Episode 33: Praying During Desperate Times

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Healing Our Brokenness
Episode 33: Praying During Desperate Times
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Praying During Desperate Times Podcast Outline

  • Introduction
  • What Happened to Hannah
  • My Situation
  • Podcast Transcript
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Photo by Brodie Vissers

How many of you have had times like myself, where you’ve carried around a heavy load, done all that you can do in a certain situation, prayed several times over the situation, and yet you still feel like you’re not sure of how to proceed.  You end up being stuck in between a rock and a hard place.  We know that the bottom line is that God is in control.  Even with that, sometimes our hearts still remain heavy.

This was pretty much what Hannah had to go through.  Hannah was barren, and every year when she went to give worship and sacrifice to the Lord, her husband’s other wife, Peninnah, would taunt her to the point of fear because God had shut up her womb.  We all know that fear is from Satan himself.  

And her rival used to provoke her grievously to irritate her, because the Lord had closed her womb.  So it went on year by year.  As often as she went up to the house of the Lord, she used to provoke her. Therefore, Hannah wept and would not eat.  (I Samuel 1: 6-7, ESV)

Hannah’s heart was so heavy, that she went before God’s throne of grace, pleading to God to open her womb:  “And she vowed a vow and said, “O Lord of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant and remember me and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a son,

then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall touch his head.” As she continued praying before the Lord, Eli observed her mouth.  (I Samuel 1: 11-12, ESV)

Hannah was so intentional with her prayers, that her mouth moved, but her prayers were submitted to God through her heart and her spirit.  She was on a mission.  Eli the priest thought that she was drunk:

Hannah was speaking in her heart; only her lips moved, and her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli took her to be a drunken woman.  And Eli said to her, “How long will you go on being drunk? Put your wine away from you.”  But Hannah answered, “No, my lord, I am a woman troubled in spirit.  I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have been pouring out my soul before the Lord.  Do not regard your servant as a worthless woman, for all along I have been speaking out of my great anxiety and vexation.” (I Samuel 1: 13-16, ESV)

It was at this point that God gave Hannah a sign through Eli that he had heard her cry, and her prayers would be answered:

Then Eli answered, “Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition that you have made to him.” And she said, “Let your servant find favor in your eyes.” Then the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.  (I Samuel 1: 17, ESV)

And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour, and a skin of wine, and she brought him to the house of the Lord at Shiloh. And the child was young.  Then they slaughtered the bull, and they brought the child to Eli.  And she said, “Oh, my lord! As you live, my lord, I am

the woman who was standing here in your presence, praying to the Lord.  For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to him.   Therefore I have lent him to the Lord. As long as he lives, he is lent to the Lord.”  And he worshiped the Lord there.

(I Samuel 1: 24-28, ESV)

About six years ago, when I was at the peak of my valley, everything in my home was in an uproar.  I had done everything that I could possibly do, been taken advantage of, and with a heavy heart, I went to the Lord for help in a prostrate position.  I felt led to write out the prayer that King Jehoshaphat prayed in 2 Chronicles 20:

O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee.”  (KJV)

God laid it upon my heart to pray this prayer for the next forty days.  As the days went on, spiritual warfare hit from every corner.  I was on a mission, and I continued to pray.  My friend and I decided to get together to pray on one accord with this same prayer New Year’s Eve night. 

Our kids were upstairs hanging out, and we were downstairs praying.  The kids came downstairs a few times to grab food and were looking at us as if we were crazy. But just like Hannah, we kept praying.  We prayed this prayer so hard and so long till our mouths dried out, and we could no longer talk. 

Like Hannah, we needed an answer.  We joked around about whose prayer God would answer first.  And as in Hannah’s situation, God answered our requests.  My prayer was answered thirteen days later.  I don’t remember how quickly God answered hers.  It was soon after.  God split the Red Sea so that I could leave the Egypt of a toxic marriage.  Praise God for his word and his promises!

Dear Lord,

Thank you for your word and your promises.  Thank you that when our hearts are heavy with grief, you are still there.  You never change.  You are the same yesterday, today, and forever.  Please comfort our hearts when we just don’t know what to do, knowing that you are in control, and will give us instructions when the time is right.

In your precious name we pray,

Amen

Last episode

Community

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Community is important. The effects of having community is so important when you are going through. How do you respond with support when your friends have things that are going on in their lives? Or, do you respond at all? Is your responding more of staying away so that their situation doesn’t become contagious?

This poem “Community” reflects just that. It makes you contemplate responding in support to our dear friends, as well as brothers and sisters in Christ during their time of need.

Community

How do you become his hands and his feet,

When others are crying and grieving knee-deep.

Do you give them a call, a prayer, a word?

Or tell them “hold on” like they never have heard?

