Before Jesus arrived, a father had asked the disciples to help his demonized son (Mark 9:14-29). They failed. The man was disheartened. Now in response to Jesus’ questions, he says, “But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”
Jesus leans into this man’s hopelessness and says, “‘If you can’? Everything is possible for one who believes.” Jesus is inviting the man to shift his trust from his confidence to Jesus. Jesus will do good things for those that trust in Him.
The man cries out this simple prayer: “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” This father is not confident how things are going to work out for his son, but he is choosing to trust in Jesus to work them out for true good.
There will be times when we too have no confidence in how a seemingly hopeless situation will be resolved. Jesus is not asking us to believe in our faith, he is asking us to believe in Him and His goodness. Crying out in simple prayer is one way to make this shift.
“We do not pretend to be more holy, more pure, or more saintly than we actually are. We do not try to conceal our conflicting and contradictory motives from God—or ourselves. And in this posture we pour out our heart to the God who is greater than our heart and who knows all things (1 John 3:20).”
Are simple prayers something we can try in our private relationship with God?
Are simple prayers something we could try as we learn to pray for one another?