When Jesus went into a house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we force the spirit out of the boy?” He told them, “This kind of spirit can be forced out only by prayer.”
Prayer battles evil.
After Jesus lit up with a dazzling heavenly glory, he climbed down from a high mountain with the witnesses to his transfiguration—Peter, James, and John (Mark 9:2-13). They came across his other disciples at the center of a crowd that included some scribes, experts in Jewish law.
Jesus wants to know what the argument is all about. A man says he had asked the disciples to drive out a spirit tormenting his son, but the disciples lacked power to do it. At a simple command from Jesus, the spirit screams and leaves the boy. It’s a spirit that can be forced out only by prayer.
Scripture reports that Jesus gave his disciples power over evil spirits, and they successfully drove out many demons (Mark 6:7, 13). His comment suggests that they had tried to expel the demon in their own power rather than by relying on God.
Prayer isn’t power in and of itself. Your words succeed only when they invite God to act against the most unyielding forces of evil. Your only real power comes from Jesus who shines with heavenly glory.
Inspired by Mark 9:14-29