13 December 2017

A Prayer for “ paralysed” 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 paralysed 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, all of us have friends who are paralysed 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 get to you. We come boldly; we come expectant; we come with great joy, for You are a wonderful merciful Saviour.

We bring You our friends still paralysed by sin and death—strangers to Your grace, bereft of Your life. There’s no greater paralysis than spiritual death—whether one is bound in the grave-clothes of unrighteousness or self-righteousness. So, for the praise of Your glory, we ask You to grant our friends the righteousness that comes only by faith. Save them from both religion and non-religion. Give them faith that they might receive Your grace.

Lord Jesus, we bring You our friends paralysed 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—in their innermost being, that there’s no condemnation for those who are in Christ (Romans 8:1).

Lord Jesus, we bring You our friends paralysed 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 the best way to love and serve them.

When we are tempted to “fix” them, or avoid them, give us fresh compassion and patience. Jesus, we bring You our friends paralysed 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 grace.

Lastly, Jesus, we bring You our friends paralysed by the demands of care-giving—whether for aging parents or special needs children, and for those who are counsellors and case workers for justice and mercy. On behalf of those called to heroically love in situations that deplete them emotionally, financially, spiritually, and physically, we cry for great mercy, Jesus.

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 merciful name.

Scotty Smith