Prayer Concerns
• Jim Davis – NHC, congestive heart failure, seems to be doing well.
• Pat Henry – Hillcrest Simpsonville, Afib, determining next steps.
• Revonda Reames – Greenville Memorial, dealing with congestive heart failure.
• Jimmy Reames – NHC, recovering from a mild stroke. Much better.
• Mike Little – home, dehydration and possible infection.
• Susan Little – a number of health issues and concerned about Mike’s health.
• Debbie Campbell – Greenville Memorial, accident Saturday. Will be there several days.
• Jimmy Chandler – recovering from an outpatient procedure today.
• Steve Hobbs – recovering from back surgery, doing well for the most part.
• Barry Lynch – appears to have had a TIA recently, consulting with doctors.
• Francis Feighner – outpatient procedure on lungs last week, following up with doctor.
• Linda Dickens – recent stroke, slowly recovering.
• Keith Blore – had outpatient procedure last week, recovering at home.
• Wayland Sherman – diagnosed with prostate cancer. Started chemo, doing very well.
• Bryson Davis – recovering at home from four wheeler accident.
• Jim & Elaine Sumeral – homebound, ongoing health issues.
• Allyson Sherer- continues to do well overall, positive recent doctors’ visits.
• Carolyn Madden – cognitive/physical issues.
• Jane Ivey – recent surgery, hopeful to begin to feel better.
• Bill Ramey – continuing to take treatments.
• Joan Owings – NHC, continues to receive care/treatment.

Giving: Thank you for your continued generosity to FBC through your tithes and offerings. Please continue to be faithful to the best of your ability.

Worship Options: We will continue to post a worship service every Sunday on our website and via the FBC Laurens App. You may also listen to our service on WLBG at 11:05 each Sunday morning.

Upcoming Worship: This Sunday, May 24, our online service will feature patriotic music for Memorial Day. Next Sunday, May 31, we will celebrate High School graduates through a special video. We hope to announce soon a planned date for resuming on campus services.

FBC VBS: VBS will take the place of Fine Arts Camp this year, August 2-6.

FBC Deacon Nominations/Elections: Have been postponed until we can be back together in person. Once normal programming resumes new dates will be set for both the nomination and the election process.
Reflecting Together

Read: Mark 9:14-29

Sometimes our faith seems effortless. Our prayers are deep and meaningful, and our worship feels alive and invigorating. Our Bible study and quiet times come easy, and God reveals much of Himself as we mine for the treasures available to us in scripture. In those times, God feels so close that we can feel His breath upon us.

But then, there are the other times when God feels absent, and our faith becomes strained to its limit. We find ourselves drowning in a flood of trials. These may be problems at work, in our marriage, the health problems of a loved one or ourselves or personal financial problems. In these times, there is very little that seems certain in our lives. In these moments, we suffer from big doubts and small faith.

In today’s passage, we meet a father who finds himself in this type of battle. His son has suffered from a myriad of problems. He has struggled with being a deaf-mute, epileptic, and possessed by a demon since early childhood. The demon has thrown the young boy into fires and water in an attempt to kill him. We can assume that these attempts have left the boy scarred, both physically and emotionally.

The father, desperate and tired, offers a prayer to Jesus. “If you can do anything for him, please have pity on us and help us.” The emphatic term used for the word “if” here literally means “doubt.” It is like saying to someone, “You probably can’t help me with this but, if you can, that would be great.” Big doubts, small faith.

When Jesus responded by saying that miracles are tied to faith, the boy’s father exclaimed “I do believe; help me with my unbelief.” This prayer is an honest description of the struggle between faith and doubt that lies within the father’s heart.

Neither of these two prayers of the father express a bold, courageous, and strong faith, but they do indicate enough spiritual sense to bring the matter to Jesus. His prayers were honest and humble, with no pretense, and Jesus responded.

Our faith will never be complete on this side of heaven. It is always a work-in-progress. For most people on most days, we live with a mixture of both faith and doubt. When we doubt, we can always be honest with God and simply express our struggles with Him through prayer. He listens, understands and responds. As a result, we are covered by His grace.

Consider this:
• What was Jesus’ response to the father’s first prayer (v.23)? Why is this statement important for us today?

• Do you ever hesitate to bring your doubts to God? What do you fear might happen if you do?

• Do you think we should pray the Father’s prayer- “I do believe; help me with my unbelief.”- every day? What might happen as a result?

Prayer: Father, thank you for your great love for us. Thank you for the gift of Your grace that covers us when we doubt. Help our faith to grow. In Jesus name, Amen.