Christ Jesus gives a lesson in prayer

Ed Wilcox - Contributing columnist

One of the wonders of God’s Word is its power to convey more than one message at once.

The Lord took three disciples to a mountain top, and there the disciples witnessed the glory of His transfiguration. When Jesus and His disciples came down from the mountain, they found the other disciples being questioned and challenged by scribes.

Mark’s gospel shows us in another way the condescension of the Savior who came down from glory to become involved in the affairs of men.

Even though a multitude of people surrounded the scribes and disciples, Jesus went directly to the scribes who troubled His disciples. “What question ye with them?” He asked.

From the crowd of people there came a reply to Christ’s question.

“Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit,” a man said.

The spirit, said this father, had complete control of his son. The spirit took the boy into dangerous situations, causing him to convulse and to fall into fire at times, and in water at other times.

The boy foamed at the mouth like a mad man, and the demon possession was so powerful that his body was wasting away.

The father had brought his son to Jesus, but not finding Him had sought the help of the disciples, but they were unable to cast out the demon.

In the nineteenth verse, Mark recorded that Christ said, “He answereth him.” The person addressed by the Savior is unclear because He could have been speaking to the scribes, the boy’s father, the disciples, or all of them.

The boy was brought to Jesus and the demon, knowing he was in the Lord’s presence, caused the boy to have a seizure and he fell to the ground, foaming at the mouth.

“When did this begin happening to the boy?” Jesus asked the man.

It began, the father said, when he was a very young child.

“If thou canst do anything, have compassion on us, and help us,” the father pleaded. He wanted so badly to believe, but he confessed his doubt. As a parent, he desperately wanted his son to be released from demon’s power.

The father had to first consider if he had faith, if he really believed, Jesus could heal his son. Christ wanted this man to believe, but the man cried out, “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.”

Is this not the way it is with us? How many times have we asked Him for help and healing without the least expectation of an answer? Answers to prayer, we might think, are for other people.

Christ Jesus commanded the demonic spirit to come out of the boy, who fell to the ground. Jesus took his hand and helped him to his feet.

Later, the disciples asked Jesus why they had been unable to cast out the demon. The answer was in their question since they could do nothing without God. They most definitely could not cast out demons.

“This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting,” Jesus answered.

Jesus taught the disciples they should not be slack in their prayer lives, and neither should we be slack. The only way a person will be freed from Satan’s grip is by the power and authority of God. We must fervently pray for lost souls, asking God to free them from the enemy’s hands.

The Sunday school lesson is written by Ed Wilcox, pastor of Centerville Baptist Church. Reach him at [email protected]

Ed Wilcox

Contributing columnist

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