, we don’t take time to pray because we don’t believe that God would move if we asked him. We don’t pray because we don’t believe it works. So, we work harder, or we worry and we place everything on our own shoulders which cannot bear the weight. We rush quickly to worrying, and stressing, and complaining, and griping, but when it comes to prayer all we say is, “All we can do now is pray”. Jesus showed us a life of prayer and in this passage he is teaching his followers about it. This is crucial to learn for our personal walk with the Lord.
If you want God to move in your life, or your home, or in our church, it begins and ends with prayer. If you want to be part of something great that God is doing it begins and ends with prayer. If you want to see someone in your life follow Jesus, it begins and ends with prayer. If you want God to set your life right, it begins and ends with prayer. Remember Jesus says that the proper response the Kingdom of God coming is belief and repentance. Prayer is one way we demonstrate belief and repentance. If you want God to move in your life, you have to believe in who he is and what he says, and you have to align your life accordingly. And this gives us plenty to pray about. So whatever it is that you see in your life that needs the hand of God to touch it, turn to him in prayer. If you’re tired of doing life your way because it isn’t working out like you expected, turn to him in prayer. If you want to be part of the great and eternal plan of God and what he is doing in redeeming and restoring his creation, it begins in prayer.