They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. 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 2:2-4
Merciful Lord Jesus, this story shouts your approachability, grace-full-ness and power; but it also underscores the heartbeat of good friendship. All of us have friends who are paralyzed by a variety conditions. We lift them up to your throne of grace today, thankful we don’t have to fight crowds or remove any roof tiles to lower them down to you.
We bring you our friends still paralyzed by sin and death. You healed the paralytic to demonstrate your authority on earth to forgive sins (Mark 2:5-12). There’s no greater or more necessary healing than to be raised from spiritual death. So, Jesus, for the praise of your glory, we bring you our friends who’ve yet to receive the righteousness that comes only by faith. Save them from both religion and non-religion; unrighteousness and self-righteousness. Give them a living faith that they might receive your saving grace.
Lord Jesus, we bring you our friends paralyzed by shame, guilt, and contempt. Breathe gospel healing into our friends who are being constantly assaulted by “the accuser of the brethren,” about real and imaginary failures. Let them experientially know there is now NO condemnation for those who are in Christ (Rom. 8:1). Without this knowledge they won’t be able to repent, heal, and get their eyes off themselves.
Lord Jesus, we bring you our friends paralyzed by old wounds, still generating new pain. For our friends who’ve suffered various degrees of abuse and trauma, bring the gospel to bear with great power and healing hope. And give us wisdom about how to love and be patient with them.
Lord Jesus, we bring you our friends paralyzed by various obsessions and addictions. Before your throne of grace, we bring those who are hooked into pornography and other sexual entanglements, alcohol and drug abuse, eating disorders and spending addictions, mean-spirited legalism and life-numbing hedonism… and so many other conditions for which the gospel alone provides sufficient power and grace.
Lastly, Lord Jesus, we bring you our friends paralyzed in cold marriages and parenting nightmares, and other crazy-making, soul-exhausting relational stories. Bring the power of your resurrection to bear, in obvious and substantive ways. Grant wisdom and grace, community and hope, for those who feel all alone in their relational crises.
Thank you for the privilege of both praying for our friends and being sent as a part of the answer to these very prayers. So very Amen we pray, Lord, Jesus, in your merciful and mighty name.