Reading and Prayer – January 17

Reading: Mark 9:14-30

When they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd around them, and some scribes arguing with them.  When the whole crowd saw him, they were immediately overcome with awe, and they ran forward to greet him. He asked them, ‘What are you arguing about with them?’  

Someone from the crowd answered him, ‘Teacher, I brought you my son; he has a spirit that makes him unable to speak;  and whenever it seizes him, it dashes him down; and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid; and I asked your disciples to cast it out, but they could not do so.’  

Jesus answered them, ‘You faithless generation, how much longer must I be among you? How much longer must I put up with you? Bring him to me.’  And they brought the boy to him. When the spirit saw him, immediately it threw the boy into convulsions, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth.  

Jesus asked the father, ‘How long has this been happening to him?’ 

And he said, ‘From childhood.  It has often cast him into the fire and into the water, to destroy him; but if you are able to do anything, have pity on us and help us.’  

Jesus said to him, ‘If you are able!—All things can be done for the one who believes.’  

Immediately the father of the child cried out, ‘I believe; help my unbelief!’ 

 When Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, ‘You spirit that keep this boy from speaking and hearing, I command you, come out of him, and never enter him again!’ After crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, ‘He is dead.’  But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he was able to stand. 

When Jesus had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, ‘Why could we not cast it out?’  He said to them, ‘This kind can come out only through prayer.’


Father, we pray for faith.

For faith to make a difference in our families.

For faith to share with our friends.

For faith to help the needy.

We pray for faith to live our lives, 

For faith to see the way clearly, 

For faith to overcome the obstacles in our path 

and the impediments in our lives.

We pray for faith to read and understand your Word; 

For faith to live according to the new life we have in Jesus Christ;

For faith to serve your church, and your world, 

in ways that might make our lives count for something worthwhile.

We pray for faith, Father, even as we pray for those who have none, 

As well as for those whose faith is challenged by disappointment, by disaster, by disease, by death.

Bring hope, healing, and consolation; bring all people to you, we pray.