The text read, “Please say a prayer for me. Unspoken…I know I need a prayer warrior right now. Thank you.” That was it. I had no further details. It came from a friend of mine with a really stressful, busy job who never texts me during the day. Of course, I was in a place where I could immediately give my full attention to her request for prayer. (and no, I don’t believe for a moment that was a coincidence; I have come to believe there are no coincidences where God is involved) I found myself praying for her when I had a quiet moment all through that day. I still don’t know what her specific need was and it really doesn’t matter. She asked for prayer at that moment and I prayed for her.
That seems like an awfully simple way to help someone doesn’t it? The Bible has a fabulous story about how Jesus recognizes and rewards the faith of friends. In Mark 2:2-5, Jesus is talking to a group of people which as was most often the case when he was speaking, had turned into a huge crowd. The house was literally packed and no other people could get inside. There were four men carrying a fifth man on a mat who was paralyzed. They had brought him to see Jesus because they believed he could heal him. The room was so packed that they dug a hole in the roof and lowered him through it. These guys were determined to see Jesus that day no matter what.
Try picturing this scene, wall to wall people, the son of God is speaking. There is a whole menagerie of humanity there from everyday town folk to teachers of religious law, likely ranging from the most educated to the least. All of a sudden, a hole is cut in the roof above where Jesus is standing and man is lowered through it who can’t walk. I picture Jesus stopping and looking up and silence following as they lower this man to the floor. The text says they lowered the mat right in front of Jesus. What does Jesus say? Is he shocked? Is he outraged at being interrupted ? Nope. The scripture says, “Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “My child your sins are forgiven.” Further down in verse 11, he says, “Stand up, pick up your mat and go home.” The man does exactly that.
Jesus performed many miracles while he was on earth. I think he healed people because he loved people, all people. But, what makes this particular miracle unique, is he saw the faith of the man’s friends and rewarded him because of their faith. The story tells us nothing about the paralyzed man’s faith. This is really comforting when I think about the times I have asked for prayer from friends. I got another text last week from another friend who I asked to pray for me. It simply said, “I hope spirit week is going okay, prayers for my sweet CC and her momma too. Hugs.” I shared on Monday’s blog how I felt God’s hand all over me last weekend. Was it perhaps due to the prayers of a friend in addition to my own?
I will probably not get the answer to that one this side of heaven and that’s okay. But, I’m really starting to see the value of these prayer texts. Whether they are asking for prayer from me or letting me know they are praying for me, they allow me to feel closer to Jesus and we know from the friends story in the Gospel of Mark that Jesus clearly values the faith of friends. I’m going to try to be more diligent about letting friends know I am praying for them. Text seems the perfect way to do it. Using technology for Jesus is just one more way to throw a pebble and watch the waves.
Have an awesome day!