Tag Archives: heavenly father

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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Inside Out

Sometimes I look at someone I’ve seen every weekday for years, and for no particular reason they look like they’ve had a major makeover. I can’t put my finger on what is different about them; same haircut, same size, same lipstick even, but something is NOT the same. I might even ask them, “Did you do something different with your hair?” Or say, “That color looks great on you!” But what it really comes down to is that each of the two of us has the Holy Spirit living in us, we are so connected in that moment that the other person looks as bright as the sun, as graceful as a dove, and as joyful as the angels. It’s like they have completely come alive.

Sara in Uganda 2014

Sara in Uganda 2014

In the last few weeks I have had the privilege of praying for my friend Sara who traveled to Uganda with Children of Grace. I have seen her happy before. We’ve had many laughs together, but the joy I see in her pictures is like the best makeover you could give someone. No amount of cosmetics, hair products, and stylists can make a person shine from the inside out. When I look at her pictures I cannot help but smile back.

God fills us up with His Holy Spirit when we submit ourselves to him, become vulnerable before him. He wants nothing more but to pour out this precious gift upon you, and take my word for it, it’s better than any alcohol buzz, any amount flattery and confidence, and any fireworks-y kiss. It’s the best feeling in the world.

Imagine the first church encountering the Holy Spirit. I wonder how many of them thought they had gone off their rocker. It’s Pentecost when the first church encounters the Holy Spirit in Acts 2. It says, “Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.” (I imagine Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz.) “They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” People looking in thought they were drunk, had too much wine. Then standing up, Peter announces, “They aren’t drunk. It’s only nine in the morning!” It turns out that this outpouring of God’s Spirit had been prophesied (foreseen by someone through whom God spoke) by Joel in the Old Testament.

This same amazing Spirit that rained down on the first church is still being poured out day. It is the living water; it never runs dry. And while it never runs dry, it is not attained without a commitment and life-change. Good things come to those who wait, so they say. The same is true for those who want the Holy Spirit.

You must first dedicate your life to Christ by repenting (confession and turning away from a life of sin) and vowing that you believe Jesus is your Lord and Savior and gave His life for your sins. Once you have done this and fully understand the meaning of such commitment you can consider baptism. Baptism is a symbol of your old life of sin ending and the beginning of your new life of love which strives for Christ’s righteousness. After your new life as an adopted son or daughter in Christ has begun you may pray for the Holy Spirit to come upon you. Often others will pray for you, many times while resting their hands on your shoulders or head (this is called laying on of hands). Don’t be frustrated or feel embarrassed if the Spirit doesn’t come right away. It can take time, even years, but it is worth it.

When you are filled you will know it. You will begin to see people more as God sees them, broken yet beautiful and worthy of love. You will notice many changes within you.

Let’s Pray:

Heavenly Father, we ask that each person reading this who is already your adopted Son or Daughter would be filled with your Holy Spirit whether they are ending or beginning their day. May you not hold back, but give them abundant portions of this gift you generously give. And for those who have not yet dedicated their lives to you I pray you would give them a glimpse of your goodness, that they would just get a taste of who you are. Your grace is sufficient. Lord, whether they give their lives to you today or 30 years from now they would remember this moment when they caught a glimpse of the Living God. Amen.

For those of you who would like to pray a prayer to accept Jesus as your Savior. This is just a sample of what you can say. I always tell people to change it if they want, but the attitude of the heart is key.

Heavenly Father, I want so badly to know you more. I admit I have sinned, but I am tired of sinning. I want to give my life to you so you can make it a life of forgiveness and love. I dedicate my life to you as you are my Lord and Savior who gave his life to die for my sins. I truly believe this, and thank you that you love me enough to make me a part of your family. Help me to live a life transformed by you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Take a moment to meditate on the words to this song.

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