Mark 2:1-12 (NIV)
Some men came, bringing to [Jesus] a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. Vs. 3
Have you ever heard someone say, “You just need to pray through.” I have, on a number of occasions. The context was either a Pentecostal church or Charismatic gathering. It used to bother me a lot, mostly because I never really knew what it meant. I knew it was about praying for something that made complete spiritual sense (usually) but nothing seemed to be moving in the direction we were asking God to move.
Our text today is about bringing a person who was in need of a healing touch from Jesus, but the obstacles were many and there seemed to be no way to get their friend to Jesus. I can only imagine what the others must have thought when one of them came up with the idea to tear a hole in the roof and lower their friend in front of Jesus. But that is exactly what they did. We read of Jesus response. He honoured the faith of the four friends, and he ministered to the man.
There are times when believers are so broken, so stressed, so anxious, feeling too sinful to ever reach out to Jesus. Those are the times that we need our brothers and sisters to pray for us. That is the time when we need to put on our spiritual hard hats and go to work. Sadly, many times we sit and surmise what is spiritually wrong with our friend. What is needed is the willingness to struggle through the spiritual battle ground and find a way to touch the Saviour that loves us so much.
I think this is what it means to “pray through.” When the slugging gets hard, when the answers don’t seem to come, when prayers seem to hit the ceiling and bounce back at us, we do not give up, but keep on praying. When these four friends decided to do what needed to be done and not give up, Jesus honoured them by first forgiving the man’s sins and then he healed the man’s body and as he walked out for all of the people to see, he gave testimony to the person and power of Jesus.
One thing I will not do is make light of people who are called to “pray through.” And when they invite me to join them, I am glad to put my spiritual hard hat on and go to work.
Lord give me faith to believe and the tenacity to not give up in prayer. Lord count me in to be someone who is willing to pray through and to see your glory revealed to the world. Amen.