Do you bring them a meal, some flowers, a hug?

Or give them more burdens and trauma to lug?

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Photo by Nicole De Khors

Just hold fast to God’s unchanging hand.

When we’re bearing those burdens.

Give safe places to land.

Other poetry

Episode 32: Surprised by Provision

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Healing Our Brokenness
Episode 32: Surprised by Provision
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Surprised by Provision Podcast Outline

  • Disappointment
  • Naomi’s Disappointment
  • Naomi’s Surprise
  • My Disappointment
  • My Surprise
  • Podcast Transcript

Surprised by Provision

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Disappointment

There are a lot of things that happen in life that we are just not prepared for handling.  As a matter of fact, if God revealed to us what was on the way, we’d take off running in the other direction.  Sometimes one thing happens, and that one thing ends up changing your entire world for what you know it to be. 

Naomi’s Disappointment

That is what happened to Naomi.  She was surprised by disappointment, and then surprised by provision.

Naomi and her husband Elimelech, and their two sons decided to leave Bethlehem and reside in Moab because of the famine.  Instead of life getting better at this point, it got worse.  Elimelech died.  Their two sons found wives and got married.  Then their two sons died.

Naomi decided to go back to Bethlehem, since she heard that they had bread again.  She figured that this might be a small sign of God’s provision.  Naomi told her two daughters-in-law to head back to their homelands so that they could find husbands, since she didn’t have any more sons.   Orpah left, but Ruth decided to stay:

 

And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: (Ruth 1:16, KJV)

The Return

When they returned to Bethlehem, it was evident that Naomi was surprised by God’s provision:

So they two went until they came to Bethlehem. And it came to pass, when they were come to Bethlehem, that all the city was moved about them, and they said, Is this Naomi?

 And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me.

 I went out full and the Lord hath brought me home again empty: why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the Lord hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me?

 So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter in law, with her, which returned out of the country of Moab: and they came to Bethlehem in the beginning of barley harvest.  (Ruth 1: 19-22, KJV)

Neither Ruth nor Naomi had a clue that going back to Bethlehem would bring surprise provision itself.  They went back for bread.  God had a little bit more than bread waiting for them.  He slowly began to reveal his plan.    

Ruth went out to glean corn, and she met a man named Boaz.  They had a conversation, and Boaz let on to Ruth that God was recompensing her work for her full diligence:

 

And Boaz answered and said unto her, It hath fully been shewed me, all that thou hast done unto thy mother in law since the death of thine husband: and how thou hast left thy father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people which thou knewest not heretofore.

The Lord recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.

(Ruth 2: 11-12, KJV)

When Ruth arrived back home, Naomi questioned her about the food.  Ruth told her that she had met a man by the name of Boaz.  Naomi knew this was good news:

And Naomi said unto her daughter in law, Blessed be he of the Lord, who hath not left off his kindness to the living and to the dead. And Naomi said unto her, The man is near of kin unto us, one of our next kinsmen. (Ruth 2: 20, KJV )

According to the law, a kinsmen could be the redeemer if a relative died.  In this case, since Boaz was a kinsmen, he could redeem the land that belonged to Elimelech and his two sons.  However, there was a kinsmen even closer than Boaz.  This meant that he had first pick.  This relative didn’t want to forfeit his own inheritance.  Therefore, Boaz became the kinsmen redeemer.

And Boaz said unto the elders, and unto all the people, Ye are witnesses this day, that I have bought all that was Elimelech’s, and all that was Chilion’s and Mahlon’s, of the hand of Naomi.

 Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance, that the name of the dead be not cut off from among his brethren, and from the gate of his place: ye are witnesses this day. (Ruth 4: 9-10, KJV)

Surprise

What a surprise!  The women encouraged Naomi, telling her that God hadn’t forgotten about her:  

And the women said unto Naomi, Blessed be the Lord, which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman, that his name may be famous in Israel.

 And he shall be unto thee a restorer of thy life, and a nourisher of thine old age: for thy daughter in law, which loveth thee, which is better to thee than seven sons, hath born him.  (Ruth 4: 14-15, KJV)

My Surprise Disappointment

At the age of 25, I had my surprise disappointment as well.  I was pregnant with my first child, and I worked all the way up to the day before delivery.  At the time, I was the breadwinner for the household, and I had all of the family health insurance in my name.  My son had his days and nights mixed up, and so for almost six weeks, I had between two to three hours of consecutive sleep during the night.  I was at the point of extreme exhaustion, and I could tell that my blood pressure was up. 

This was confirmed when the home nurse came out to check on me.  As soon as she checked my blood pressure, she knew that it was from lack of sleep.  Four days before my six weeks was up, my son started sleeping through the night for four consecutive

hours.  However, I knew that I would need two extra weeks of this before returning to work, or else my health would plummet.

