Healing Through Faith

Please open your pew Bibles to Matthew 9:2-8.  “And just then some people were carrying a paralyzed man lying on a bed.  When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, ‘Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.’  Then some of the scribes said to themselves, ‘This man is blaspheming.’  But Jesus, perceiving their thoughts, said, ‘Why do you think evil in your hearts?  For which is easier to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Stand up and walk’?  But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins’—he then said to the paralytic—‘Stand up, take your bed and go to your home.’  And he stood up and went to his home.  When the crowds saw it, they were filled with awe, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to human beings.”

The irony…neither forgiveness of sins nor curing a paralytic were possible by humans.  Jesus asked “Which is easier”, but both were impossible.  Yet Jesus completed not the easier of the two, but both.  Throughout Scripture, healing is connected to the forgiveness of sins and faith.  Today, we humble ourselves before God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and acknowledge our need for healing.  Please join me in prayer. 

Lord God, Creator of the heavens and the earth, we confess that we have not managed your creation well.  We have stripped the earth of valuable resources and polluted the ground, water, and air.  Forgive us and open our hearts and minds to seek ways to improve our stewardship of your creation.  We pray for your healing of the earth.

Jesus Christ, God incarnate, we repent of our desire to think of ourselves before you and others.  Forgive us and through your Divine healing, replace selfishness with selflessness, hatred with love, resentment with forgiveness, greed with generosity, arrogance with humility, fear with courage, and remove all of those things that would prevent us from seeking your will.  Pour out your healing upon us and let us experience your love, grace, peace, and joy. 

Jesus our Savior, heal our broken hearts and bodies of grief, anxiety, anger, distrust, pains, illnesses, diseases, weariness, depression, addictions, and all things preventing us from living life with the fruits of the Spirit; including love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Holy Spirit, Jesus said that the Advocate could not come to be with us until the Son ascended into heaven.  Remind us of your presence.  We pray that you will nurture trust in our minds and hearts to believe and seek your guidance day in and day out.  Heal our spirits of dryness and darkness.  Pour your light over us when life feels dull, difficult, tedious, and tiring.  Encourage us in our busy schedules to make time to be quiet, listening for your still small voice to renew our bodies, minds, and spirits.

Lord God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we bow before you, sinful and broken people releasing our sins and burdens at the base of the cross, seeking your healing and grace.  We cling to your promise of unearned and undeserved love and mercy.  Through your forgiveness and blessing, remove all evil and its power; and renew, strengthen, encourage, and uplift your people. 

As believers in our baptism into Christ’s death and resurrection, we are promised new life as new creations in Him.  And let’s remember the words of the Prophet Jeremiah (29:11), “For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.”  Amen.