I often feel like the father in Mark 9. A father brought his son to Jesus. The boy was mute and an evil spirit had overtaken him often bringing harm to the boy. As you can imagine, the father was desperate for his son. Knowing that Jesus' disciples had healed many in Jesus' name, the father asked the disciples to cast out the spirit. They were unable. This day would be different. Seeing Jesus that day, this father cried out to Jesus for help and compassion. Jesus asked for the boy to be brought to Him. Jesus said to this father in verse 23, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes." Pricked in their hearts, and brought to utter desperation, knowing that nothing they or others could do could help the boy, scripture tells us that "immediately the father and the child cried out with tears, 'Lord, I believe, help my unbelief!" Victory was evidenced that day as God triumphed over Satan. Compassion triumphed over animosity and faith triumphed over doubt.
Soon after, the disciples asked Jesus why they couldn't heal that boy? His answer, "This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting."
Why prayer and fasting? Because in prayer and fasting, I believe we show God that our utter dependence is on Him. We don't have the answers to the glaring need staring at us. We need Jesus and we need His power. This father's need was great and even more was the son's. But everyday, I have need. Everyday, I have situations that are far beyond anything I can solve. So why do I try and find solutions? Why do I think I have to? God is the solution giver, the problem solver, the need supplier. All we need to do is go to him in prayer, believing in Him for the answer according to His perfect will.
Yesterday, my unbelief became belief. My faith was strengthen. You see, the Thursday morning Delighting in the Lord Bible study just got started last week. We are studying Acts and the power of the Holy Spirit. There are three of us that rotate through the teaching; Hedy, Brenda and me (Stacy). Each week, we get on a three way call and pray over the week, the ministry as a whole, the servants and the needs. On Wednesday, our hearts were heavy. The children's ministry that supports the study was in desperate need of help. The week before the children's ministry numbers bloomed to 50 as mommas's brought their kiddos to Bible study, some of whom hadn't preregistered. We are thrilled to have these new kids and mommas, but we didn't have enough servants to adequately manage the classrooms. The Kids in Christ ministry coordinator had contacted me with the need. This isn't a new need. Every year we face this and it can be burdensome. Now, I know this is not anywhere near a child who has an evil spirit like Mark 9. But our God is the same God who healed that boy and our God is the same God who calls on us to believe in Him in every need and situation. Philippians 4:19 tells us this. I stand on that truth.
So we prayed. As the three of us teachers got on the phone on Wednesday at 11am, we prayed over this need. As I was praying, in my spirit, I wasn't believing God for the answer. I doubted He'd come through. Even as my words asked Jesus to come into this situation and solve it, my head swirled with ways I could solve it. In that moment, conviction came. How this all happens at once, I don't know. But as I prayed, immediately, my prayer turned to one of repentance. I prayed Mark 9:23 and my ministry partners joined me. I confessed my unbelief. I asked God to give me faith to believe that according to Philippians 4:19 "God will supply all of our need through the riches of Christ Jesus." This isn't my need, the Kid's in Christ's need or anyone's personal need; this is God's need. These kids are His, as is this ministry and this need concerns His work in and through us. And so, with renewed belief, I started to pray BIG. I didn't tell God how to solve this problem, I just gave it to Him trusting that we would come on Thursday with the need filled. Truly, I had no idea how this would all work out but there was no Plan B. We stuck with Plan A and that plan was Jesus.
On Thursday morning, just before walking out the door, the Kids in Christ coordinator texted me telling me that 2 ladies had come forward to help. There was a huge hallelujah from my heart that morning. When I got to church I learned that at the exact time the three of us were praying on Wednesday, God was solving the problem; people's hearts were pricked, calls were made and yeses given to help. On Thursday, we had just the help we needed.
Why am I in awe when Jesus demonstrates His power? Why am I in awe when Jesus comes through? When He is true to His character and words?
Oh, I am a woman sometimes of little faith. But yesterday was a faith builder. God showed me, once again, to pray Big believing. Our God is a BIG God who handles BIG problems with Big solutions. Nothing is impossible with Him. Why don't we pray like it then? When I pray Big in Jesus' power and name, needs are met and answers come at just the right time. He isn't looking for us to solve problems and needs, He is looking for us to pray and ask Him to. Then, we get to step back waiting and believing that He is going to knock our socks off. That's what He did yesterday!
I don't know what need is staring you in the face or what need is weighing down your heart, but God wants to enter into it with you and give you His answer. It may take time for His answer to come, not everything happens immediately. But just like our need yesterday, God met it at just the right moment. He's never early and He's never late.
May I encourage you to pray BIG, believe BIG and watch Jesus show up BIG!
Much love to you,