Why didn’t my prayer work (this time)?

Read Mark 9:14-29

Wow! That is super harsh Jesus.

Mark 9:14-29 Jesus comes down from the mount of transfiguration (where heaven and earth touched) and walks into a mess of a situation where his disciples are arguing with the scribes and the people around them. It’s the plight of powerless Christianity. Discussing rather than demonstrating. Talking rather than loving. Instead of showing people a loving God they are arguing with the world (I think we’ve all seen this before). Jesus turns to His disciples and says “you faithless generation, how long do I have to put up with you?”. Wow, that seems super harsh Jesus. It is interesting that doubt and faithlessness he doesn’t coddle, tolerate or make excuses for. He didn’t say guys Iknow I was gone for a bit, I know its hard, but I’m here now. He didn’t  give compassion to the Dad of an ailing kid and say I know it’s hard to watch your kid suffer, or i know the pain and I see your pain. He rebuked them. I believe we have to deal with our doubt before our doubt deals with us and destroys our destiny. However, if you look at the red letters of Jesus he calls them faithless and later tells them that this kind of demon only comes out with prayer. Can you imagine the disciples? They were praying for the struggling boy, and if faith is belief that has action then they wer acting in faith. I would have said Jesus we had faith and prayed and nothing happened. What gives? Why?

I dont think we understand the nature of faith. He isn’t talking about the action because the action was there. He is pointing out something deeper. Let’s unwrap this Onion and go layers deep. I believe we will see what faith that works is.

The 4 Layer Faith Dip

Layer 1 - Faith. It is belief that is so confident that it has action. Faith without works is dead. Jesus is saying you of little faith, I believe He is saying your actions are there, you might have little faith, but Jesus in Matthew calls them a twisted generation. Like a candy cane swirl, there is faith but there are other things mixed in there.

What is happening inside is the question?

Layer 2 - Faith is like a coin with two sides. On one side there is faith that has action on the other side there is belief. One version says you unbelieving generation. The Dad says I believe, but help my unbelief. I believe; that is why we are here, but I have unbelief I dont know how to overcome. “Help me” the Dad asks. Like Peter that stepped out of the boat in belief in Jesus word and moved out in faith and walked on water soon was distracted and drowning in what He was supposed to be walking on because of doubt. Doubt has to be dealt with or it will destroy the destiny of God for us.

What do we believe? Who dictates truth? Is it God or circumstance? Our experience or Jesus?

Our life is a product of what we believe. We are living what we are believing. Every decision we make is because we think it will lead to the life we want. We believe that money, that job, stuff, curcumstance, relationship, substance, or things is what will lead us to the life we want.  Change a life by changing its beliefs. You will know the truth (right beliefs) and it will set you free.  The Devil blew up the garden of Eden with a lie. They believed and wrong and did wrong and ruined everything. It was a bad belief that blew up their lives. Jesus is asking what do you believe? Who do you believe?

Layer 3 - Why do you believe? It’s simple. We trust. The bedrock of every relationship is trust. If someone we trust like a parent says that it is bad for us then we believe them. If an expert we trust says the medicine will work we take the medicine. Faith is much deeper than a moment of mustered up, contrived belief that had a half heart action. It is trust. It is when Jesus says build your life on His teaching and you will stand solid. It is believing Him more than experience and circumstances. We talk about believing the promises of God and praying the promises of God, but more than believing the promises we believe a person. Trust is put in a person. Not a results but a relationship. We don’t trust any promise, but we trust the person making the promise. Its Jesus. Jesus is asking “Do you trust me”?

The original temptation in the garden of Eden was to trust God, His word, and His promise. The snake asked “Did God say?“. If you do things your way then you will be like God and God doesn’t want that. He is holding out on you. You can’t trust Him. The lie we believe often is that God doesn’t want good for us. He is a cosmic kill joy telling me what to do. But that couldn’t be farther from the truth. He so loves you and wants more for you than you do. Do we trust Him?

Layer 4 - Why do we trust?

This will change the way you see faith (which is trust).

1 John 4:16
We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love.
God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.

We trust the love of God.

Galations 5:6 says faith is expressed in love. Faith operates in Love. Doesn’t work but by love. Faith that works is from love for love.

The soil that brings the greatest faith/fruit. Ephesians 3 prays that you experience for yourself and  be rooted and ground in the love of God and you will reap the fruit of the fullness of life and power.

Back to the story. Jesus isn’t asking the disciples about the action of faith (that they had). He was asking about the inside.
1. Do you know how much I love you?
2. Do you trust me?
3. Do you believe my words (like a loving Father to a kid)
4. If you believe then walk like it. Get Some faith.

The word for faith is persuasion and confidence. I know Him, His love, trust Him, believe Him, and walk with Him.

When Jesus says this kind come out with prayer. he is talking about deep intimate, loving, knowing, and expereincing God for yourself in the private places.

It’s the root to the fruit we all want.