I Believe, Help My Unbelief! The True Meaning

What Does “I Believe, Help My Unbelief” Mean In The Bible?

In Mark 9:24, the father of a child possessed by an unclean spirit cries out to Jesus, “I believe; help my unbelief!” In response, Jesus commands the unclean spirit to come out of the boy and the boy is completely healed.

Why did Jesus heal the boy when his father explicitly said he was struggling with unbelief?

The father’s statement is actually a cry for help. He believes in Jesus and knows that He has the power to heal his son, but he also recognizes his own weakness – his unbelief. In other words, he knows that he needs Jesus’ help to overcome his unbelief and receive the miracle of healing for his son.

And that’s exactly what Jesus does. He doesn’t condemn the father for his unbelief but instead offers help and healing. This teaches us that, even when we are struggling with doubts and unbelief, Jesus is always ready and willing to help us. All we need to do is ask.

Help My Unbelief

Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?”

From childhood,” he answered. “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!” – Mark 9:21-24

It’s somewhat surprising that Jesus healed the boy when his father said, “I believe, help my unbelief.” After all, Jesus stresses over and and over how important faith is to God. There were times when Jesus refused to do miracles due to unbelief and a lack of faith. In this case, the father’s cry for help seems to go against everything Jesus said about faith.

So why did Jesus respond to the father’s cry and heal the boy?

The answer lies in understanding what the father was really saying. When he said, “I believe, help my unbelief,” he wasn’t denying that Jesus had the power to heal. He was acknowledging his own weakness and asking for Jesus’ help.

In other words, the father recognized that his unbelief was keeping him from receiving the miracle he so desperately needed. And Jesus was more than happy to help.

Can you identify with the father of the child? Maybe you, too, are struggling with unbelief. Maybe you doubt that Jesus can help you with your problems.

If so, take heart! The father’s story is a reminder that Jesus is always willing to help us overcome our unbelief. All we need to do is ask.

When we come to Jesus with humility and a willingness to admit our need for help, He will always be there for us. So don’t hesitate to cry out to Jesus, “I believe; help my unbelief!”

He is always ready and willing to help us overcome our doubts and unbelief.

What Does It Mean That All Things Are Possible For Him Who Believes?

In Mark 9:23, Jesus tells the boy’s father that “everything is possible for one who believes.” But what does this really mean?

First, it’s important to understand that the word “believe” here is not referring to mental assent. It’s not enough to simply believe that Jesus has the power to do something; we must also trust Him and His character.

When we believe in Jesus, we are entrusting our lives to Him. We are saying that we believe He is who He says He is and that He can be trusted to do what He says He will do.

This kind of trust is what allows us to see God work miracles in our lives. When we truly believe that Jesus is who He says He is and that He has the power to do what He says He can do, we will see Him work in ways that we never could have imagined.

So if you are struggling with unbelief, ask God to help you increase your faith. Pray that He would give you a deeper trust in Him and His character. When we do this, we will see God work in amazing ways in our lives.

Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of wisdom.

When we come to Jesus, admitting our need for help, He is always ready and willing to give us the help we need. So don’t hesitate to cry out to Jesus, “I believe; help my unbelief!” He is always ready and willing to help us overcome our doubts and unbelief.

Why Is Faith So Important?

This passage shows us the importance of faith. In Hebrews 11:6, we are told that “without faith it is impossible to please God.”

Why is faith so important to God?

The answer lies in the fact that faith is a source of strength for us. It’s what allows us to trust God and follow Him even when things are difficult.

Without faith, we would be constantly doubting God and His goodness. We would be paralyzed by our fears and never take any risks for Him.

But when we have faith, we trust that God is good even when things are tough. We know that He will never abandon us or leave us alone. And we are able to follow Him even when it’s hard.

Jesus said that if we have faith, we will move mountains. In Matthew 17:20, He tells His disciples, “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 we have faith in Jesus, even the impossible becomes possible. We are able to do things we never could have done on our own.

The Power Is In God, Not Our Faith

It’s important to note that the power comes from God, not from our faith. In fact, that’s one of the main points of Mark 9:24. If God required perfect faith before He would act, none of our prayers would be answered.

The fact that God is willing to work even when we have weak faith shows us His great love and mercy. He is not waiting for us to get our act together before He will help us. The power comes from God, not because our faith is particularly strong. God can work even through the weakest faith. All that He requires is that we believe in Him and His ability to do great things.

Prayer For Unbelief and Doubt

Dear God,

Sometimes I find it hard to believe that You are who You say You are. I get caught up in my doubts and fears and I start to question Your goodness and power.

Help me to overcome my unbelief. Increase my faith so that I can trust You more. Help me to see that You are good even when things are tough. Give me the courage to follow You even when it’s hard.

I know that the power is in You, not in my faith. I am so grateful that You are willing to work even through my weak faith. Thank You for Your great love and mercy.


