And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer" (Mark 9:27). Jesus spoke these words to his disciples who failed to cast out a demon. Did it never occur to the disciples to pray before they tried to heal this boy? Absurd! Was this an attitude of self sufficiency? Or arrogance?
Yet, before I ridicule these men, I need to look in the mirror. How often have I displayed an attitude of self sufficiency or arrogance in serving Jesus? Far more than I care to admit.
In the following chapter of Mark, Jesus says, "it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God" (Mark 10:25). Wow! What a statement. In other words, this is impossible! This is exactly what the disciples felt, for they answered “Then who can be saved?” So how did Jesus respond? He answered, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.”
As a result, evangelism cannot be boiled down to a technique or a sales pitch. Oh yes, we still need to go to the ends of the earth (Matthew 28). And yes, we must proclaim the Word of Christ so that others can hear and believe (Romans 10). And yet, we must admit that unless God moves no one will be saved. We must pray! We must call out to God without ceasing! We must bring our loved ones and neighbours before the throne of God. How else will anyone enter through this "eye of a needle"?
After all, "this kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer."