Tonight we will continue in chapter 17 by reading verses 14-21. If you can, please read these verses before our study below.
In verses 14-21, we read of a boy that is under demon possession. The boy’s father had brought the boy to Jesus’s disciples, but the disciples could not expel the demon. When the boy is brought to Jesus, He immediately rebukes the demon and it leaves the boy. Then Jesus chastises His disciples because they should have been able to remove the demon from the boy but they could not due to their lack of faith.
Jesus’s lesson to the disciples is one we can apply to our lives as well. We should not permit ourselves to think that something is too difficult or that it cannot be done by God. Also, the strength of our faith and depth of concentration in our prayers can affect the outcome of the things we seek from God:
– Am I praying half-heartedly?
– Am I praying for something that I don’t really believe will happen?
– Am I praying for something just because I think I should?
These approaches in faith and prayer are faulty. Instead we should pray with the expectation that God will both hear and answer our prayers, and that He is absolutely capable of doing anything we ask. He may decide to not act, or His answer may be no, but He is always able to do anything we ask.
The Bible provides guidance on God’s power and and how to pray:
“You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.” James 4:3
“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.” Ephesians 3:20
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8
Tonight, when you pray, make a true effort to speak to God, understanding His great love, compassion and power.