Based on Mark 2:1-12
Generous God, we have brought you gifts today, that the work of your Son may be accomplished among us. Guide us and guide the use of our gifts for all his purposes, we pray. We recall today that his purposes are for drawing us trustingly, hopefully together, and for healing us and our world. When Jesus saw the trusting, hopeful faith of the paralyzed man’s friends who had carried him to Jesus, healing was the result. Jesus told the paralyzed man to stand and walk. And he did.
Merciful God, we, too, have friends who suffer from various sorts and degrees of paralysis. Today, in our prayer, we carry them with hope and trust before Christ. We bring friends and family members paralyzed by grief, or illness, or hardship, or anger, betrayal, or loneliness. The world wounds so many, and yet we know that Christ’s spirit bears a healing grace capable of raising lives to new beginnings and offering fresh starts. Bid our friends and family members, paralyzed by their wounds and their losses, to stand and walk, we pray.
We also pray, Holy One, that the healing grace of Christ may find its way into all those places paralyzed now by the tragedies and catastrophes of recent days. We pray for the victims of California wildfires, whose homes are businesses are in ashes. We pray for lives touched by gun violence, whose world has been forever altered by senseless rage. We bring them to you, O God, and ask that you will help them stand and walk.
And finally God, we pray for ourselves, and for our own paralysis. Each of us knows those parts of our lives that need Christ’s healing touch. Eliminate any pride, any reluctance on our parts, and let us show up before Christ with humble willingness to be lifted up again.
And if we’ve been negligent, or idle, or simply unwilling to befriend others, whoever they may be, who need us to carry them somehow toward healing, remind us that our human interdependence is not a dreary responsibility to bear, but a gift you’ve given us. Show us that when we befriend one another in Christ’s name, we all stand a little more firmly, walk more confidently, pray more selflessly, serve more effectively, and heal more fully.
We pray all these things in the name and the memory of the One who bids us stand and walk with him, for he is ever-ready to abide with us. As his followers, we use now his words of prayer, as we say together … The Lord’s Prayer.