In this passage Jesus tells us that “believing” is the condition for answered prayer for a healing. The father of the demon-possessed boy answered in tears, “I believe,” then added, “Help my unbelief!” Since faith is a gift, we should pray for it as this father did. Note how quickly God’s grace answered!
Jesus rebuked the disciples because they could not cast out the mute spirit, calling them “faithless” (v. 19). In Matthew’s account of this incident, Jesus said that if one has faith as small as a mustard seed, they can move a mountain (Matt. 17:20).
But there is another lesson to be learned: where an atmosphere of unbelief makes it difficult to believe, we should seek a different setting. Even Jesus’ ability to work miracles was reduced where unbelief prevailed (Matt. 13:58). As we go through the day, let us not diminish Jesus’ ability to work in us. Prayer and praise provide an atmosphere of faith in God and welcome His presence in our lives.