Summary: Do you ever feel like you are constantly defeated in your spiritual life? Have you tried everything but found no success? Try Prayer!
Text: Mark 9:14-29
Title: The power of prayer.
“ He replied,” This kind can come out only by prayer.” (Mark 9:29)
Do you ever, like me, often feel defeated in your walk with God? Can you identify with the father in our scripture passage who over the years saw things go from bad to worse before his eyes? Have you ever wondered what is the secret to having a victorious Christian life? How can I make my faith work?
Let us first begin by seeing what does not work for the disciples in our passage.
1. Arguing did not work. (v14, 16)
“When they came to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and the teachers of the law arguing with them…”What are you arguing with them about?” he asked.
Why do we argue in an effort to see supernatural results?
A. Force of habit
B. Faulty Evangelism
2. Titles did not work. (v18)
“ I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.”
3. Drive did not work. (v28)
“ After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?
You cannot do supernatural warfare without supernatural weapons
“ For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.” (2 Corinthians 10: 3-4)
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5)
If we are not happy with the way things are going we need to do what the disciples did. They came to Jesus privately and asked him why.
Jesus tells us Prayer works where everything else fails.(v29)
Why we do not pray more. Could it be that we don’t believe in the power of prayer?
The one thing that Jesus is hardest on is unbelief.
“ O unbelieving generation, Jesus replied, “ how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you?
Unbelief is contagious. You do not get an unbelieving generation without first having unbelieving individuals.
Unbelief is costly. The enemy can do more harm when there is widespread unbelief.
Now for those who do have a prayer life you may have already discovered some things very similar to what we see in our passage this morning.
When you begin to pray the enemy fights back.(v20)
When you pray things may even get worse for a time.(v26)
Where do we start in our prayer life?
1.Admit our unbelief
“Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed,” I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief.”(V24)
2.Don’t wait till you gather a crowd before praying.(V25)
“ When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the evil spirit.”
3.Begin a prayer life today (v24)
“Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “ I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief !”
Why begin today?
a.You already have enough faith.
“ I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘ Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you” (Matthew 17: 20-21)
Why did Jesus mention faith the size of a mustard seed?
Could it be to encourage us?
People who have faith as small as a mustard seed cannot pray one hour a day.
b.You now know prayer works. (v29)
The reason we fail publicly is because we fail privately.
“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you” (Matthew 6:6)