Monday 21st October, 2019
Theme: One Thing
Passage: Mark 9:14-29
14 When they joined the rest of the disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and some teachers of the Law arguing with them. 15 When the people saw Jesus, they were greatly surprised, and ran to him and greeted him. 16 Jesus asked his disciples, “What are you arguing with them about?”
17 A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, because he has an evil spirit in him and cannot talk. 18 Whenever the spirit attacks him, it throws him to the ground, and he foams at the mouth, grits his teeth, and becomes stiff all over. I asked your disciples to drive the spirit out, but they could not.”
19 Jesus said to them, “How unbelieving you people are! How long must I stay with you? How long do I have to put up with you? Bring the boy to me!” 20 They brought him to Jesus.
As soon as the spirit saw Jesus, it threw the boy into a fit, so that he fell on the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth. 21 “How long has he been like this?” Jesus asked the father.
“Ever since he was a child,” he replied. 22 “Many times the evil spirit has tried to kill him by throwing him in the fire and into water. Have pity on us and help us, if you possibly can!”
23 “Yes,” said Jesus, “if you yourself can! Everything is possible for the person who has faith.”
24 The father at once cried out, “I do have faith, but not enough. Help me have more!”
25 Jesus noticed that the crowd was closing in on them, so he gave a command to the evil spirit. “Deaf and dumb spirit,” he said, “I order you to come out of the boy and never go into him again!”
26 The spirit screamed, threw the boy into a bad fit, and came out. The boy looked like a corpse, and everyone said, “He is dead!” 27 But Jesus took the boy by the hand and helped him rise, and he stood up.
28 After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive the spirit out?”
29 “Only prayer can drive this kind out,” answered Jesus; “nothing else can.”
Here was a boy who had an evil spirit, who was possessed by ‘a demon’ (Matthew 17:18), ‘a spirit that had robbed him of speech’ ( Mark 9:17). The disciples sought the healing of this boy, but failed completely; a tragic failure. They were helpless and powerless. This was more tragic because Jesus had expressly given them power to work miracles and they had at one time or the other, exercised this power successfully (Matthew 10:1 and 8; and Luke 10:17). But at that moment the Father of the boy said ‘They could not…….’ It was a public failure and a humiliating experience for the disciples.
Notice what the disciples asked Jesus privately in verse 28. This indicates the shame, humiliation and disappointment they felt. But what a good thing it is if we can find grace to ask this question! How necessary it is, when we fail, to ask “What has gone wrong?” It is important to ask why the Church is powerless and vital to make a right diagnosis when we come to the Lord in humility and confession, and ask Him, ‘Why couldn’t we drive it out?’ The one thing that is lacking is PRAYER that is back up with fasting and strong faith in God, with whom all things are possible. Certain situations require urgent and persistent prayer, and if this is deficient there will be a deficiency of power. Evidently the disciples had not prayed enough–they were powerless. How challenging when our own life and ministry become powerless and fruitless! There is no substitute for prayer, especially in circumstances that seem impossible.
MEMORY VERSE: Mark 9:19 “And he answered them, “O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me.”
HYMN: MHB 461- O FOR a closer walk with God
PRAYER: Sovereign God, deliver me from spiritual lukewarmness and send revival into every area of my life, especially my prayer life, in Jesus Name I Pray, Amen.