The Prayer of the Disciple

In Mark chapter 9 we meet a father of a boy who has been possessed by a spirit from birth. As Jesus is confronting the issue of the man’s belief, we hear what has become my favorite prayer in the Bible. I use it throughout the day as a way to transform my thoughts as I am confronted with temptation, complacency, and difficult decisions.

“I do believe, help me overcome my unbelief!”

Take a moment to read the passage.

First the man approaches Jesus and says “if you can.”

This is not the prayer of faith, it is desperation. It is the equivalent of blindly flailing our arms about and grabbing onto everything. Jesus is just another tactic that we try to get the results we want.

Asking for help overcoming unbelief is a prayer of humble awareness. An awareness that power comes from our proximity to the Father. It is awareness that our brokenness often gets in the way as we follow Jesus.

“I do believe, help me overcome my unbelief!” is the prayer of the disciple.

If we think of it as columns, we want our belief column to get bigger and the unbelief to get smaller. To accomplish this, it takes intentional time seeking the still small voice of the Father.

Less of me, more time spent in the image of Jesus.

Less compartmentalization in my life, more time being consumed by thoughts of God.

In our lives as disciples of Jesus, overcoming unbelief is the process of sanctification as we engage our day to day lives.

It is unbelief that keeps our to-do list long and time devoted to prayer short.

It is unbelief that keeps us from engaging our Bibles with an openness of being transformed.

It is unbelief that allows us to overlook “acceptable” sins in our lives.

It is unbelief that keeps us silent in the face of wickedness and powerlessness.

It is unbelief that leads to defensiveness.

It is unbelief that keeps us from loving our neighbors well.

It is unbelief that compels us to seek supplements to our identity apart from God.

In what ways does unbelief show its face in your discipleship? 


I am an author, discipleship coach, and speaker who helps followers of Jesus gain perspective on their identities so they can experience transformation in their decisions, behaviors and relationships and live in freedom. My book Tree of Lies: Transforming Decisions, Behaviors, and Relationships By Gaining Perspective On Your Identity in Christ available on Amazon ( or Barnes and Noble ( Visit for free resources.

Services I offer are one-on-one coaching, group coaching,  speaking at organizations/churches, workshops on marriage/discipleship/leadership, and church retreats. For more info, click here to contact me.

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