Speaking to the Soul – March 28

The power of prayer

Afterward, when Jesus was alone in the house with his disciples, they asked him, “Why couldn’t we cast out that evil spirit?” Jesus replied, “This kind can be cast out only by prayer.” Mark 9:28-29

The transfiguration of Jesus was an incredible experience, but it didn’t last long. Jesus and his disciples needed to go back down the mountain and, sure enough, they were pitch-forked into the middle of a dispute. A man had come to the disciples with his son, who suffered from epilepsy. He had asked them to heal the boy, but they had failed miserably. Jesus was in despair and said: “You faithless people! How long must I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring the boy to me” (Mark 9:19). He then healed the boy. All of this stirred up questions in the disciples and, later in the day when they were alone with Jesus, they asked him why they had failed. He responded that this kind of evil spirit could only be cast out by prayer.

The disciples had spent some time with Jesus and were clearly convinced that they now had the power to heal people. What they had to learn was that they still needed to lean on God through prayer. That’s an important lesson for anyone who gets involved in Christian ministry. You may have the gift of the gab and have the ability to speak with great clarity and power, but if your preaching and teaching is not soaked in prayer, it will be powerless. You may have gifts of administration but, if you are not continually praying for the filling of the Holy Spirit, God will never be able to use you in the way he would want. You may be a naturally caring person but without prayer, your gifts will never have the power and effectiveness that they could have.

Prayer is vital for all of us. However gifted we may be, and however much experience we may have, without prayer we will be powerless.

In what ways have you found prayer to be important in the work that you have done for God?
Lord God, help me never to lean so heavily on my own abilities and experience that I forget to pray. Amen