Mark 9:24, "I believe; help my unbelief" is one of my favorite verses in all of scripture, because it is so often the cry of my heart. My mind and my heart resonate with this verse more than it does with other verses in all of scripture. I am always in a state of belief, and yet I am frequently in need of help for my unbelief.
Like the disciples in this story, I struggle to pray with enough fervency to claim I am a man of real belief and faith. I struggle to pray for myself or others because a large part me wonders, "What if God does not do those things for this person?" Would it be because I had not prayed with enough faith? Would it be because it was not in God's plan for those things to happen, and I should chalk it up to "questions I was never intended to know the answers to, because God is simply bigger than me"? Then I wonder why you pray with such fervency other than 'because Jesus has commanded us to'.
But I know full well my faith is weak in moments. Because there are other moments when prayer comes naturally. There are moments when I have such a clear glimpse of God, that I hold on to it and squeeze every bit of life out of that moment I can. I need it to last as long as possible because I will drown in my own thoughts and wonder again at some point.
So to hear this man's plea with Jesus in Mark 9, "I believe; help my unbelief" is refreshing and affirming. It is affirming that this pleas is granted and answered. It is affirming that even his admitting a level of unbelief is more important and honorable to Jesus than when you simply don't get it but pretend that you do. Those are the ones who are 'this faithless generation' (vs. 19). Those are the ones who irritate Jesus for their lack of faith.
But you see Jesus meet this person, this father, when he simply admits he does have faith; help me in my lack of faith. Jesus meets you in the honesty.
Sometimes we only need to pray and continue to pray to the God we only half believe in, and he will meet us tenderly in return...OR...we could remain a faithless generation that pretends we have all the faith in the world but see no fruit of it.
LISTENING TO: "How The Day Sounds" by Greg Laswell