“If I Can?!?”

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“(And the father said) ‘If You can do anything, take pity on us and help us!’  And Jesus said to him, ‘’If You can?!?’  All things are possible to him who believes.’  Immediately the boy’s father cried out and said, ‘I do believe; help my unbelief.’”  Mark 9:23-24


His Word makes all the difference.  


A heart cry that began “if you can”, ended with one of the most profound expressions of faith in the gospels. Look at the difference between the attitude before Christ’s statement and after. The difference was simply the Word Himself.  Faith grew in this dad’s heart when he heard the voice of the faithful One (Romans 10:17).  


For years, this man’s family had dealt with the agony of a chronically disturbed child.  Think of watching your child stiffen into seizure and begin foaming at the mouth.  Even between the fits, the boy was mute and unable to communicate verbally with his family.  And to top it off, an evil spirit was involved, intent upon destroying the boy. 


With strained nerves and desperation, this father said to Jesus, “Sir, if you can do anything, take pity and help us.”


“If I can?!?” Jesus had said incredulously.  


The difficulty wasn’t in lack of ability, but in lack of belief.  With these words, this father saw the situation clearly.  As he gazed intently into the eyes of Christ, this man finally understood that the problem was within him rather than within Jesus.  What began with doubt, ended in belief. 


Whether your cries for faith are for yourself or someone else, know that belief bubbles over only when united with Truth. It will always seem that our puny “pistos” (faith) won’t be enough. “Please help my unbelief!”  


Isn’t it amazing that the Father requires only a tiny bit of faith to accomplish great things?


As you intercede for faith on behalf of your loved one, you may see their circumstances get more difficult. Sometimes in His wisdom, God actually narrows options, so that faith becomes the only way out.  When “jumping” is the only choice, the leap of faith is easier to take.  


None of us would naturally look for God on our own (Romans 3:11). But the Good Shepherd who seeks lost lambs must sometimes bring them through the valley of the shadow of death in order to get them into His sheepfold (Psalm 23:4; John 10:16).  


Before you begin prayer today, spend some time “exercising” your own faith.  Testify aloud the items of truth that you believe.  It might sound something like this: “I believe that Jesus is the Son of God.  I believe that the Holy Spirit lives inside me” and so on.  When you come to the end of this time, you’ll be better prepared to intercede for faith in the life of someone else.  


Then wait and watch; He loves to answer this prayer.


Photo Courtesy of Tom Clark