I do believe, help my unbelief! 

He had brought his son to Jesus, the healer and the wonder-worker.   It was his last hope.   But Jesus wasn’t there, only some of his disciples.   No matter.   Surely they could help.   But no—their prayers had no effect.   The scribes mocked them; the disciples became frustrated.   And still his son suffered.   The man felt defeated.

Just then, Jesus came down from the mountain.   The father’s heart began to lift as Jesus asked him to bring the boy to him.   With a mixture of fear, discouragement, and hope, he cried out, “I do believe, help my unbelief!”.

This is what faith looks like.   It isn’t always picture-perfect.   It’s honest, and it asks God for the help and strength we don’t have.   That makes this father’s prayer a good one for us to adopt today.

“Lord, I do believe; help my unbelief!   I admit it; I am weak.   I wish my faith were stronger.  I wish I were better at trusting you, better at obeying you.   Still, I want to approach you honestly, not as I think I should be, but as I am.

“I do believe, Lord!   I know you have helped me in the past.   Every time I feel a tug on my heart to pray for someone, it’s because of the faith you’ve given me.   Every time I try to look for your help with a problem, I’m exercising that gift of faith.  But this situation right here?   This one isn’t as easy.

“Lord, I know that I will face something today that will challenge me.   I might waver when you don’t seem to be answering my prayers.   I might worry about the future and start to doubt that you really will stick with me.  I might fall into the trap of thinking I don’t need you if things are going well today.   I don’t want these things to stop me.  Help me to keep reaching out to you.

“Lord, help my unbelief!   When my prayers aren’t answered the way I expect, help me to hang on.   When new issues arise unexpectedly, increase my faith.   When the day is peaceful and prosperous, keep me close to you.   Lord, I do believe!

word among us

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