They Can’t Get There on Their Own – Part 2
“He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, ‘We have never seen anything like this!’” (Mark 2:12 NIV)
Do you notice the difficulties you have to overcome when you intercede for someone? It’s pictured by the story of the four men who were determined to take their paralyzed friend to Jesus. They had to carry him all the way to where Jesus was; that wasn’t easy. But they weren’t going for themselves; they were going for someone they loved. What good friends that man had! He was having a difficult time in life, but he had some really good friends. They carried him all that way and then when they got there, it wasn’t even standing room only. What they heard was, “You can’t get in.” But that didn’t stop them! You see, when you’re really believing God for someone you love, you’ll always find a way. Intercessory prayer for someone can’t be blocked, because prayer finds a way where there seems to be no way. You pray through difficulties. You pray through blockages. You pray through mountains. You pray through walls that scream out, “No, that can’t happen. The situation is too far gone. There’s no hope. Too much has happened. Too much time has gone by.” But the intercessor says, “Yes, it will happen for my friend, for my loved one, my coworker, my classmate. God will do it, because I’m going to bring this thing to Jesus!”
The men who were taking the paralyzed man to Jesus had to go up to the roof, still carrying the man! That’s a lot of heavy lifting! Then they had to dig through the roof and separate the tiles. They could have given up and said, “No, this is too hard. Let’s wait for a better time.” These men knew, however, that their friend was in a desperate situation. He needed a touch from God at that very moment. So they worked through until they made a hole big enough to let the mat down through the roof and down to the floor right in front of Jesus. That’s how much time and effort it will take sometimes to believe God for someone. Perhaps there are obstacles in the way. Maybe the person for whom you’re praying doesn’t even want the help. They are on a path to destruction and they want to remain there. But faith continues to intercede!
It’s interesting to note in the story that Jesus wasn’t put off by the disturbance created by these four men and their friend. Remember that Jesus had been teaching, and had to stop when the man was lowered through the roof. Not only was he not disturbed, it seemed that he loved it! Seeing their faith, he said, “Oh, I’m going to do something now,” and not only was the man healed, but his sins were forgiven as well. While unbelief shuts down everything God wants to do, it seems, faith just draws power from God.
If a friend or loved one needs Jesus today, don’t be deterred by the many obstacles that may be in the way. Do battle for that person in prayer. The Lord will hear and he will answer, and your friend or loved one will be saved through your prayers and the help provided by the Holy Spirit.
Read Mark 2:6-12.