Prayer Works Miracles

by Pope Francis

Miracles still happen today. But in order to allow the Lord to carry them out we must pray with courage to overcome that feeling of disbelief that dwells in the heart of every man, even in men of faith.

While reflecting on the gospel reading of the day (Mk 9:14-29), the Holy Father focused on the question the disciples asked when they were unable to cast out the evil spirit from the boy: “Why could we not cast it out?”

“This kind of demon,” Jesus says, cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.”

The father of the child said: “Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.”

His was “a strong prayer; and that prayer, humble and strong, moves Jesus to work the miracle. A prayer that calls for an extraordinary action,” said the Pope, “must be a prayer that involves all of us [our being], as though our very life depends on it. In prayer, you have to put yourself to the test”.

“Miracles do happen. But we need to pray with our hearts—a courageous prayer that struggles for that miracle. Not like those prayers of courtesy: Ah, I will pray for you. Followed by one Our Father, a Hail Mary and then I forget.

“No! It takes a brave prayer like that of Abraham who was struggling with the Lord to save the city, like that of Moses who prayed, his hands held high when he grew weary.”

“Prayer works miracles,” Pope Francis ended, “but we must believe it. I think that we can say a beautiful prayer, not a polite prayer, but a prayer from the heart, and tell God today, throughout the whole day: “Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.”

Excerpted from the Vatican website—paraphrases and quotes from a Monday morning Mass homily in the Chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae on May 20, 2013