“Wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid. So I spoke to Your disciples, that they should cast it out, but they could not.” He [Jesus] answered him and said, “O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to Me” (Mark 9:18-19).Interestingly, Jesus had equipped His men for just this kind of opportunity, but they failed anyway. Why? They would ask that question themselves after Jesus had succeeded where they had failed.
When He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer” (9:28-29).Ah, there's the rub. In the moment of pressure, they were not prepared. Why? They had not prayed (a tragedy that would be repeated the night before the cross). For us, the challenge is similar. We might not be confronted by a person who is a demoniac, but we face ongoing situations that are packed with pressure. The question is not whether or not we will face such situations. The question is whether or not we will be ready when they come. That is why the value of prayer is so much more than just asking and receiving—it is our communal connection to our Father, who is our strength, our help, our King. Only as we cultivate that relationship through prayer can we hope to be truly ready when the pressure mounts and we must act. We act in Him. Bill Crowder, Sports Spectrum Chaplain