Archive for August 23rd, 2011

I BELIEVE! I think …

A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.”

“O unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.”

So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth.

Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?”

“From childhood,” he answered. “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”

“‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for him who believes.”

Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the evilspirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.”

The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, “He’s dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up.

After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”

He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer.”

Mark 9:17-29, NIV

 I told you the man’s plea would return!

To go along with the prayer theme I started last week, I am looking at one of my personal prayers. Back in 2007, as God was bringing me back to my senses, I re-discovered this package. In particular, I noticed our friend the dad for the first time and finally paid attention to that last statement: “This kind can come out only by prayer.”

Why are the so relatively few miracles today, at least in Europe and the United States? Why had things gotten so rough in my life? How could I see more miracles in my life?

I prayed “God, I believe you can do amazing things, and I want to see You do amazing things in my life and the lives of others. Help me truly believe You still move today!”

It was not that I had never seen miracles. There were several times between 2000 and 2007 in which I saw and/or experienced things that amazed me or just could not be explained in our understanding of natural ways.

Perhaps, kind of like Matt Appling mentioned yesterday, I believed more in myself than God. I believed more in myself than God for the simple reason that I had stopped talking with Him for a couple years.

Why had I slipped so far from God? Why was I struggling with seeing – let alone being used by God to perform – miracles? Why did I struggle with … believing Him?

Faith grows through prayer. Belief grows through prayer. Miracles happen through prayer. God talks with us through prayer.

Do not get me wrong! God speaks to us through many different ways. It is just that much easier to hear Him and see Him acting when we talk with Him on a regular basis.

We may not see “miracles” happen every time we turn a corner. Heck, we may not see a “miracle” for years! The questions of God’s love, God’s power, God’s faithfulness, God’s works are more easily answered when we allow God to speak to and through us. The manifestations of God’s love, God’s power, God’s faithfulness, God’s works in our own lives are more easily seen and even felt when we allow God to speak to and through us.

This happens the mostest and the bestest through prayer, when we talk to God and let God talk to us.
(In other words, do not just tell God things. Sometimes you have to stop talking and listen!)