One of the most remarkable pictures of intercessory prayer, in all of the Bible, is depicted for us in Mark 2:1-12. I don’t have the space to share the text with you, so I invite you to open your Bible and read it for yourself. This story has filled me with wonder since I was a child. It is a wonderful story, a story filled with risks and audacity. It’s as story of friends who would not be denied.
The passage introduces us to a paralyzed man and his four friends. There are so many questions left unanswered. How did this young man become paralyzed? Was he born that way? Was he injured in a fall while exploring the Galilean countryside with his four friends? How long had he been paralyzed?
Perhaps they were just hanging out on a Saturday afternoon in Capernaum. The news about town was that Jesus had returned home from a recent tour where He proclaimed the Good News of the kingdom and healed many people along the way. Maybe it was the news of His healing power that got the friends to thinking, “Let’s take our crippled friend to Him and let’s do it now!”
How far they carried their friend we do not know, but when they arrived at the house where Jesus was staying, the crowd inside and out was so great that they could not get close to the door. I often wonder who came up with the idea to climb to the roof top and remove the tiles that covered the rafters of the house. Whoever it was, he convinced his friends that this was a great idea. So, to the roof top they went, carrying their paralyzed friend as they climbed.
The text tells us that Jesus was in the house preaching the Word. Can you imagine the crowd’s reaction to the commotion over Jesus’ head and the dust that started falling from the rafters? Once the dust cleared, Jesus looked up and saw the faces of these men, who then lifted their friend into the hole and lowered him with ropes, setting him at Jesus’ feet.
Verse five always stops me in my tracks, “And when Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven.’” Did you hear that? And seeing their faith!
When we pray for others, our prayers are much like the ropes that lowered the paralyzed man through the roof and set him at Jesus’ feet. And when we pray for others, Jesus sees our faith in action on behalf of another in need. My friends, pray for one another.