Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. Mark 2:4
A few years back I got a call from a young man who excitedly told me that he was no longer in prison. This young man was sentenced to 72 years in prison when I first met him through prison ministry. Every week I prayed with him and for him that God would have mercy and ultimately set him free. Miraculously, his sentence was reduced drastically. The Lord gave him favor with the judge who realized his sentence was disproportionate to the crime and unjustly lengthy. He was subsequently released after 4 years in prison.
Many of us are blessed or healed or delivered or saved because a friend prayed for us without ceasing. I know it is the prayers of my mother that have helped me make it through life. Having a friend pray for us is the best gift they can give us. More importantly, having a friend believing in God for us and believing in us is paramount for overcoming the challenges of life.
In today’s text, Jesus healed a paralyzed man because of the faith of his four friends who dug a hole in the roof of a house where Jesus was preaching to a crowd. The friends had such strong faith in Jesus they were willing to do anything to get their paralyzed friend to the Lord. Their persistence, determination, and love for their friend made the difference. They did not allow any obstacles to prevent them from getting their paralyzed friend before Jesus.
Are you praying fervently for a friend who is in desperate need of divine intervention? If so, don’t stop praying and believing that God can do whatever needs to get done. At times, it may seem as if you want a better outcome more urgently than the person in need. Your faith may indeed be stronger and more resilient than the person you are praying for. Nevertheless, be encouraged and consistent in interceding for your friend knowing that God is able to do more than you can ask or imagine.
I grew up in a Christian conservative home where reading the Bible and praying every day were mandatory. Going to church was our way of life and the center of our community life. My mother ran a very tight ship and everyone in our home was obligated to follow the Christian path. Yet, one of my brothers- who died in 1991- deviated from his Christian upbringing when he became an adult. In truth, that brother struggled quite a bit with his relationship with Christ. My mother knew that, and she prayed for him for years. My mother often prayed that my brother would accept Jesus Christ on his own and have a relationship with the Lord. A couple of months before his untimely death, he told the family that he had accepted the Lord. Unbeknown to us, he was preparing for his final journey to be with the Lord. He died at the age of 21, but I know he is in heaven because my mother never stopped praying for his salvation.
I want to also encourage you to have faith in God for the people you care about no matter what. Believe that what they need to overcome an addiction or start a business, or be healed from cancer, etc., will be provided in the name of Jesus. Your faith can be the difference between life and death.
Sometimes, all a friend needs to hear you say is that you are praying for them and believe that God will bless them. You should exercise your faith on behalf of a friend whether the person is Christian or not. If the person is a nonbeliever, let them know that you are praying for them with the faith that God will help them. You don’t have to force your Christian faith on them. Just have to exercise your faith for them.
Questions for Personal Reflection
What friend needs your faith to help them through a crisis?
How important it is to have a friend believing God for you?
Prayer- Blessed Lord, I thank you for the people who have prayed and are praying for me. May you honor their faith and bless them according to your loving-kindness. I pray for the people in my sphere of influence who are struggling with one thing or another. May your will be done for them, and may they experience your love and power through Christ Jesus.