Every year, many people set New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, eat healthy and exercise more. Although these are all good goals to set for a healthy body, we also need to set goals that …
Every year, many people set New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, eat healthy and exercise more. Although these are all good goals to set for a healthy body, we also need to set goals that will heal our soul and strengthen our faith.
An easy New Year’s resolution could be praying for others’ needs. Maybe we can set aside 15 minutes a day to pray for those we know and those who ask us for prayers.
Often, friends, family and church members will ask us to pray for them or a special intention they may have. I wonder if we realize how powerful our intercessory prayers are.
In the Bible there is a particular story of Christ healing an afflicted man because of his friend’s faith. The story is in Luke 5:17-26.
Jesus was at a home and was teaching and healing the sick. The house was so full of people that the crowd spilled into the street. A paralytic was being carried by his friends to meet Jesus but they could not get close to Christ through the door or windows so they went to the roof top and lowered their friend through the roof to Jesus for healing.
Luke 5:20 tells us, “When Jesus saw their faith, he said, ‘Friend, your sins are forgiven.’” I am sure Jesus smiled when he saw the measures the friends took to bring healing to the friend they loved.
At the beginning of this story we are told that folks traveled from every village in Galilee, so we don’t know how far or how long the friends had to carry their paralytic friend. They had complete faith in Jesus’ ability to heal their friend so they endured whatever it took to save him. Without their intercession, the man may have never known Jesus and may have never been healed.
Sometimes praying and interceding for others is not an easy task and we may get discouraged because we may think that it’s a lost cause — but no human soul is ever a lost cause. We may have loved ones who are terminally ill or have fallen into addiction or have turned away from God and we feel helpless and powerless, but just remember this story of the paralytic and take courage. Your faith in God’s power of healing and your intercessory prayers for the person can bring that person to Christ.
God is a loving, compassionate father eager to forgive and restore life to his children through any measure. If the stricken individual does not see the mercy of God, we can pray for them and God will hear our prayers. It is no different from having someone as a character witness. The character witness speaks on behalf of another and the judge takes that into consideration.
If a human being can take another person’s testimony, how much more will our heavenly father heed and listen to our testimony and intercessory prayers on behalf of one another? I appreciate it when someone shares a hardship with me, because I can include them in my daily prayers and ask the Lord for healing (of mind, body and soul) for them. Don’t underestimate the power of your prayers on behalf of others because if God did not appreciate our intercessory prayers, then Christ would not have made a special effort to say to the friends of the paralytic “your faith” has healed him.
This year as a New Year resolution add praying for others to your list, because as you are doing an act of spiritual mercy of praying for others, your own soul will benefit as well.
(Autourina Mains is a cradle Catholic who was born and raised in the Middle East. She is an Assyrian and speaks the ancient Aramaic language, which was used to write the first five books of the Bible.)