"Struggling To Believe" - Mark 9:14-29



  1. In verse 18 Mark says that the father of the boy told the disciples to cast out the spirit that was oppressing his son.  Have you ever found yourself telling God what to do concerning your need?  How did that work for you?
  2. What is the difference between telling God what He should do and making our request known to God as instructed in Phil.4:6,7?
  3. Why does Jesus respond the way He does in verse 19?  Why such a strong rebuke?
  4. Why does Jesus call His own generation unbelieving?  What did they not believe?
  5. In what way is unbelief a generational thing?  In what ways is this true of our generation today? 
  6. In verse 22 the father of the boy says to Jesus "But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us"?  What does this tell us about the desperation of the father and his faith right at that moment?
  7. Reflecting upon your answer to the previous question, when have you in essence said the same thing to God?  What did you mean?  What was at the core of your struggle to believe?
  8. What does Jesus mean when He asks the question of the boy's father "If You can"? 
  9. How is the question "If You can" connected with and necessary for the promise Jesus gives in verse 23?
  10. What does it mean that all things are possible to him who believes?  Is this a blank check?  Believe in what or whom?
  11. In what way does the father's response "I do believe, help my unbelief" express faith? How can this father say he believes and then confesses that he has unbelief?  How can we?
  12. How much believing is necessary to see the promise of Jesus in verse 23 fulfilled?
  13. How does Jesus response to the father's confession of an incomplete faith help us understand God's grace that is available to meet us where we are in every situation of life? Why would Jesus give the man what he has asked for?
  14. When the disciples asked Jesus why they could not cast out this spirit, Mark records Jesus as saying, "This kind cannot come out by anything but prayer". What is Jesus talking about?
  15. In what way is prayer an element of faith?  In what way does prayer strengthen our faith? How does this passage fit with what Matthew and Luke reveal about this conversation and the Disciples "little" faith?
  16. What have you learned from this passage about how God meets us where we are and helps us in our struggle to believe?  How are you going to apply what you have learned?
The Summit Church