Focus Scripture: Mark 9:24
The story is told of a mid-western town caught in a terrible drought. The congregation met at the church on their knees, looking upward, and praying the skies will open and pour forth a much-needed rain. Unfortunately, the heavens are silent, and the congregation become discouraged, but they continue to meet every morning to lift up their request to God, but no rain came. The following Sunday, as the preacher was preaching that all things were possible with faith, one of the congregation stood up, angry. "It's not true. We've been praying for rain. Faith has done nothing for us." Others mumbled their agreement, nodding their head in their common frustration.
The pastor looks at each of them and shakes her head, "No, I don't think so."
The first farmer says, "Of course we're praying. We are down on our knees pleading for rain. Look around, see the drought. We haven't had rain in more than a year!"
The pastor continues to shake her head and advises them their efforts will never work. A second farmer jumps in and says, "We need the rain; we aren't asking only for ourselves, but for our families and livestock."
The pastor responds, "but you don't have faith."
A third farmer can't take any more, and in anger he says, "Of course we have faith. We've been praying every day."
The pastor shakes her head, "then where are your umbrellas?"
"I do believe. Help my unbelief."
What an honest prayer, and so typical of how we are. We believe, and yet, we have unbelief. Nothing is impossible for those who believe but we are a modern people who often have trouble believing things science cannot explain it. We pray for God to act but do we believe?
We believe. But we have trouble believing. Faith is a gift from you. Give us the gift of faith. We believe. But please, God, help our unbelief. Amen.