Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. Rev. 22:1–2
Most holy and loving, Jesus, we begin today with one clear image and many pronounced longings. The image is John’s vision of the New Jerusalem, our future home of perfect health. Because of the tree of Calvary, the tree of life will stand tall in the New Jerusalem, bearing the fruit of your great sacrifice, extending its leaves for our complete healing—even that of the entire world.
Oh, to live, play, and praise in the shade of that tree, where every disease, disintegration and distress will be gone forever! Hasten than day of consummate shalom, Lord Jesus, when everything will be made right. Until then, we will continue to bring you people and situations in great need of your healing power.
Jesus, we bring you the people we love—people in need of all kinds of healing. We pray for families and marriages under attack and over-stressed; for the minds of those suffering with mental and emotional illnesses, and their care-givers; for our church families and leaders—justified sinners who still act out in foolish and childlike ways; for the fabric of our racially, economically and politically torn communities; for friends living in hard stories of abuse—past and present; those with common colds and uncommon diseases; for our own hearts, which easily drift to unbelief and idolatry. Everybody and every place needs you, Lord Jesus.
Why, how, and when you choose to bring a foretaste of perfect health in the present state of our brokenness is up to you. You are the King who does all things well. You don’t need our permission or motivation to do anything. But help us avoid two extremes, Lord Jesus: keep us free from faith formulas that treat healing like an on-demand right; and keep us free from a theology that has little or no expectation of your kingdom breaking in with power and healing. Come in power. Come with grace. Simply come, Jesus, and all will be well. We pray in your merciful and mighty name. Amen.