Father: I have run out of options; I have tried everything. But if there’s anything You can do, please, have pity on us and help us.
Jesus: What do you mean, “If there’s anything?” All things are possible, if you only believe.
Father (crying in desperation): I believe, Lord. Help me to believe!
Jesus: Listen up, you no-talking, no-hearing demon. I Myself am ordering you to come out of him now. Come out, and don’t ever come back!
The spirit shrieked and came out of the boy. Jesus took the boy by the hand and lifted him to his feet.
Later He and His disciples gathered privately in a house.
Disciples (to Jesus): Why couldn’t we cast out that unclean spirit?
Jesus: That sort of powerful spirit can only be conquered with much prayer [and fasting]."
Having successfully healed many demon-possessed people when Jesus sent them out earlier, the disciples are at a loss to know why they are completely unable to heal this little boy. Jesus’ reply is cryptic and surprising: “That sort of powerful spirit is only conquered with much prayer [and fasting].”
* * *
It seems that although the disciples have faith that they can heal the boy, they are spiritually unprepared for the depth of evil residing in the world. They need to be saturated in the presence of God to face the challenge.
...and so do we!