Prayer to Help Us Believe
By Kristine Brown

“Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, ‘I believe; help my unbelief!’” (Mark 9:24 ESV)

When my husband and I first stepped into pastoral ministry, I struggled with the sheer number of needs we heard about every day. People carried so much hurt, and they brought their situations to us, wanting us to pray for them for healing, deliverance, or provision. I remember my stomach tied in knots, thinking about the responsibility of praying for such desperate needs. What if God didn’t answer the way we wanted? I worried my prayers would be ineffective, so I chose my words carefully and then wondered if I’d said the wrong thing. 

Over time I realized my worry over those prayers came from a deeper issue. I held back instead of fully believing in God to meet whatever need we brought to him in prayer. I wanted God’s help to simply believe. When the battles we face seem unconquerable, doubt can work its way into our hearts and minds. The word if becomes ingrained in our thoughts. What if things don’t work out? What if God doesn’t intervene? Yet even in our doubt, God will help restore our trust in Him when we ask.

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Jesus knew we would have doubts in this life. The book of Mark shares the story of a man who came to Jesus with his mute son after the disciples had prayed for him. He approached Jesus with careful words, “…But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” (Mark 9:22) Jesus pointed out the man’s doubt in the very next verse, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” This desperate dad immediately asked Jesus for help believing, and we can offer the same prayer today. 

God provides a way for us to defeat doubt and live believing that He is able to meet every need. All we have to do is ask Him to help our unbelief. When we make the choice to believe as we pray, we not only release control to our God who never fails, but we also gain a life of freedom. Freedom from overwhelming worry and the responsibility of how things will turn out. So let’s pray today with renewed trust in our Heavenly Father. Let’s cry out with certainty, “I believe!”

Let’s Pray:

Dear Lord,
Even though I know you hear my prayers and that you are working in my situation, I still struggle with doubt. Help my unbelief today. You are a faithful and ever-present God. I put my complete trust in you.

When doubt comes into my heart and mind, bring back to my thoughts the truth of 2 Thessalonians 3:3 which says, “But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.” Father, you are my strength and shelter, and you have never failed me. Thank you for freeing me from worry as I walk in steadfast belief. Thank you for meeting my needs, Lord. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.