Prayer Bead Devotion: “I Believe; Lord Help My Unbelief”

Last week’s devotion focused on the three different times that Christ appeared to his disciples following his resurrection, and the ways in which he calls us to follow him.  At one point Christ calls us to believe in him and I encouraged you to pray for strength of faith, particularly when your faith was weakened or threatened, by using the phrase, “I believe.  Lord, help my unbelief.”  Although this phrase actually comes from a different story in the book of Mark, it is a powerful way to address the human condition: our limited ability to believe in the power of God.

I was amazed by how much that part of the devotion affected me last week.  It was the first time that I had really meditated on that phrase and began to understand its true meaning and power.  I began to really understand the places in my life where I don’t really believe in Christ’s power.

While I believe that Christ is my Lord and Savior, I realize that I don’t always believe in his power to guide me in my career choices, or to help me in my finances; to strengthen my relationships, or to give me the ability to lead a healthy lifestyle.  I realize that when I doubt my ability to do these things I am, in a sense, confessing that I don’t believe in Christ’s power to heal my life.

And so I thought it would be powerful to continue to explore the ways in which we can strengthen our belief in Jesus Christ and his ability, as our risen Lord, to save us, in every way and at all levels of our lives.

Cross: In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.

Invitatory Bead: “Immediately, the boy’s father exclaimed, ‘I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief.’”  (Mark 9:24 NIV)

1st Cruciform Bead: Jesus, through your boundless mercy you have the power to forgive sin.  I believe that, through you I can also forgive those who have sinned against me, even when it is hard to do.  I do believe; Lord, help me overcome my unbelief.

1st set of Week Beads: use each bead to ask for forgiveness of your sins, or to pray for Christ’s power to help you forgive the sins of others, especially where you struggle to do so.

2nd Cruciform Bead: Jesus, in your love for us you know our every need even before we are aware of them.  I believe in your ability to provide for my daily needs even when I am fearful that you can’t or won’t.  I do believe;  Lord, help me overcome my unbelief.

2nd set of Week Beads: use each to bead to pray for guidance and assistance with those things that concern you, whether for yourself or others.

3rd Cruciform Bead: Jesus, out of love you have called us and given us the power to minister to those around us.  I believe in your ability to work through me to minister to others, even when I don’t know how, or doubt my own ability to do so.  I do believe;  Lord, help me overcome my unbelief.

3rd set of Week Beads: use each bead to meditate on the many ways in which you can be in ministry to those in need, particularly those ways that puzzle or scare you.

4th Cruciform Bead: Jesus, you know me and all of the ways in which I doubt your power, your grace, and most of all, your love for me.  Yet, I believe in your power to overcome and transform my unbelief.  I do believe; Lord, help me overcome my unbelief.

4th set of Week Beads: use each bead to pray for Christ’s power to help you overcome your disbelief in whatever form it takes.

Invitatory Bead: recite the Lord’s Prayer

Cross: In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.

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