Mark 9.29 records, He replied, this kind can come out only by prayer.
The disciples did not see Jesus pray for the demon to be removed, they only saw Him rebuke the demon and it left the boy. Why then did Jesus say the disciples failed to remove the demon by their rebuke because they had not prayed?
When we think of prayer we think of immediate effect. Repeatedly Jesus urges us to pray; to pray consistently and to pray persistently. We struggle to pray consistently and persistently in matters related to the kingdom of God. We pray daily no doubt, but they are ‘one-second’ prayers; prayers that ask for help in a moment of frustration or need.
Jesus was prayed up when He encountered the demon so was powered up to remove the demon. Without consistent, persistent prayer for God’s kingdom to come and His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven, we will struggle to see or affect the answer to this prayer. We must put the time in prayer if we are to be truly empowered by prayer.
We know this in the natural. To run far we must build up the miles running. To earn a PhD we must put in the hours studying. To win the big account we must put in the hours selling. To be fruitful in God’s work we must put in the hours of prayer, just as Jesus did.
To fulfill His promise that we would do greater works than He did we must spend greater time praying than He did, and that is a tall order for all of us.