People are suffering all around us. People have physical ailments, depression, relationship problems, financial woes, temptations, anger, lack of motivation, daily roadblocks, and on and on. Jesus understands all of these. ALL OF THEM! Jesus was human and divine. He understands what it is like to live the daily life. He was tempted, hated, loved, burdened, and suffered unfathomable physical pain. I think we who believe in the power of God and the power of prayer logically understand that Jesus is there for us. That he understands. But for some reason, as a society, we often are not ready or able to view all problems as worthy of being laid before God.
Think about this question: would you be as willing to ask for prayer for your temptation to overeat as you would be to ask for prayer for your upcoming surgery? Would you be more likely to ask God to end your negative thoughts or to heal your sinus infection? Jesus made no distinction between physical ailments and spiritual demons. He addressed both in the same manner. Jesus has authority over everything. Why do we choose to only take some of our problems to Him? Why are we afraid to allow our “true” demons to be known so that our community of believers can pray for us? What keeps us from taking everything to God in prayer?
As you know to pray for those with physical ailments, remember to pray for emotional, financial, spiritual, logistical, and relationship healing as well. Ask for peace and for the voice of God to be clear. As a family who is dealing with Arla’s massive stroke, we can tell you that the physical aspects of the stroke are actually the easiest to manage at this time. And in fact, the major issues that must be managed have little to do with Arla at all anymore. The stroke set the needs in motion, but the stroke is not our main concern. It may seem strange, but our prayers rarely revolve around asking for specific physical healing. Our prayers have shifted. We now ask for guidance with managing the financial aspects of Arla’s long term care, for patience, for the abatement of negative thoughts, for a shift in Harold’s priorities, for balance in our lives, for guidance as new choices need to be made, for physical energy and motivation to take on our newly “assigned” duties, for help in knowing what should be our next priority, for a gentle nature in dealing with one another, for the ability to embrace change, and for a heart that is hearing God.
It would be hard to believe that the stroke is just the tip of the iceberg….but it is. So much more lies beneath that has to be dealt with and managed. Isn’t your life really like that as well? Isn’t what people see as your struggles just really the tip of the iceberg? Are you asking God to help you with only that which others see, or are you asking God’s guidance in all areas of your struggles? God already knows our hearts and our thoughts. Why are we not asking Him to deal with our issues? There really is no reason to do any of the tough stuff alone.