Summary: Don’t let failure robs us of faith in God. Develop your faith in God through a lifestyle of prayer and communion with God.

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Failure has a great impact in our lives. Once beaten, twice shy.

• When we failed, we are hit by discouragement, fear and even doubts, that we can ever succeed.

• That makes the second or third attempt more difficult.

Put ourselves in the shoes of the father for a moment.

• He was a worried father, looking for a cure for his son. Little hope, but heard of Jesus.

• Brought him to see Jesus but could find Him – away up on the mountain.

• Nine of His disciples were there and so they were asked to help.

• The disciples prayed but it failed. Nothing happened.

Why were they powerless this time? They had similar ministry in the past – 6:13 “They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.”

• Jesus reacted with these words (9:19), “O unbelieving generation, how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you?”

• Jesus gave the answer when the disciples asked Him privately later – Mark 9:29 “This kind can come out only by prayer.” They should have prayed!


Apparently the disciples did not trust God fully at this crucial moment. They trusted themselves.

• They might have taken for granted that a simple word and everything will be fine.

• Or that they had come to believe that the power was inherent in themselves, like a magician waving his wand (pronounce: want).

• Whatever it is, the disciples did not exercise believing prayer. They were probably relying upon themselves rather than God.

And we see the impact of this failure:

• First the father began to doubt if Jesus can really do anything for his son.

• And the teachers of the law began arguing with the disciples over this failure. A large crowd had gathered.

And then Jesus came, with his other 3 disciples Peter, James and John.

• What a contrast here – on the mountaintop, the 3 disciples were having a great time with the Lord, seeing a miraculous transformation of Jesus, God’s glory and power….

• And then at the foot of the mountain, the other 9 disciples were failing miserably in ministry, struggling with a failed attempt to demonstrated the healing power of God in their prayer.

• And it was causing a great commotion.

The desperate and hurting father said, “But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” (9:22)

Jesus immediately fixed the IF clause – He corrected him straight away: “If you can? Everything is possible for him who believes.” (v.23)

Doubt has set in. Naturally, you noticed.

The initial attempt was a failure and it has now affected his approach to Jesus.

Bro/sis, don’t let failures rob you of faith.

Whether it is the failures of others, or your own failures. Or some unforeseen circumstances, or things that did not work out right.

• In an imperfect world with imperfect people, in an imperfect church with imperfect Christians, we are bound to see failures after failures.

• We must not let these setbacks rob us of faith in God. He has not changed and He will not fail.

• Setbacks and failures in life will not change Him or His ability one bit.

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