[The majority of our prayers concern physical health. We all know someone who is dealing with the pain of sickness. Here is an opportunity to pray for them. Fill their name in the blanks.]
A SPIRITUAL DANCE
…FATHER, You invite me to knock and urge me to keep on knocking and if I keep on reverently knocking You will open to me (Matt 7:7). I am knocking for ____ for (he/she) is presently ill; I offer up this sacrifice of prayer for (him/her).
I thank You that You include in Your Bible stories that reveal the interaction You desire from ____. You have a man-shaped blank in Your heart (ref#100, p25) where only (he/she) will fit. Your Scriptures reveal Your desire for relationship.
Matthew, in his gospel, tells the story of a Canaanite woman who entreats JESUS relentlessly because she wants help for her daughter who is possessed by a demon (Matt 15:22). JESUS listens to her but does nothing even when His disciples beg Him to send her away.
FATHER, instead of healing immediately, JESUS delays by giving this woman reason why He is not obligated to heal her daughter, He says, …”I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matt 15:24 ESV). However, this does not deter the woman. She overlooks His words and repeats her request with more boldness because she now knows He is paying attention to her.
His response is yet another delay: “It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs” (Matt 15:26 ESV). She ignores His discouraging words and continues pleading, adding logic to her request, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table” (Matt 15:27 ESV).
Because JESUS waited to heal, it brought out the creative, feisty spirit of the woman as well as the level of desire for her request to be answered (ref.#62, p189-190). This spiritual dance between JESUS and the woman deepened their relationship.
And relationship is the ultimate objective. JESUS, talking of eternal life in Matthew seven, declares to people He does not know, “Depart from me” (Matt 7:23).
FATHER, I again make my request to You for ____’s healing. Use this prayer to answer my request while, at the same time, deepening my own relationship with You. And lead ____ into an interaction with You, too. Healing and praying for healing has no value if fellowship is not obtained or strengthened.