The Missing Element: Prayer

John Koedyker

Read: Mark 9:25-29

This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer. (v. 29)

Competent people are usually self-confident people. They believe in their own abilities. That would pretty much describe the disciples of Jesus at this point. They were feeling pretty good. They had befriended the biggest sensation to hit the Middle East in centuries. They had witnessed some amazing miracles, and they were in training to do the same things Jesus did and even greater (John 14:12)!

Here was their big opportunity! Jesus had gone up the mountain with Peter, James, and John. Why not try their hand at healing? The need was urgent. This boy was in bad shape, and his father was beside himself. But they couldn’t do it. They failed miserably. Fortunately, Jesus got back soon, as noted in yesterday’s reading. The boy was on the ground rolling around foaming at the mouth. After a brief conversation with the father, Jesus rebuked the evil spirit and commanded it to come out of the boy. Jesus took the boy by the hand and stood him up. He was healed.

“Why could we not cast it out?” the disciples asked Jesus later. “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer,” was his answer. Prayer—the missing element. The disciples thought they could do it on their own. But they couldn’t. Nor can we. We cut ourselves off from great power when we don’t pray. —John Koedyker

Prayer: Father, help us never to think we can do it on our own. Help us always to look to you for the strength beyond ourselves. Amen.