[Jesus] replied, "This kind can come out only by prayer." Mark 9:29
When Jesus and three of his disciples came down from their incredible experience on the mountain, they walked right into a mess. The disciples who had stayed behind were struggling to heal a young boy from an evil spirit. All of them had done this before (Mark 6:7-13), but now they were unable to help.
So they asked Jesus, "Why couldn't we drive it out?" He answered with an important lesson: "This kind can come out only by prayer."
What is Jesus saying? He is saying something about the strength of this particular demon. This is a tough one. He is also saying something about how to confront evil. It requires prayer.
Mainly, though, Jesus is reprimanding his disciples here. In trying to help this father and his son, the disciples had neglected to lean on God for help. That's why they were in a mess.
To help the boy, they didn't need some magic formula. All that was required was simple dependence on God. But they hadn't bothered to ask for God's help.
There are times when we can be overwhelmed by situations in our lives. No matter what we face, God's help is available. "This is our Father's world: O let us not forget that though the wrong is great and strong, God is the ruler yet."
Lord, I confess there are times when I neglect to lean on you. Please protect me from evil and bring me to the place of simple dependence on you. In Jesus' name, Amen.
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