Jesus encountered a boy who was tyrannized by an evil spirit. The demon seemed intent on killing him by throwing him into the fire or the water. The boy’s dad was deeply distraught and approached Jesus with the plea: “but if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us” (Mark 9:22). The man immediately regretted the doubt that his opening words expressed, because Jesus shot back at him: “If you can?…Everything is possible for him who believes” (v. 23).
To the dad’s credit, he got Jesus’ point right away and humbly responded: “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief” (v. 24). Jesus welcomes that sort of honesty. He much prefers that we ask him for help with believing as opposed to covering up our lack of faith with prayers that are timid or vague.
Do you want to drive doubt out of your prayers? Cry out to the Lord! Tell God, passionately, that you need him to heal your body, or give you victory over some sin, or restore your marriage, or provide a job, or help you understand algebra, or embolden you to share Christ with your friends. Passionate prayers are definite prayers. And definite prayers get answered.
–Adapted from Prayer Coach by James L. Nicodem.
Holy Spirit, I need your fire in my heart! My prayers are weak and powerless because I lack the belief to trust that You are Sovereign! I’m so afraid of what others will think of me when I pray out loud that I forget Who I am really talking to! God forgive me. Help me to not be afraid to express the deepest desires of my heart in passionate prayer!
Praise God, the one who is never far away from his children. Thank him for being close to you when you feel brokenhearted or crushed in spirit (Ps. 34:18). Confess your own unwillingness to have a God so near. Commit yourself to drawing near to God in daily prayer and fellowship (Jas. 4:8). Ask him to bless you by his presence throughout your life.
Intercede for the great worldwide mission effort of the church. Ask God to raise up more workers to enter the harvest around the world. Pray specifically for missionaries whom you know or support financially.
“God does nothing on earth save in answer to believing prayer.” —John Wesley
–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend