Having faith in God is very important because it is what enables us to please God (Hebrews 11:6) and receive things from Him (James 1:5-7).
1. PrayWhen Jesus' disciples were unable to cast out a deaf and dumb spirit from a certain boy, his father told Jesus and Jesus said to him, "All things are possible for the person who believes." (Mark 9:23)
In response, the man cried and said to Jesus, "Lord I believe. Help my unbelief." (Mark 9:24) To understand why this man prayed such a conflicting prayer to Jesus put yourself in his shoes.
Lord I BelieveThis man probably prayed "Lord I believe" because to bring his sick son to Jesus' disciples he must have heard that Jesus had healed many people.
Help My UnbeliefThis man probably prayed "Help my unbelief" because he had seen this spirit do many bad things to his son for it used to throw him down and he would foam at the mouth, gnash his teeth and become rigid (Mark 9:18).
This father had also seen the spirit throw his son in the fire and water to kill him and he had seen this for many years since he told Jesus this happened from childhood. (Mark 9:21-22).
In addition, he had brought his son to the disciples of Jesus but they were unable to cast it out. Therefore a part of him must have thought that this bad spirit could not be cast out of his son.
These events weakened his faith and we know he that his faith was weak because he said to Jesus "If you can do anything." (Mark 9:22)
By using the word "If", he showed that he thought Jesus could have the ability and at the same time it was also possible that Jesus could also not have the ability to deal with this spirit.
By using the word "anything", he showed that he was not sure that Jesus could really cast out this deaf and mute spirit that for many years had thrown his son into fire and water trying to kill him and also made him foam at the mouth, gnash his teeth and become rigid.
By using "anything", he was asking even for partial deliverance like the spirit not throwing his son into fire or water even if he continued to foam and gnash his teeth.
If he had believed that Jesus could cast out the spirit completely, he would have said something like, "Please heal my son".
Jesus also recognized this lack of faith because His response to this "If you can do anything" (Mark 9:22) was "If you can believe, all things are possible." (Mark 9:23)
So the "problem" was not IF Jesus could cure the boy, it was IF his father could believe that Jesus could do it.
The father quickly understood this and that is why he said "Lord I believe. Help my unbelief." (Mark 9:24)
Therefore if you are in a similar situation where you have:
1. Suffered with a big, bad problem for many years
2. Had many people pray for you
BUT your condition has not changed and you have now begin to wonder IF Jesus can do it for you, pray like this man by saying:
"Lord Jesus I believe because with God all things are possible" and
"Help my unbelief" so that you can be filled with total faith
since this will enable you to receive from God what you are asking Him to give you.
2. Remind Yourself of God's PowerWhen David encountered Goliath, he reminded himself of God's power by saying, "The Lord who delivered me from the lion and the bear, He will deliver me from this Philistine." (I Samuel 17:37) By doing this he strengthened him faith in his ability to fight Goliath.
Therefore if you need to strengthen your faith so that you can get or do something big, remind yourself of the smaller things that God has done for you.
For example if God gave you a job with minimal pay, you can use fact to strengthen your faith for believing Him for a well paying job by saying, "The Lord who gave me this minimum wage job, He will give me a maximum wage job for my qualifications."
Say this to yourself whenever doubts enter your mind or people tell you that you will never get a good paying job the way David said it when Saul told him he was not able to fight Goliath. (1 Samuel 17:33)
To remind yourself of God's power effectively, you have to Keep a Book of Blessings.
This blog post has been excerpted from How to Increase Your Faith.
How to Increase Your Faith uses examples from the Bible to teach you how to strengthen your Christian faith in God.
To learn more