Saturday, August 21, 2010

It's Time to Tear a Hole in the Roof.....

"And when they could not get him to a place in front of Jesus because of the throng, they dug through the roof above Him; and when they had scooped out an opening, they let down the [thickly padded] quilt or mat upon which the paralyzed man lay. And when Jesus saw their faith..." 
Mark 2:5(amp)

I was reading the other day in Mark 2 about the paralytic man Jesus healed. Jesus was teaching in a house, probably Peter's, and the place was packed! There was no room for anyone else to get in the house...even outside around the door was jammed full of people listening to Jesus teach. Four men carried a paralytic man on a bed or quilt of some kind. They couldn't get in the door for all the people. However, instead of giving up, they climbed to the roof, still carrying this man. They tore a hole in the roof...probably not an easy task. The four of these men then lowered this man down through the roof.  I don't know what the roof was constructed of, but I would imagine that as they were tearing a hole in it, debris would begin to fall upon the heads of those inside. 

I wonder what the people thought?
I wonder if the distraction annoyed those listening to Jesus?
I wonder if Jesus stopped teaching and waited ?
I wonder why those four men went to so much trouble?

We all have those times when we are in desperate need of a touch from God. The situations we face when we know that without an intervention from God Himself we will not make it. 
The pink slip you get at work
That unexpected bill that demands to be paid!
That dreaded diagnoses that only the Hand of God can heal
The loved one who has wandered so far from God and is lost

Remember that feeling you get? That desperation you feel? Most of us will find a few friends and ask them to pray with us and for our situation.We might even call the prayer chain at church if it's serious enough. And we do so with full faith and confidence that they will stand with us in prayer because we can't do it all alone. We need our friends to intercede with help us get to Jesus.

Then one day, a friend comes to us and says, "I need you to pray with/for me", or we get an email or phone call from the prayer chain; a requested mentioned in church or our Bible Study Class.....

"I just lost my job and have no idea where to turn!
 I have a huge debt that needs to be paid!
I have received a diagnosis that only God can cure!
My son, my daughter, my husband, my wife...they are lost and they need to be found!"

Do we feel their desperation? Do we fall on our face before God and intercede on their behalf? Do we carry them up the roof and tear a hole through it? Do we do whatever it takes to get them to Jesus? Or do we say, "I'll pray for you" and then go on our way?

I've been reminded of this lately for two reasons. 

One, I have several friends that are facing desperate situations. I have a precious friend who is desperately in need of healing. She is battling stage 4 cancer and has been for several years. I often think of her and pray for her healing. I have two dear friends who are the same age as my husband and myself and the husband has just recently received that "pink slip". In this economy and at our ages, this is a huge battle to face. Both friends have asked me to pray with and for them. I am praying and believing for complete healing for Lori; and I am praying for guidance, direction and provision for CJ and Doug. I know that our God is a Healer, Provider, Deliverer; He's our Victory, and He never leaves us or forsakes us.

The other reason I have been dwelling on this lately is because...I'm guilty! I have been asked to pray with someone over a situation and I have done that time. Then, I have forgotten about it..only to be vaguely reminded when I see them again the next week at church.

I wonder what would have happened to the paralytic man if his friends, upon seeing the crowds in and around the house where Jesus was, said to him, "Well, we don't seem to be able to get in today. Let's come back and try again tomorrow." They may have obligations or responsibilities the next day that kept them busy or caused them to forget. They may have thought, "well, we tried, but it didn't work" and given up on their friend. 

But these men, these friends, pursued Jesus... they continued on in desperation. The same desperation this paralytic man must have felt, but was powerless to do anything about. They didn't give up until they got through the roof to Jesus. 

They didn't give up until they got their friend to Jesus and he "arose at once and picked up the sleeping pad or mat and went out before them all..." (vs. 12)

I've been in desperate situations. I remember the hours, the days, the nights, crying out before the Lord for deliverance, for provision, for healing. I have asked friends and family to pray with me regarding those situations. And I have trusted that they are praying with the same desperation that I have for an answer. 

God has reminded me lately as I have prayed for these dear friends and others who I know are facing similar battles, that I don't have the same fervency in prayer that I would if I were praying for my own needs. My prayer is that God would help me tear through the roof on behalf of others. To keep on until we see the Hand of God move  miraculously in situations that seem impossible in our eyes.

The other thing I am reminded of is that whatever your need is, it is a desperate need. It's not our place to judge the significance or importance of the prayer request. The next time you are asked to pray for someone facing desperate situations, or any situation, remember those four men who wouldn't give up until their friend got to Jesus. Do whatever it takes to "tear back the roof" and receive deliverance from Jesus.

Matthew 7:7 says, "Keep on asking and it will be given you; keep on seeking and you will find; keep on knocking [reverently] and [the door] will be opened to you."

Lori, I'm gonna keep on
Doug, CJ, I'm gonna keep on.

It's time to tear a hole in the roof.......


Cindy said...

Once again Lena, this is exactly where I am with the Lord. How do you always know?? :)

Emily Brotherton said...

What a great reminder Lena. I've been selfish to want prayer for my needs, but not been faithful to follow through to pray for others' needs when asked to pray for them. A very gentle reminder, thank you! : )

Lissa said...

Oh Lena~ this is so true! I try and ask the Lord to remind me of those who've requested prayer! but i like the part where you suggested we pray with the same fervor for them as we pray for ourselves. I believe people did that for me! take care!

Lindsay said...

I not only find myself needing prayer like this I also desire to pray for others like this. On my face, crying out for a miracle. Thank you again for sharing.