IT troubles you, fatigues you, shames you. IT is the disease you can’t heal, the job you can’t stomach, the marriage you can’t fix, the rage you can’t tame.
IT looms over life. Two towering letters, tall and defiant. IT! They march like Frankenstein’s monster. Each step a thud. Each thud an earthquake. Clomp. Clomp. Clomp. IT! IT! IT!
“Look out! Here IT comes!” “I can’t take IT anymore!”
IT overshadows and intimidates everyone — everyone, that is, except people who take IT to Jesus. People like the Roman soldier.
He was a centurion. He held unquestioned authority over his men. Yet there was something special about this particular officer. He loved his servant.
‘Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘I will come and heal him’. — Matthew 8:6-7
The soldier’s prayer was unembroidered. He simply stated a fact: “My servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented.”
That was enough to set Jesus in motion. He turned and immediately began to walk in the direction of the centurion’s house. But the officer stopped him.
Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it. — Matthew 8:8-9
The centurion understood the dynamic of authority. He was a man under authority and a man with authority. His superiors sent directives to him, and he obeyed. He gave commands, and his soldiers obeyed. They didn’t question his decisions. The Roman army respected the chain of command. The centurion knew authority when he saw it. And he saw ultimate authority in Jesus Christ.
“Only speak a word, and my servant will be healed.” [Jesus][Jesus] over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith. — Hebrews 10:21–22
As our high priest, Jesus offers our prayers to God. His prayers are always heard.
Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you. — John 16:23
There are those who say, “Prayer changes things because it changes us.” I agree but only in part. Prayer changes things because prayer appeals to the top power in the universe. Prayer is not a magical formula or a mystical chant. It is the yes to God’s invitation to invoke His name.
Mark it down: IT won’t have the last word. Jesus will.
God raised [Christ] from death and set Him on a throne in deep heaven, in charge of running the universe, everything from galaxies to governments, no name and no power exempt from His rule. And not just for the time being, but forever. He is in charge of it all, has the final word on everything. — Ephesians 1:20–22 MSG
The phrase “In Jesus’ name” is not an empty motto or talisman. It is a declaration of truth: My cancer is not in charge; Jesus is. The economy is not in charge; Jesus is. The grumpy neighbor doesn’t run the world; Jesus, You do! You, Jesus, are the Head Coach, CEO, President, King, Supreme Ruler, Absolute Monarch, High and Holy Baron, Czar, Overlord, and Rajah of all history.
Just speak the word, Jesus . . .
Pray! Since God works, prayer works.
Since God is good, prayer is good.
Since you matter to God, your prayers matter in heaven. You’re never without hope, because you’re never without prayer. And on the occasions you can’t find the words to say, pull these out of your pocket:
You are good.
I need help. Heal me and forgive me.
They need help.
In Jesus’ name, amen.
Excerpted with permission from Before Amen: The Power of a Simple Prayer by Max Lucado, copyright Thomas Nelson.
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The health crisis in your life does not hold the power. Jesus does. Your marriage mess is not in charge. Jesus is. The teenager whose behavior is worrying you doesn’t rule the world. Jesus does! Pray! Praying in Jesus name has power. Come share with us on our blog what you’re praying the pocket prayer over. We want to pray with you! ~ Devotionals Daily