In Mark 9:14-29, Christ’s disciples encounter a boy who has been plagued with demons. As a result, the boy was blind and mute. He frequently was thrown to the ground in violent fits. He would foam and the mouth and grind his teeth down. The demons would even cause him to fall into water and fire in an attempt to kill him.
The boy’s father brought him to the disciples for healing. Yet, the disciples could not help. The demons remained and the boy’s afflictions continued.
Jesus heard the commotion and asked what was happening. The boy’s father explained the situation to Jesus. After a short conversation, Christ healed the boy and removed the evil spirits.
Later, when they were alone, the disciples asked Jesus why they were not able to heal the boy. I imagine, as pastors, we can relate to the disciples’ question.
We all have evil within our churches. Believers continue to deal with the effects of indwelling sin and the desires of the flesh. Meanwhile, Satan’s rule over the present world works to woo believers into temptation.
Although every pastor experiences some “ministerial victories” from time to time, it is disconcerting to watch the couple in which he has invested so many hours continue with divorce proceedings. It is painful to see a young boy go to prison while recalling all of the hours that have been invested in discipling him and keeping him off of the streets.
“What went wrong,” the pastor asks himself.
When the disciples asked the same question, Jesus remarked, “This kind can only be healed by prayer.”
Prayer submits to the source of all power: Christ alone. That’s why we typically end our prayers with the words “In Jesus’ name.”