A Prayer for Our Paralyzed Friends

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 Jesus, all of us have friends who suffer from various expressions and degrees of paralysis. We lift them up to your throne of grace today, thankful we don’t have to fight crowds or remove any roof tiles to get to you.

We bring you our friends still paralyzed by sin and death—friends and family members who do not know you yet. 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 pray for those who have yet to receive the righteousness that comes only by faith. Save them from both religion and non-religion. Give them enabling faith that they might receive your all-sufficient grace.

Jesus, we bring you our friends paralyzed by shame and guilt. Breathe gospel healing and liberation into our friends who are constantly assaulted by “the accuser of the brethren,” about real and imaginary failures. May your perfect love drive out demonic contempt. 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.

Jesus, we bring you our friends paralyzed by old wounds, still raw with pain and grief. For our friends who have suffered various degrees of abuse and trauma, please bring the gospel to bear with great power and healing hope. And give us wisdom about how to love and be patient with them.

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, chemical and drug abuse, eating disorders, self-righteousness and legalism, greed, gossip, preoccupation with physical beauty, and so many other conditions for which the gospel alone provides sufficient power and redemptive resources. By the direct operation of your Spirit and through whatever means you choose, heal our friends.

Lastly, Jesus, we bring you our friends paralyzed by the demands of care-giving. On behalf of those called to love heroically in situations that have depleted them emotionally, financially, spiritually, and physically, we cry for great mercy, Jesus. Thank you for these men and women who demonstrate the sacrificial love of your wondrous cross.

Thank you for the privilege of both praying for our friends and being sent as a part of the answer to these prayers. So very Amen we pray, in your faithful and mighty name.