I SHALL ALWAYS PRAY

Opening Prayer

Eternal God, you’ve said that if our faith is like a mustard seed we can move mountains.  You’ve said nothing will be impossible for us.  You’ve implied that demons can flee and seizures leave and health be restored.  O God, increase our faith, that we might truly show forth the light and life of your kingdom in this darkened, pain-filled world.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord, and the power of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

TEXT

Matthew 17:14-27 TNIV

When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus and knelt before him.  “Lord, have mercy on my son,” he said. “He has seizures and is suffering greatly.  He often falls into the fire or into the water.  I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.”

“You unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you?  How long shall I put up with you?  Bring the boy here to me.”  Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed from that moment.

Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”

He replied, “Because you have so little faith.  Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move.  Nothing will be impossible for you.”

When they came together in Galilee, he said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered over to human hands.  He will be killed, and on the third day he will be raised to life.”  And the disciples were filled with grief.

After Jesus and his disciples arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma tax came to Peter and asked, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax?”

“Yes, he does,” he replied.

When Peter came into the house, Jesus was the first to speak.  “What do you think, Simon?” he asked.  “From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes—from their own children or from others?”

“From others,” Peter answered.

“Then the children are exempt,” Jesus said to him.  “But so that we may not offend them, go to the lake and throw out your line.  Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin.  Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours.”

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Let others say what they will of the efficacy of prayer, I believe in it, and shall always pray.  Thank God!  Yes, I shall always pray!

—Sojourner Truth (1797-1883)

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