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Mark 2:2c-4 and 10c-12 ESV
And [Jesus] was preaching the word to them. And they came, bringing to Him a paralytic carried by four men. And when they could not get near Him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above Him, and when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay.
[Jesus] said to the paralytic – “I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.” And he immediately rose, picked up his bed, and went out before them all so that they were all amazed and glorified God saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”.
I know I’ve been guilty of saying something like this in the past – “What can I do for you besides pray?”. And in so doing, I’ve been guilty of diminishing the importance of prayer – that rich hard work of bringing someone before Jesus for Him to do for my friend what no one else can. When I pray for my friend, I acknowledge the innate power of prayer in words and breaths when words aren’t present. When I pray for my friend, I carry my friend and his burden to places he cannot go by himself. For in prayer, I can carry my friend’s bed, remove the roof, and put my friend there at the feet of Jesus where miracles can and do happen. And there in prayer, I’m watching, waiting, expecting the amazement of the unimaginable and the glorification of the Father displayed through faith lived out in obedience (see Philippians 4:6).
Jesus doesn’t need my words for His miracles. Jesus doesn’t need my attention for His Presence. Yet He tells me to pray without end or worry and to come in boldness with my requests (see Philippians 4:6 and Hebrews 4:16). And that truth convicts, compels, and courage-gives-me to pick up my friend’s bed yet again and take another step closer towards Jesus on his behalf…
As the world grows darker and the nights seemingly longer, I am often awakened in the night to pray for friends. To breathe their names before God – in and out – “Jesus, please remember ________”. Situations so hard that I don’t even know what to say other than His Name and theirs together, over and again. And that’s enough to make the hairs on my arms and neck stand up recognizing that the Holy Spirit is whispering to Father God on behalf of them and me…just like now…
Dear Father God,
You know my friends and their burdens. You are with them there on their beds. You’ve brought me here to hold up this edge of their beds in faith and take another step for them. Please help me to be faithful to keep praying. Please help them and me to believe that nothing is impossible or unimportant with You. Please remove any roofs in the way so we all can see You at work and worship You in amazement. We know that only You can do the miraculous. We trust You in the now and not-yet.
In the strong Name of Jesus,
written by and copyrighted to Beth Madison, Ph.D., 2022