“Immediately the boy’s father cried out and began saying, ‘I do believe; help my unbelief'” (Mark 9:24)
Yesterday, I prayed with a few friends at my son’s school. They have a prayer meeting every Tuesday morning open to the community. They pray for the school and all that concerns it as well as the families that attend the school. I was so blessed to be a part of it and although I have prayed with this group in the past, yesterday was a bit different. The leader of the group took some time to pray for those in our midst that were sick. And as she prayed, I had this conviction in my spirit that the woman praying truly believed that God would heal. There was no doubt in her words. She didn’t pray, “if it be your will” or “will you please heal God?” She prayed healing over those people. As I sat there listening to her prayer, I was convicted about the times I don’t really believe God will do a work. I pray for it hoping, but my attitude seems to be more of a “whatever” you want God instead of “you are able” type of prayer. I guess I never thought about this before until I was confronted with someone who believes in the depths of her soul that God will do a work. There was no question in her request. There was no wondering and petition. There was simply a peace and a confidence in a God that will do mighty things.
My younger son is relentless. When he gets something in his head, he will not stop until he gets action. He doesn’t just want an answer of yes, I will do it later. He wants action and he doesn’t give up until he gets it. This type of behavior usually has to do with going to the video game store. He asks, I let him know when we can fit it into the schedule and then he proceeds to try and get the time moved up. If I say I’ll do it on Tuesday, he tries to talk me into doing it on Monday. If I promise we will go tomorrow, he asks, “why not today?” My attempt to give him a solid day and time never satisfies him. He’s always pushing for more. Lately, he gets to request once and if he asks again I tell him I’m not going at all. This keeps him quiet. But I have to give him credit for his persistence. He tries and tries to change my mind and as long as he’s trying, he has hope. He doesn’t give up until I give him an ultimatum.
I think we should be the same with our prayers. We should pray and pray believing that God will do what we have asked. We should be relentless and persistent and determined. We shouldn’t be wishy-washy in our prayers. We should be strong and confident. After listening to this woman pray yesterday, I have come to realize that there are times I wonder if God will ever do what I’m asking of Him. Will he change that person’s heart? Will He bring healing? Will He help me out of the pit I’ve dug for myself? Of course He will. All I have to do is read my Bible and I will encounter story after story of changed hearts. The crooked tax collector turned honest and followed Jesus. The impetuous fisherman gave up the business to fish for souls. The Christian killer turned evangelist. Over and over we read of God doing a mighty work in the most unlikely circumstances. So why don’t we believe He can work in our little situation?
I think I realized yesterday that I spend a lot of time complaining to God about people and circumstances. And when I pray, I forget that God is able. He is more than capable of changing hearts. He is more than qualified to solve problems. He is strong enough to cure the most terrible disease. I have to be confident in that. I have to believe it and pray with fervor over each and every request. I can’t be apathetic. God desires to answer our prayers. Our prayers are inspired by His Spirit. He knows our desires, our fears and our requests before we ever form them into words. When we come before the throne, we must be convinced that He will answer. I don’t know how I have become so indifferent in my prayer time. Perhaps I feel like God hasn’t answered some of my prayers as I have requested. Maybe there’s a part of me that doesn’t want to be disappointed, so I’ve stopped trying. But yesterday, I was convicted in my heart that I cannot bring my petitions before the Lord unless I believe in the depths of my soul that He will answer. I have to be convinced that God is willing and able. I have to be determined and relentless. There is no room for unbelief.
Lord, help my unbelief!