Help My Unbelief!

Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” —Mark 9:24 A despairing father cried these words to Jesus. His admission of unbelief had nothing to do with doctrine, creeds, or religious issues. Neither did his declaration of “I believe!” He was a man with a dying son. As he watched over his sick and possessed child and realized he could lose him, he admitted what is true for all of us during the crises of life. We are a mixture of belief and unbelief.

Most believers...believe. We accept the truth of God’s existence, and we cling to the hope of His love. But there are times when faith is hard to grasp, hard to feel, difficult to see. We wrestle with our mixed emotions.

Have you ever felt like you just need to throw off the pretense, the carefully protected image of “good Christian” or “faithful churchgoer” and declare in total honesty, “Help me with my unbelief”? By including this story in the Gospels, the Lord is giving us permission to do just that. This desperate father knew where to turn when the person he loved most on earth, his beloved son, was in danger. He had that much belief. His emotions, his fears, and his natural love for his son may have interfered with that belief, but he knew where to turn for help.

Jesus was quick to relieve him. He healed the man’s son and taught His disciples the power of prayer. He demonstrated once again His unfailing love.


“We both believe and disbelieve a hundred times an hour, which keeps faith nimble.” —Emily Dickinson