I called my job and requested an additional two weeks off.  I was informed that if I didn’t come back right away, it would be considered job abandonment.  With $50 left to my name, and no emergency money, this was a hard call.  I hung up the phone, and then wrestled with what to do.  However, I also knew that if they were like this about my health, then they would be like this about my son’s health as well.  I decided not to go back, not sure of how I would make it.

My Surprise Provision

My son was almost three months old when I took him to his three-month checkup.  After the appointment, I decided to visit my old job, which was five minutes away.  I got caught up with everyone, and my old boss asked me when I would return to work.  I told my old boss what happened, and he said,” Just like that?”.  I replied,” Yes, just like that. End of story.”  We laughed, and he asked me what I thought of working for him again.  I thought he was joking, but he was dead serious.  What a surprise!  

Within two weeks, I was back to working again.  In the beginning, I worked a five-day week, then a 10 hour four-day week while my son was little, before moving on to a different job.  I didn’t know, but God knew that his divine providence was waiting for me at this place.  Like Naomi, All I had to do was to go back and get it. 

Dear God,

Thank you for helping us to step out on faith, even when we are not sure what you have in store for us.  In your name,

Amen

Suggested Posts

It’s Your Calling

Episode 7: The Benefits of Suffering

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Healing Our Brokenness
Episode 7: The Benefits of Suffering







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Background on The Benefits of Suffering

Last week, I recorded Episode 6:  Waiting on God for the Impossible.  When we live long enough, we know that this becomes inevitable at some point in our lives.  How we handle waiting, and what we do during the process of waiting is the key.  If you want to catch last week’s episode, you can check it out here.

This week’s episode is “The Benefits of Suffering”.

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Podcast Outline

  • Introduction
  • The Truth
  • The Benefits
  • Presence with Joseph
  • God’s Presence with Me
  • God’s Comfort
  • Living Wholehearted Lives
  • Perseverance From Suffering
  • Comforting Others With God’s Comfort
  • How I Find Comfort in Suffering
  • Bible Verses to Meditate On:
  • Poem to Meditate On:

Midnight Furnace

I called you and you answered.

Right during my night of pain.

You pulled me out of the fire.

Then the fire turned to rain.

 

Not knowing that I’d survive this.

I prayed for you to deliver.

You told me to keep closed fists,

Bended knees with all considered.

 

I feel your Spirit run through me.

A song comes into my head.

“My child, you are protected.

Rest easy and go back to bed.”

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2 Corinthians 1: 3-11

  • Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.
  • We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters,[a]about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 10 He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, 11 as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.

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2 Corinthians 12: 6-10

 

Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say, or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

 

Have a blessed night!

Simple Spaghetti

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Background Story on Simple Spaghetti

I have been reading Brene Brown’s new book, Dare to Lead for a couple of weeks now.  If I was just reading that one book, I would be done by now.  However, I am reading about six books at the same time.  What I love is that the Holy Spirit has intertwined several themes across the board with all of these books:  vulnerability, shame, joy, gratitude, dealing with the unexpected, hustling for self-worth, and filling our thirst.

There are several things that stuck out with me so far in this book.  I would like to quote three of them:

Quote #1

“Embodying and practicing gratitude changes everything.  It is not a personal construct, it’s a human construct-a unifying part of our existence-and it’s the antidote to foreboding joy, plain and simple.  It’s allowing yourself the pleasure of accomplishment, or love, or joy-of really feeling it, of basking in it-by conjuring up gratitude for the moment and for the opportunity”. (Dare to Lead, Brene Brown, pg. 83)

This reminds of last night.  I got together with a group of friends.  I allowed myself to not dismiss the reality that my life has been filled with lots of drama and trauma within the last six months.  However, my heart was full.  It was so, so full.  I thanked God for my friends, the food, the fellowship, time to decompress, and the laughs from the movie.  I thanked him for all his goodness in spite of what my real life problems were.

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Dare to Lead by Brene Brown

Quote #2

“Something as simple as starting or ending meetings with a gratitude check, when everyone shares one thing they’re grateful for, can build trust and connection, serve as container-building, and give your group permission to lean into joy.” (Dare to Lead, Brene Brown, pg. 83)

The second quote was a Holy Spirit moment because just a week ago, I had an accident.  I allowed myself to sink in anger about all the inconveniences, but then quickly gave myself a gratitude check.  That post can be found here.  The funny thing about it is that I titled the post “Gratitude Check” prior to reading page 83 of Dare to Lead.  God knows how to bring all things together.

