4 Ways and Prayers to Ask God to Help Our Unbelief
This account describes a parent that has been engaged in a long-term struggle for his son's life. Most situations we find ourselves dealing with are not quite so dramatic. But we can take the principles in Mark 9 and apply them to prevent doubt from creeping in during all sorts of momentary or ongoing challenges in our lives.
1. Help My Unbelief About Reconciliation
Relationships are an integral part of God's design for us. But as imperfect humans, we can find ourselves estranged from Him, and others who are important to us. In some cases the problems get resolved right away. But on occasion, for whatever reason, we stay separated longer. While a personal connection is "on hold," we can choose to let pessimism set in, or we can keep pursuing God.
Lord, I admit my doubt that this relationship (with You, with another person) can be reconciled. It has been damaged, and has stayed broken for a long time. Your Word says that Jesus came so that we could be reconciled to You, and calls us to be reconciled to each other. I ask that You help me do my part, and then to rest in expectation that You are working for good here. I pray this in Jesus' name, Amen.
2. Help My Unbelief When I Struggle to Forgive
The command to forgive is woven all through the Bible. But when we are hurt or betrayed by someone, our tendency is to turn away from that person rather than toward them. In those difficult moments, we can let our feelings lead us, or we can choose to faithfully obey God's call to seek peace.
Heavenly Father, I am struggling to forgive, and wonder if I'll ever be able to. The pain I feel is real, and I don't know when it will ease. But Jesus taught that we are to forgive others so that we may be forgiven ourselves. So, even as I'm still feeling anger and hurt, Lord, help me to decide to have grace for this person. Please make me willing to release my feelings, trusting that You will take care of both of us in this situation and bring peace. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.
3. Help My Unbelief About Healing
When we see God's promises about healing, our natural response to physical or mental health conditions is to lift them up. Sometimes an answer to our prayer comes right away. But other times, healing is very slow in coming. We can let the waiting lead us to despair, or to draw closer to God.
Father God, I confess that I am battling doubt that You will heal me (my family member, friend, etc.). Health conditions are always worrisome, and this one has gone on for a while. I know You promise in Your Word to "heal all our diseases" and make us whole. But as I wait, Lord, let me not fall into despair, but to become more confident that I will see Your goodness. I pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.
4. Help My Unbelief About Provision
Scripture gives us so many examples of how God cares for His people. But if our needs don't get met as quickly as we'd like, it can be challenging to remain calm in our spirit. We can navigate this season impatiently, or in expectation of how God will work.
Gracious Lord, I come to You and confess my doubt that You will provide for me. All through history, You have watched over Your people, knowing what we need before we ever pray about it. So, Father, help me to believe those truths, and to know in my heart that You are already working. Replace my fear with hope. I pray this in Jesus' name, Amen.
Mark 9:14-27 is a stirring description of one of Jesus' miraculous healings. With His words, He saved a boy from a tormenting spirit. With other words, Jesus brought the father to a new level of faith.
I relate to the father's plea about his weakness, because if I'm honest, it echoes my own. I'm so grateful that God invites us to grow, then walks with us through the process. Each step we agree to take, from confession to proclaiming our confidence, pleases Him. So let's start the next part of the journey.
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