The men brought their paralyzed friend to Jesus because they had faith Jesus could heal him. When the crowd was so large they couldn’t get inside to where Jesus was, they cut a hole in the ceiling and lowered their friend right in front of Jesus. (Matt 9, Mark 2, Luke 5)
What did Jesus do? He forgave the crippled man’s sins. In this act, we see where Jesus places his priorities.
It reminded me of the prayer boards in many Sunday School rooms, and prayer lines active in many churches. They are full of requests for God’s intervention for every ailment known to man:
Pray for Susie’s sinus problems. Bill’s cancer, Clyde’s cough, June’s surgery, Donna’s new job.
God wants us to bring our requests to him and I am not criticizing anyone for praying for another. It’s our responsibility and our privilege to bring our requests to the Lord. But if our priorities were the same as Jesus, wouldn’t our prayer boards be at least equally filled with requests for the salvation of souls:
Pray for Sandy as she has lunch with her cousin on Tuesday, pray for the cousin that her heart would be open and she would be willing to listen. For Chuck as he goes fishing with his coworker. For Laura as she witnesses to her husband.
Oh, Jesus healed the crippled man. And he still answers our prayers for physical needs. But physical healing is still a temporary fix. A repentant heart is a healing that is eternal.
Let’s pray. Pray for the health and physical healing of our loved ones. Jesus reveals himself through those answered prayers. But let’s not neglect the more important thing: the salvation of souls.
Father, I pray for those in my life who are facing physical challenges, emotional problems, relationship difficulties. Reveal yourself in their healing and may Jesus be praised. But I would pray for those who don’t know you. I pray for broken hearts when faced with the reality of sin, I pray for the softening of hardened hearts, for ears that will listen. May your Holy Spirit have free reign in the hearts of…. and …. today and may they come to the Savior to receive the healing that will last eternally. Show me what role I can play in their salvation, and may you find me faithful for Jesus’ sake.