Why couldn’t we?

In Matthew and Mark, we read the same story.  After His Transfiguration, Jesus and those who accompanied Him found that the remaining disciples had been unable to cast a demon out of a boy.  After Jesus cast it out, the disciples asked Him, why couldn’t we drive it out? (Matthew 17:19, Mark 9:28).  Jesus’ response is important for those who seek to pray for others.  In Matthew, Jesus says, because you have so little faith, but then goes on to indicate that even the small faith that they did have could get the job done.  This apparent contradiction is clarified in how Jesus responds in Mark: this kind can come out only by prayer (with some versions adding and fasting).  Our faith in God for healing, deliverance, or provision is demonstrated in and empowered by our praying.  We trust in Him completely to get the job done, but do so as we pray, and sometimes fast, as we seek him for it.  So may our little mustard seed of faith today be put to good use as we pray (and fast) for one another and for others, and see even mountainous problems moved by God.

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