I believe and I don't believe

I was startled this morning reading a familiar passage, Mark 9:14-29. Jesus, Peter, James and John have just come down from the mountain after the Transfiguration, to find an argument and a confused crowd. A man with a demon-possessed son says he brought the boy but the disciples were not able to drive out the spirit. Jesus asks to see the boy, and the spirit threw the boy into a convulsion.

“How long has he been like this?”
“Since childhood,” the father answers. “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.”
“‘If you can’?” said Jesus, “Everything is possible for one who believes.”
Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
The father's words are impressive for their honesty. “I do believe, but I also don't. Please help.” I wonder how often are we that honest in our prayers?

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