Each Sunday during worship I incorporate prayer requests into the prayers of the people. Very rarely is the person who we pray for physically in the room with us. It is much easier to pray for someone, than with someone.
Jesus was much more into praying with people. This week’s lesson (Mark 5:21-43) includes two instances when Jesus went out of his way to pray with people: the daughter of a respected ruler and a woman likely outcast for her blood disease and her poverty. In neither case did he need to even see the person he would heal: the woman knew she was healed when she surreptitiously touched Jesus’ robe, and the story of the faithful Centurion (Luke 7:1-10) shows that Jesus could heal from afar. Yet in each of these instances Jesus choose to go out of his way and touch each of these people.
When I pray with people in the hospital or their home I offer to hold their hand, when practical. Especially for those who are in the hospital or care facility the only time someone touches them is to perform a procedure. Thus the physical laying on of hands during prayer is important.
How might we change our prayers of the people so that someone from the congregation would go and spend time with each person we pray for and touch them as part of their healing?
I will have more to say about Mark 5:21-43 at Temple Terrace Presbyterian Church on Sunday, July 1st, at 10 AM.
In honor of our nation’s 242nd anniversary we will:
- Open with Psalm 117 — Praise the Lord, all you nations! …
- Sing our national hymn: “God of the Ages”
- Hear our choir sing: “God Bless America”
- Acknowledge our nation and its leaders in our prayers.
A Tip for Parents
Grief is part of life.
The Second book of Samuel beings with the David mourning the death of his best friend Jonathan.
I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan;
greatly beloved were you to me;
your love to me was wonderful,
passing the love of women.
— 2 Samuel 1:26 (NRSV)
Have you talked with your child about the death of a pet? Each of these small losses helps us to understand and accept more difficult loses when they occur.