Quote #3

The last quote is from page 97, which was another Holy Spirit moment.  It reminded me of my IT job from years ago, where I sought to prove that I could sit at the table with others who made a certain salary, instead of being discriminated against.  I didn’t realize that the only table that I needed to have recognition at is the table of Christ.  The “Heavenly Places” blog post can be found here.

“When people don’t understand where they’re strong and where they deliver value for the organization or even for a single effort, they hustle.  The kind that’s hard to be around because we are jumping in everywhere, including where we’re not strong or not needed, to prove that we deserve a seat at the table.” (Dare to Lead, by Brene Brown, page 97)

A few days ago, I decided to try my hands at a simple spaghetti recipe.  There were very few ingredients.  It turned out pretty good.  The only problem was that I put too many red pepper flakes.  I would take a bite to eat, then feel flames at the back of my throat.  This cycle repeated itself until the bowl was empty.  Enjoy!

Here is the recipe:

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Activity:  Making Simple Spaghetti

Total cooking and Prepping Time: 40 minutes

Servings: about 12

Ingredients:  

  • 2 tablespoons of chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons of onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons of garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons of basil
  • 1 tablespoon of red pepper flakes
  • 1 box of spaghetti
  • 1 jar of pasta sauce
  • 1 small can of tomato soup (low-sodium)
  • basil or spinach leaves (for garnish and eating)

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Valley of Grace Cutting Board-Shopify Store

Directions: 

  • Boil six cups of water with olive oil or butter so that the spaghetti won’t stick.
  • Add the spaghetti to the boiling water.
  • Drain the spaghetti.
  • Dump the pasta sauce and tomato soup into the pot.
  • Add one can of water to the pot.
  • Dump all the seasonings into the pot.
  • Serve in bowls or on plates.
  • Garnish with basil or spinach leaves.
  • Enjoy!

 

God bless,

Katina

Episode 6: Waiting on God For the Impossible

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Healing Our Brokenness
Episode 6: Waiting on God For the Impossible







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Introduction to “Waiting on God For the Impossible”

Last week, the featured podcast was Episode 5: Woe is Me!  It can be found here.  This particular podcast dealt with the sin of self-pity.  It broke down the definition, signs and symptoms, the different areas self-pity can be involved in, and the tools to grow and move forward from self-pity.

 

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Photo by Christian Mackie

 

This week’s podcast is entitled, ” Waiting on God For the Impossible”.  I have found that waiting on God for an answer is one of the most difficult things to have to do.  If we were on the game show called “Family Feud”, it would come in as number two on the survey for what issues Christians find hardest to deal with.  Why?

  • It is God’s timetable not ours.
  • Our emergency is not God’s emergency.
  • The unknown can be scary.

 

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Photo by Matthew Henry

 

Podcast Outline

  • Introduction
  • Dissection of How Sarah and Abraham Dealt with Waiting
  • Oh, The Pain of Waiting
  • My Abraham Journey
  • Our New Home
  • My Financial Situation

 

Bible Verses to Meditate On

Genesis 17:

Part 1

When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to himand said, “I am God Almighty[a]; walk before me faithfully and be blameless. Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.”

Abram fell facedown, and God said to him, “As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. No longer will you be called Abram[b]; your name will be Abraham,[c] for I have made you a father of many nations. I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you.

I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. The whole land of Canaan,where you now reside as a foreigner, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.”

Part 2

Then God said to Abraham, “As for you, you must keep my covenant,you and your descendants after you for the generations to come. 10 This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised. 11 You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you.

12 For the generations to come every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised, including those born in your household or bought with money from a foreigner—those who are not your offspring. 13 Whether born in your household or bought with your money, they must be circumcised. My covenant in your flesh is to be an everlasting covenant. 14 Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.”

Part 3

15 God also said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah. 16 I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.”

17 Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, “Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?” 18 And Abraham said to God, “If only Ishmael might live under your blessing!”

19 Then God said, “Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac.[d] I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. 20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation.

Part 4

21 But my covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you by this time next year.” 22 When he had finished speaking with Abraham, God went up from him.

23 On that very day Abraham took his son Ishmael and all those born in his household or bought with his money, every male in his household, and circumcised them, as God told him. 24 Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised,

25 and his son Ishmael was thirteen;26 Abraham and his son Ishmael were both circumcised on that very day.27 And every male in Abraham’s household, including those born in his household or bought from a foreigner, was circumcised with him.

 

Mark 9: 14-27

Jesus Heals a Boy Possessed by an Impure Spirit

Part 1

14 When they came to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and the teachers of the law arguing with them. 15 As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him.

16 “What are you arguing with them about?” he asked.

17 A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. 18 Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.”

19 “You unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.”

20 So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth.

Part 2

21 Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?”

“From childhood,” he answered. 22 “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”

23 “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”

24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

25 When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the impure spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.”

26 The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, “He’s dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up.