Prayer and healing (27-04-21)
In one of the villages, Jesus met a man with an advanced case of leprosy. When the man saw Jesus, he bowed with his face to the ground, begging to be healed. ‘Lord’, he said, ‘if you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean.’
Jesus reached out and touched him. ‘I am willing,’ he said. ‘Be healed!’ And instantly the leprosy disappeared.
(Luke 5: 12-13)
Our evening bible study this week included a similar version of this event in Mark’s gospel.
The leper makes a humble approach to Jesus, recognising the power and authority which he has. The leper makes a direct approach to Jesus, being specific about what is being requested. ‘Please cure me of this disease’.
Sometimes we may feel selfish or unworthy to be so direct with Jesus. After all, are we not directed to prioritise love of God and love of our neighbours? Isn’t it more appropriate to pray for the church, world peace and an end to the pandemic? Shouldn’t someone else be praying for me, rather than me myself?
Yet as with the leper, in humility we can pray directly for our needs and desires, and Jesus is willing to hear our request and respond.
In addition, we notice that Jesus touches the leper, and thereby shows the importance of human touch.
A hug, an arm around the shoulder, or a hand laid on. Each touch can communicate care and love, and mean so much to those feeling physical or emotional pain. We each have the power to heal others in a small way through our presence and touch.
Thank you that we can bring our problems directly to you in prayer.
Thank you that our presence may be a strength that heals.