“This kind can only come out through prayer.”


MK 9:14-29
In Marks description of the Apostles curing a possessed boy, he describes the crowd’s frustration at their lack of success. The crowd and the boy’s father vent their frustration at Jesus for his disciples’ failure Jesus calmly tries to obtain the facts such as how long the youth has suffered and the severity of the Illness. The father asks for Compassion and expresses his faith in Jesus. Jesus obliges the fathers wish and drives the demon from the son. Jesus achieves what the apostles could not, He cures the boy. They are puzzled and ask “Why could we not drive the spirit out?” He said to them, “This kind can only come out through prayer.”

Throughout the description Mark gives of this account, is it difficult to overlook the Holy Spirits role in this cure? Jesus seeks knowledge and understanding of the situation before Him, Jesus and the boy’s father have compassion, faith, and they have prayer. Jesus did not approach the situation with an all-in-one approach, or simply rely on “blind” faith for a cure. His prayer likely was for the wisdom on how to to intercede on the young boy’s behalf. Seeking wisdom in this case was particularly important because that demon was that child’s only life experience. Balancing good versus evil or weighing any two options is after all a balancing act. It takes much effort to reconcile a situation when only one side is known. With only one of the choices known: how can you weigh one against another? If one only experiences evil, how can you know the effects of good? It is not the simplest of tasks.This is a difficult cure, because it involves difficult choices and difficult decisions.  It requires knowledge, reason and judgment and good council, which are some of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and the best way to petition for these gifts is through prayer to that Holy Spirit. Using prayer to gain that Spirits council is something these Apostles will use throughout their ministry. Theirs is a mission of difficult choices that can only be successful when guided through prayer.

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