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The Desperate Father

A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech.” – Mark 9:17, NIV

In Mark 9, there’s a story about a desperate father who brings his child to the disciples. They try to heal the boy, but they’re unable to do anything.

Then Jesus shows up on the scene and wants to know what’s happening. When the man explains that he’s come for healing, Jesus asks how long the child has been suffering.

The father shares that the spirit of suffering often injures the boy, pulling him into water or fire in an attempt to kill him. At the end of his story, he quietly adds, “If you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” (Mark 9:22, NIV)

It’s hard to fault the father for his words. There are few things in life that leave us feeling more helpless than watching a loved one suffer. At first, you probably spent hours trying to help. Maybe you Googled the symptoms, made doctor’s appointments and picked up medications.

But as the days turned into weeks and the months turned into years, you were left with little more than desperation. If that’s you today, then you’re in good company.

Despite his doubts, the desperate father’s child was still healed. Often, we think that God’s healing is linked to our faith. We think if we just dig deep enough, try hard enough, or pray enough, we’ll get the results we crave.

But Jesus illustrates a powerful truth—that He can (and does) heal even when we are sometimes plagued with doubts.


Lord, help my unbelief! Sometimes, I’m tempted to give up. The doubts are so loud, but You are the God of the impossible. You have all power over Heaven and Earth, so I ask for Your healing touch in the life of (loved one’s name). Set them free from their pain and suffering. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

November 5 Devotional

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