Spiritual Growth









The Doubter’s Prayer

Over the centuries, some biblical prayers have become particularly loved by Christians. The Lord’s Prayer is one of them (Matthew 6:9-13). The Jesus Prayer (“Lord Jesus, have mercy on me, a sinner”), based on Luke 18:13, is highly regarded by the Eastern Orthodox Church. Today I give you my favorite. Let’s call it “the Doubter’s Prayer.”

Doubt and dimness surround its origin. Peter, James, and John had just seen Jesus transformed on Mount Hermon, but they missed the significance of the moment (Mark 9:5-6). They returned to find some teachers of the law (people hardly known for believing in Jesus) arguing with the other nine disciples (Mark 9:14). Jesus had authorized His team to cast out demons (Mark 3:14-15, 6:13), but something had gone wrong. A father had brought his demon-possessed son to the disciples, and they were unable to help him (Mark 9:17-18).

Jesus was frustrated by the faithlessness of all involved. He called the boy forward, but the spirit caused him to have convulsions. That’s when the father uttered his desperate plea. “Have mercy on us and help us, if You can” (Mark 9:22).

“What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus stated (Mark 9:23). Then the man offered what has become the prayer of so many doubting believers over the years: “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24). I wonder if the man’s faith had wilted once his hopes were dashed. What I love about the end of the story is that Jesus granted the doubting dad his wish and freed his son (Mark 9:25-27).

I’ve prayed the Doubter’s Prayer often. I’ve lacked faith that God would come through in some matter, but I wanted to believe. Jesus is frustrated by faithlessness, yet He responds to the Doubter’s Prayer. And for that, I’m most thankful.

About the Author:
Sheridan Voysey is a writer, speaker and broadcaster in Australia. He writes for OurDailyJourney.org, from which this article is reprinted. You can see a list of all his articles by clicking here.

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