Friends Pray for Someone who is Very Ill

Four friends approached Jesus, carrying their sick friend on a stretcher, lowering him down through a hole in the roof – Mark Chapter 2:1-12

The story in this passage is multi-layered - rich in theology – rich in compassion – rich (even) in potential humour.

The story is also a picture of the church – or what it might be.

Why?

Because it depicts a place where:

  • Jesus is at its centre;
  • God’s Word is being preached
  • Forgiveness & healing is offered and received…

(Have you looked closely at the welcome sign outside this church? Underneath you can make out that it says, “Come and discover Him (Jesus) here…”)

(You see)The church is a place where we come to see Jesus…

Where we come to hear the preaching of God’s Word to us; where we come to be changed in body and soul…

It is the place where we are able, if we so desire, to bring ourselves and what really matters to us the most before God…

Where we, literally, lay before Christ the deepest concerns of our hearts…

Sometimes those concerns are for us and our own situations…

Sometimes, like the friends in this passage, our greatest concerns are for the ones we love – when they are troubled or sick the community of faith will do exactly what the faithful friends in this passage do - we bring them, we bring them with us before the all-powerful, loving God who is in our their midst – able & willing to do what we know we cannot – to forgive and to heal…

Here is a picture of the church at its best!

Here too is a picture of the church at prayer.

Four friends who carry their sick loved-one to the very feet of Jesus. They care about their friend.

They are willing to carry their friend and share the weight.

They dare to persist – stopping at nothing to get their friend to Jesus so that the one they admire and love can be lifted (lowered) into the very Presence of God Himself.

That is prayer.

They won’t allow the (potential) obstacles to their faith to stop them.

It was their faith (their trust and belief) in the good intentions and power of God that Jesus noticed first (Verse 5).

This is the community of faith.

They know where to come. Together they have strength, but the power belongs to God.

Their faith is IN THE LORD!

All the friends had to do was keep going, keep making their way through the crowd; keep digging through the roof…

Keep on seeking, asking, knocking…

Keep praying!

And nothing has changed.

It is (still) about our faith IN HIM.

It is in keeping our eyes on Him.

It is in listening to Him.

It is still in appealing to the power and love of God which far surpasses ours…

No matter how much we love someone, God loves them more.

 friend-prayerA Prayer for our friend Jen:

Lord, all power and might and grace belong to you...

We thank you for being at the centre and in the midst of us

We thank you for your Word which speaks of your authority to save and heal through your power and through the faith of friends who brought their friend to you

We thank you that we can do the same for our friends, and specially today for Jen whom we love - as we bring her, carry her, in the strength of our love, into the warmth and light of your presence...

We know that you, too Lord, have a special love for JEN, your servant and friend...

It is a love that never fails...

Lord we join you in this act of caring and love and prayer

We ask you, loving God, to lay your hands on Jen and transform her life once again, bringing Jen the fullness of your healing and your life.

Amen.