Mobilize the Paralyzed

Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. – Matthew 7:7

Recently in my prayer time God revealed to me that I have been praying for someone in the wrong way. As I prayed I kept wondering why this person did not see God’s goodness and truth. I know that scripture says that those who do not believe cannot understand, but still I couldn’t understand how God could not be obvious to my friend. God has been so faithful to me, and sometimes I see Him so clearly. I guess it’s something I’ve grown to take for granted over the years. Maybe God wasn’t working in my friend’s life? Was it possible?

On this particular night as I prayed all of a sudden it occurred to me that it wasn’t that God hadn’t shown Himself to my friend. It was my friend who had not seen God move. For instance, if I am told there is a man who can change my life but I will never see him, how will I ever find him if I don’t know his character or actions? Perhaps this is how my friend feels. He has heard a few things about God, but he doesn’t know His character or actions yet. How is he supposed to encounter God?

The answer lies in first half of Mark 2. Jesus is preaching in Capernaum inside tight quarters. The space is so crowded that there is not even room in front of the door. By this time in Jesus’ ministry people knew he could perform miracles. Several friends carry their paralyzed friend to where Jesus is preaching, but there is no way they can get him to Jesus. The room is too crowded, especially for several men carrying a person on a mat. The crowd does not stop their persistence to intercede for their friend. They climb to the roof which they tear away. Once they have dug through the roof they lower their friend on his mat until he is right in front of Jesus. Although they were interrupting Jesus’ teaching he sees their faith and desperation. He turns to the man and says, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Wait…that’s not what they came for. The friends had dug their way through the roof to have their friend healed of paralysis, and he just gets a few words of grace. Of course not! Jesus feels the criticism of the scribes watching his every move and asks, “Is it easier to say ‘your sins are forgiven’ or ‘get up and walk’? Stunned, they were silenced when Jesus says, “Stand up and take your mat and walk.” And the man got up and walked.

Fortunately God is gracious. Even when we carry our concerns to him asking him work in a specific way he heals in much bigger, better ways. Had he simply healed the man’s physical ailment, the man would not have been completely healed. When our friends or family have become helpless, hopeless, and even faithless we can carry them to Jesus through prayer. It may take effort like the friends we hear about in Mark 2, or it may take time, but that doesn’t mean we should give up.

Will you keep knocking? Jesus can sense the heart of the faithful.

Meditate on this song, and continue praying.

Portions of today’s prayer is taken from Psalm 55. Let us pray:

Heavenly Father, I thank you for your faithfulness to answer my prayer. Give ear to my prayer, O God; do not hide yourself from my supplication. Attend to me, and answer me; I am troubled in my complaint. But I call upon you, and you will save me. Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and you will hear my voice. I will cast my burden on you Lord, and you will sustain me. Amen

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