And behold, some men were bringing on a bed a man who was paralyzed, and they were seeking to bring him in and lay him before Jesus, but finding no way to bring him in, because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down with his bed through the tiles into the midst before Jesus. And when he saw their faith, he said, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.” (Luke 5:18-20)
The paralyzed man wouldn’t have been able to get to Jesus, but his friends faithfully carried him and laid him before Jesus, even at great effort to go through the roof in order to do it. The man received forgiveness and healing, but Jesus didn’t do it until after He had seen their faith.
In our current day, we don’t have Jesus here physically to bring our friends to, but we have an even easier method through prayer. We don’t have to go anywhere or go through any roofs to bring our friends and their burdens before the Lord. We simply talk to God on their behalf as we intercede fervently.
Prayer may not feel like a great action or an action at all, but prayer is the greatest action we can take. We’ve been given the gift of entering in boldly to the throne of grace through the blood of Jesus, and we should walk in that. While those men sacrificed their time and physical energy to bring their paralyzed friend to Jesus, you too can have the privilege of sacrificing time and energy to intercede for your friends by bringing requests before Jesus.
Your Level of Willingness
We are told that “the prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working” (James 5:16) so if we truly care about people, should we not be willing to sacrifice our time to pray for them? It ultimately becomes a matter of whether we’re willing and have a desire and discipline to do it.
Take a moment to examine yourself and answer these questions:
- Are you willing to sacrifice time to pray for your friends?
- How often do you take advantage of the access you have with God through prayer?
- How eager are you to bring your friends before the Lord?
We’ve seen time and time again throughout the gospels that Jesus was a man of prayer. He told a parable of being persistent in prayer, and we see the example of Elijah and other people of faith in the bible who took the time to fervently pray, in which great things were accomplished. The thing about prayer is that it is an opportunity to demonstrate our faith in the God who has told us to pray without ceasing, and in return it gives opportunity for God to be magnified and glorified in His answering. Prayer may not be glamorous, but it certainly is powerful.
A Daily Demonstration
Even if you haven’t been asked directly for prayer, there are always opportunities all around you to pray for people. When you’re scrolling on social media and see a post about someone in need or a sad situation, pray for them. When you’re driving and see a car accident, pray for them. When you see homeless people on the side of the road, pray for them. When you get cut off while driving, pray for them. In all things with all people, pray for them!
And especially when you have a friend who is in any kind of need, show them love by first praying for them. There isn’t always something that can be physically done to help, but even if there is, prayer is the surest help you can offer. Prayer is the surest help because the answer is not found in what your human hands can offer, but in the One whose righteous right hand will uphold your friend in their time of need.
Who do you know that needs prayer? Be a friend that loves, by bringing them before the Lord today.