Saturday, March 24, 2012

Powerful Prayer

And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, “He is dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.” Mark 9:22-29

Yesterday when we went and picked up the mail, among the usual ads and bills was a hand addressed envelope for me. When I opened it up, the tears came, unbidden and overwhelmed, because the card was from the the House of Bishops and was filled with love and prayers from my brothers and sisters as they gathered in Texas. Recuperating and trying to get stronger, here in this small town, I find the isolation a challenge. Sometimes it feels like I am praying and struggling alone. Healing is not only a physical process, but is spiritual and emotional as well. That single card reminded me that prayers were being said from all over the country, and from all sort of time zones. I was never alone or isolated even when I might have felt so. And God's love is not bound by time, place, language or culture. And prayer changes everything.

Healing was a struggle for a father with a very sick and troubled son. The aching father would do anything for his child but was worn down by the struggle and the isolation. Jesus comes and offers him hope, and does not stop until all of the illness and demons had let go of the precious child. No matter how worn down we are, God hears our prayers. “I believe; help my unbelief!” The father, like all of us, have days when the struggle is overwhelming but God is not willing to ignore our prayers and will continue active until all the demons have fled. May we all remember to pray - for ourselves and others - because God is listening with an open and compassionate heart.

First I want to thank all my brother ad sister bishops for their prayers and love. They spoke the words of hope and healing, they share the love of God to an aching soul. May we all use the gifts we have of prayer and love to lift the hearts of those who are struggling, those who are worn down and those who have given up hope due to isolation. God is listening, and God is determined to continue until the all the demons, the illness and pain, the terror and fear is completely driven out.

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