“Everything is possible to the man who believes.” “I do believe,” the boy’s father burst out. “Help me to believe more!”
I have lots of favorite Bible texts, but this one is at the top. I feel a deep kinship with the father in this story. I pray his prayer almost daily. If you don’t know the story, the father brings his son to the disciples to be healed; however, they cannot heal the boy. Jesus arrives and the father asks if it is possible for the Master to help his son. Jesus looks at this dad and in essence says, if it is possible? All things are possible to the man who believes . . . .
The father, desperate to help his child, declares, “I believe”. And then, in a voice whose emotion we cannot gauge, the dad asks Jesus to help his unbelief. Back to back, the man says I believe, but I need help with this belief stuff. That’s me. I do believe, I really do. But sometimes the odds are so out of kilter, sometimes I am so afraid, sometimes I just can’t see my way forward, and I wonder is my belief enough. The reason I love this text is because Jesus does not upbraid the man. He hears his request for more belief as prayer and He responds by healing the child. God hears our doubt not as something that condemns us, but when we ask for more faith, he hears it as genuine, authentic, sweet prayer. May we be willing to pray, “I believe, Lord, help my unbelief”.