Looks like a hopeless case

Nothing depends on those we pray for – no matter their discouraging attitude.  Everything depends on one thing only – God’s response to our faith.

We all have individuals we pray for – some saved and some unsaved.  Sometimes it can get quite discouraging and look pretty hopeless.  How do we pray for someone who does not want help – will not receive help – and their response to us is a constant rebuff?  This is how it happened.

A friend told me about her grand-daughter whom she believed was a Christian.  She had been discouraged – depressed – turned off Christianity for years!  My friend wished she would just turn to Jesus.  Right after this conversation I went to my apartment and began to pray and as I was praying the Lord reminded me of the second chapter of Mark and showed me a very pertinent picture.  Let’s go over some points in this very familiar account.

Four men (Mark 2:3-4) wanted to bring their sick friend to Jesus.  So many others were coming or bringing others to Jesus that they could not get near Him.  So they gave up????  Not a chance – they really cared for their friend and knew that only Jesus could help.  They went up the outside stairs to the roof.  Whether they simply removed tiles or dug a hole in the roof and scooped out an opening – it would take some time because the stretcher could have been 6 ft. long and they didn’t want him to fall off as they lowered him. 

Stop here and see what our “picture” shows to this point.  For this example we’ll focus on just one of the people we pray for.  He/she is represented by the man with the palsy.  His friends could not – would not be deterred even if it meant breaking up the roof.  For us breaking up the roof is persistent praying with unwavering faith.  We will allow no hindrance – no distraction – no rebuff to weaken our determination to bring that one to Jesus.  Now we need a stretcher which will protect the patient from falling off or falling through.

For our situation the essential stretcher is the limitless love of God and we carry our patient to the feet of Jesus.  Now go to Mark 2:5 and prepare your heart and mind for the most exciting part of the “picture”.  When Jesus saw THEIR FAITH - - -not the faith of the guy on the stretcher – not that he suddenly clued in – he could be spiritually unconscious.  What glad news does that tell us about our prayers?  Nothing depends on those we pray for – no matter their discouraging attitude.  Everything depends on one thing only – God’s response to our faith.

So now we’re ready to make our request.  Confidently we ask that the Light of the world Himself will shine into the darkness of their troubled/confused mind.  Also that His hand with the nail prints will reach down to them and His touch will awaken them to experience the reality of God’s loving, healing Presence.

In the same connection the Lord prompted me to check Mark 3 but at first I couldn’t see the connection - - a very vital connection.  Then I strung together Mark 3:3, Mark 3:21,Mark 3:31, Mark 3:33-34 and then I saw the rest of the “picture”.

Jesus was ministering and when (King James – His friends – Amplified – His kinsmen) heard of it they went to grab Him because they said He was deranged.  They couldn’t get Him so they rushed to Mary’s house to advise His mother and brothers that He was out of His mind and they needed to rescue Him. So His mother and brother hurried to where He was.

SIDE BAR – How could Mary get so far off track?  Let him who thinks he stands (1 Corinthians 10:12) take heed lest he fall.

Did Jesus criticize them – did He angrily rebuke them?  What did He say?  Listen - - He talked about relationship – AND NOW – (1 Corinthians 2:14) I see the whole picture.  Back then these individuals had no understanding BECAUSE they did not have a right relationship with Him.  But we can see that the deepest – greatest – eternal need of our friend on the stretcher is a right relationship with the Lord Jesus.  We need to pray faithfully with unwavering faith and keep our hands off.  Let God be God in the situation – His will – His way – His timing.  We don’t know how long it will take or what it will take.  For the prodigal son (Luke 15:17) it took a famine and a pig-pen to bring him to his senses.  For the Philippian Jailer (Acts 16:26-30) it took an earthquake to bring him to salvation.

Whatever it takes we will pray – trust – and watch God work.  He that (Romans 8:32) spared not His own Son will He not freely give WITH HIM all things (1Timothy 6:17) to enjoy.  Things that do not come with Him are truly not worth having and could be dangerous.

Think carefully - - does worry make me a Christian infidel?

The only protection we have in this fallen world against false voices – deceiving spirits – seductive illusions – is the living Word of the living God.  Freedom from error comes from (John 8:32) knowing Truth.

The Bible stands though the mountains tumble,

It will firmly stand though the earth should crumble,

I will plant my feet on its firm foundation – for the BIBLE stands.

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