‘After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive (the demon) out?” He replied, “This kind can only come out by prayer.”’ – Mark 9:28-29
The disciples were confused and frustrated. Why couldn’t they heal a little boy being tormented by a demon? After all, they had already been healing and performing miracles in the name of Jesus (Mark 6: 13). So what changed? Their hearts had changed. They moved from complete reliance on God to a sense of self-reliance.
Picture a lamp. It’s fully functional, yet, unless it’s plugged into a power source (an electrical current), nothing happens. No matter how many times you flip the switch or hope for the best, it’s never going to work. In the same way, prayer is the spiritual power source for followers of Jesus. And there are just some situations, Jesus explains to the discouraged disciples, that require the full power of prayer.
In spiritual warfare, such as in the case of the possessed little boy, the disciples would always be far too weak on their own. They needed to refocus their hearts on God and remain plugged into the power source that comes through diligent and persistent prayer. Only then would they see the incredible and mighty power of God move in the life of the boy.
Prayer is an incredibly powerful discipline that brings us back to that sense of total dependence on God. It’s recognizing this that keeps our hearts humble. It’s remaining plugged into prayer that keeps our eyes fixed on Jesus rather than on ourselves. Only then, will we experience God’s mighty power.
What does your prayer life look like? If you’ve shifted away from total reliance on God to lean on your own strength, ask God to realign your heart with His.