When he entered the house, his disciples asked him in private. “Why could we not drive it out?” He said to them, this kind can only come out through prayer.” Mark 9:28- 29
The story of the boy seized by a mute spirit is a familiar one to those who’ve read the gospels. It speaks of a boy, seized by a mute and deaf spirit, who has suffered with this condition from childhood. The demonic spirit controls the boy and causes him to fall into an epileptic seizure, foaming at the mouth, grinding his teeth and becoming rigid (Mark 9:18).
The boy’s father is desperate to have his son cured, but the disciples are unable to help him, which I am sure was both embarrassing and humbling for them all at the same time.
It wasn’t until Jesus showed up that the boy was freed from his affliction
Unsure of why they were unsuccessful, the disciples questioned Jesus in private. The story does not tell us what they said or did initially to help save the boy, but it does tell us what they didn’t do- they didn’t pray.
At the time, the disciples were physically apart from Christ, as He was with Peter, James and John coming down from the mountain after His Transfiguration. While Peter, James and John were being exposed to our Lord’s glory, the rest of the disciples were struggling.
What could they do apart from their Master?
Often times when we are called to a high task, our thoughts turn to the land of impossibility. Jesus leaves a task in our lap and then is nowhere to be found. We are empty and sometimes lost.
But there is a reason for that empty space. Christ expects us to fill it with prayer so that we can do the things that He has set out before us. He does not give us a task with details on how to accomplish it, He gives it to us and expects that our next steps will not be steps, they will be a crawl on our knees.
Prayer in this context comes from the Greek word pros which means an “exchange.” In another context, pros means, “extension towards a goal, with implied interaction or reciprocity” with “presumed contact and reaction”, “the cycle of initiation and response.” (Biblehub.com)
And I love what Father Dajczer says about prayer,
“One thing is certain: if we do not pray, no one will need us. The world does not need empty souls and hearts.” (Magnificat Daily Meditation)
Are you feeling stuck in your prayer life? Is it weak? Let’s resolve this Lent to make a list of the things that God has moved our heart to pray for and let’s move mountains for Him. Can you imagine the result if we prayed together like that this Lent?
Obstacles are only moved through faith. God is inviting us during Lent to take our tasks and crawl towards Him.
Crawling in prayer is the contemplation of the soul
I want to start my Lenten journey today and resolve to pray with you every day. Let me sit in silence and contemplation so I know that which I must pray about. I shout, Come Holy Spirit! and allow you to take over my life. I will automatically presume in faith that you will answer me when I make the effort to make a movement towards you. Help my unbelief!
In Jesus Name,