Hey, I'm Stephen Altrogge. I'm a dad and published author. I've written for The Gospel Coalition, Desiring God, ERLC, Church Leaders, Crosswalk, and many more outlets. You can follow me on Instagram and Facebook .

11 thoughts on “I Believe, Help My Unbelief! The True Meaning”

  1. We are waiting on paperwork to move. It’s several weeks late. I wonder whether it’s lost. No one seems to know.
    “But God”. He always knows, his timing is always perfect.
    Thanks for the reminder to wait in faith.


  2. Absolutely Beautiful Context, Hugh, seems to impact on a Christians daily struggle, at least for me & many apparently. You said it well, TY. What a wonderful reminder of how great his love for us is…it continually floors me.

  3. Do you think that maybe the reason that God answers such prayers is that we are, in fact, openly confessing our sin of unbelief before a host of worshipers and non-worshipers? We are not pretending, to have faith in the midsts of all these believers and non-believers standing around us.

    No, we have come before the Lord and a whole host of persons with our hearts exposed for all to see and for all to hear our honest and humble confession. I think that it is because of this spirit of honesty, humility, and confession that the Lord is responding to.

  4. Amen Brother Stephen!! From The Book of Matt. 17:20 Jesus said, if we have Faith the size of a grain of mustard seed that we would be able to speak to whatever mountain, obstacle that is preventing, us to move forward. He has giving us the power to say to such things; remove from this place to that other place away from us and we shall have whatsoever we say, it has to remove itself; and nothing shall be impossible unto us, isn’t that good news! All things are possible to those that believe and yes, there are times when we doubt God, well we don’t actually doubt The Power of God because we Know that God is Able to do just what He said He would do but we’re not sure if we have been obedient enough for God to perform a miracle in our lives. I am so glad that God does not hold my sin against me knowing rather I my heart is sincere towards He and when I do sin it is not intentional I’m not a practicing sin meaning that I sin purposely but I sin because I have not arrived to perfection yet and I will not until my Lord and Savior call me Home to live with Him forever in eternity. My belief and what I know of God’s Great Character is that He is not like man. He looks at the heart for sincerity. God knows if we are really sincere about what we are asking Him to do and also if it is in our best interest or even beneficial for us. God wants us to have great faith, unwavering faith but obviously/ Supernaturally because GOD is sovereign and He is ALL knowing He knows EVERYTHING and that gives Him ALL CONTROL and ABILITY to know our heart and what is best for us. So yes!! This is sooo Amazing to know that GOD has Mercy on us even when we have little doubt. HALLELUJAH!!! Thank you Lord for looking beyond our felts and supply our needs. Thank you Lord Jesus!!! I believe that as long as we can believe that GOD IS ABLE to perform that which HE has said, that is enough Faith for Him to perform miracles in the lives of His people. Praise God for His mercy and His miracles and Thank you Bro. Stephen for allowing me to Share! May God Bless and keep you and May He take you to Higher Heights in Him!

  5. The post was simply and beautifully conveyed to my yearning heart this evening. Thank you. I’ve come into a season where I find myself questioning and conflicted in my belief. This space I find myself is made scarier as I’m a leader in my local church. I’m not turning away from the Lord, but there’s a constant wrestling with verses that I simple believed. I become anxious, although Paul says be anxious for nothing. A few weeks ago, I said to myself, “I’m feel like I’m drifting away.” In the same breath, as if the Lord said it himself, I said, “but Lord, I’m drifting into place.” I asked him this evening in prayer to help my unbelief toward his Word, his plans, myself in Jesus, and I received peace for this moment. It gives such assurance in knowing God isn’t shocked or embarrassed by our inner struggles, but is pleased to help, comfort, and demonstrate his power, as it draws us nearer to Him.
    Again, thank you for posting. This is my first post I read by you found on a google search. I plan to look at your others.

  6. Thank you very much. This is my prayer today for God to help my unbelief as I feel my faith being tested in so many ways . Your message spoke to my heart and uplifted me. God bless you

  7. I’m almost 75 years old and in the last 10 months I’m having to move two times and this is the second time around and I was questioning my faith and believing God cuz I didn’t see anything happening so I looked up the scripture I believe help my unbelief and your article website came up it is such a blessing to me and it makes me realize my faith isn’t about me believing it’s about me believing that God will help me thank you this is such a blessing and in the last couple of years I’ve had a thing about fire so it’s interesting that you’re called blazing center there’s like God drew me to you blessings

  8. This is really helpful. I believe in God’s power and mercy to do all things. I just find myself afraid about God manifesting the answers to what I seek at the time I anticipate or at a later time.
    This write up has helped me anyways because, I am sometimes weary of my fears standing in the way of God’s miracles in my life.
    Thank you a lot


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