In Mark 9:14-29 (NASB), a father desperately asked Jesus for help. His son was possessed with an unclean spirit, which caused the boy to convulse and foam at the mouth. Occasionally, the spirit would attempt to kill the boy by throwing him into the sea or fire.
Jesus’ disciples attempted to cast the spirit out but were unable to do so. The father turned to Jesus and implored him to heal his son. And Jesus does. He cast the unclean spirit from the boy.
The disciples turned to Jesus confused. They asked him why they could not heal the child though Jesus had given them authority to do so, and they have done it in the past. Jesus responded by saying, “This kind cannot come out by anything but prayer.”
The story ends there. We don’t get further explanation or hear the disciples respond. What a confusing statement. Surely the disciples prayed while they tried to heal the child, right? But what if they didn’t?
You see, the disciples told Jesus, “We’ve done it before. Why couldn’t we do it now?” What if they began to think they could heal in their own power and forgot to invoke the power of Christ? If we try to do things in our own power, we will fail. Every time. The disciples power could only be deployed with constant dependence on God. It’s only through the power of the Holy spirit that we can be healed.
When I look around the world, I see so much hate and confusion, lies and trouble, illness and disease, as evident the past few weeks when we witnessed three mass shootings in the United States. Our country needs healing, but it will only be brought by the power of Jesus Christ and not by anything we try to do in our own power.
In the wake of such tragedies, it’s hard to know how we can respond. It’s not enough to feel sadness for a day and move on with our lives. And sometimes, distance doesn’t allow us to go and respond physically to the disaster. But we can pray. Each day we come to God in prayer, we can tap into his power.
Pray in the name of Jesus Christ and in the power of the Holy Spirit for healing to this country. Pray in the power of the Holy Spirit for those injured to be healed. Pray in the name of Jesus Christ and in the power of the Holy Spirit for peace.
Even if you feel it’s an impossible feat. The father himself questioned Jesus whether he was able to heal his son. Jesus responded and said, “All things are possible to him who believes.” The father responded and said, “I do believe. Help my unbelief!”
Believe that Jesus can bring change and pray this week in the power of the Holy Spirit for healing.