Summary: God works wonders through people of prayer.
God works wonders through people of prayer.
• Why? Because people of prayer knows God’s heart; they understand His will, and they trust Him.
• People of prayer have faith in God, because they have been spending time with Him. They have an intimate relationship with God.
This morning, we will look at a passage that helps us understand this – Mark 9:14-29.
Jesus came down from the mountain with 3 of His disciples – Peter, James and John.
• They joined the rest of the disciples at the foot of the mount, and saw a crowd.
• They were having an argument. It was about a boy who was possessed and the disciples were unable to help.
The father describes the son’s condition to Jesus. It was unimaginable.
• No one can control him. He was beyond any human help or efforts.
• The situation is even worse because the boy is a deaf mute. Jesus rebukes the “deaf and mute spirit” (v.25).
• He cannot hear the parents' cries of warning. Talk all you want and he cannot hear you. Counselling sessions are useless.
• The boy himself cannot even cries for help. We can’t hear him.
• Even the disciples were at a loss. They do not know what to do.
Do you sense how helpless the father is?
• Have you ever come to the end of your road and realise you have nowhere else to turn to, when you’ve exhausted all human efforts and means?
• The father turns to Jesus and cries out, “Take pity on us and help us.” (9:22)
• Sometimes God forces us to the end of ourselves in order to get us to look up to Him.
• Saying: “The end of man’s way is the beginning of God’s."
And Jesus does the impossible. He cures him.
• He said to the father, “‘If you can’?” a quote from what the father said. “Everything is possible for him who believes.”
• The issue is not on God’s side. God is powerful enough to do the impossible.
• The issue is on man’s side. Jesus says in verse 19, "O unbelieving generation, how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you?"
Verse 28 tells us: “After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, "Why couldn't we drive it out?”
• Dear brothers and sisters, that's our question too: Why can't we do it? Why can't we ask God for the seemingly impossible and see it done? Why can't we pray and ask God to do something and see it happen?
This wasn’t the first time the disciples were confronted with such kind of problem.
• Look at Mark 6:7-13. Verse 7: “Calling the Twelve to him, he sent them out two by two and gave them authority over evil spirits.”
• Verse 12-13 “They went out and preached that people should repent. 13 They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.”
Did they expect it to happen this time? Yes. The reason they asked Jesus privately shows that they were surprised it did not happen.
• Why didn't it happen? Is it because they didn't believe? No, they have previous encounters like this. Is it because, well, it's just not God's will? It was God's will. Jesus did it.
• In our times, some may say, well, God doesn't do this kind of things today; this is an age in which He doesn't do that? But Jesus says in John 14:12 “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.”
• When Paul writes to the Ephesians, he says he prays that they will know God’s great power for those who believe; the same power God used to raise Jesus from the dead. (Eph 1:19-20)
So why didn’t we see it happening here with the disciples?
• Jesus’ answer in verse 29 is enlightening: “This kind can come out only by prayer.” (Some older manuscripts put ‘prayer and fasting’)
• Obviously He was not referring the words to say there-and-then. He was not talking about a formula.
• He was referring to something you need to be doing before the confrontation with the demon.
• He was referring to a prayer life. The one, who have been spending time with God, will grow to have the kind of faith required to do greater things for God. The one who prays understand God’s will and ways.
The disciples had this problem - they have gotten used to treating prayer like a formula.
• Just say the right words; use the right method and everything will be fine, very much like waving a magic wand.