February 08, 2020

When It's Hard to Pray

Mark 2:1-12

Some men came, bringing to [Jesus] a paralyzed man, carried by four of them.

—  Mark 2:3

We have a little quiz we use when we teach middle schoolers about Jesus. We list some scenarios, such as moving to a new school or losing a grandparent, and we ask the children how likely it would be for them to invite Jesus to help them deal with it. The point is that they can call on Jesus in every situation.

But what if a person feels too broken, too sorrowful, too stressed, or too sinful to reach out to Jesus for healing? I knew a dear woman, now with the Lord, who struggled with debilitating depression. There were times when she just couldn’t pray, and her pastor assured her that it was okay because many people were lifting her up by name to Jesus.

Today’s Bible reading tells of a man who couldn’t get to Jesus on his own because he was paralyzed. His friends decided to make a way through when they could find no other way to reach Jesus. So they climbed up on the roof, made a hole in it, and lowered their friend on his mat to meet Jesus.

The first thing Jesus did was to heal the man’s soul by forgiving his sins, and then he healed the man’s body so that he could walk. Jesus knows exactly what we need. When we just can’t bring ourselves to Jesus, the family of God can carry us to him in prayer.

Dear Jesus, thank you that when broken people like us are placed at your feet, you touch us in ways we couldn’t imagine and you heal us in places only you can see. Thank you for making a way. Amen.

About the author — Bonny Mulder-Behnia

Bonny Mulder-Behnia is a pastor in Bellflower, California, with 25 years of experience in church staff, educational, congregational, and pastoral ministry. She is married to Jahan and has two adult children and a grandson.

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