Summary: There is power in intercessory prayer!
My mother’s impression to pray for Oliver North. Shots fired at his helicopter that day.
Mark 5:22-23, 35-42 Jairus’ daughter
Mark 9:17-27 Father brings demoniac son to Jesus
Mark 2:1-12 (text)
I. Caring for Others
a. Love for God is the primary principle of the Christian life
b. Love for God always leads to love for man
c. “Borne of four” (nameless) – no fame in intercession
d. We cannot solve the problems of this world…but we can take men to the one who can
II. Getting to Jesus
a. Difficulties try faith
i. Roof must have been strong to allow people to walk on it
ii. Obstacles to getting people into the house of God
b. Overcoming difficulties strengthens faith
i. “Pray and not faint” – prayer can be wearying
ii. Faith without works is dead
III. Faith Rewarded
a. Forgiveness always more important than physical sickness
i. Sin is the ultimate source of all malady
ii. Death is inevitable – all healing is temporary
iii. Better to be sick and have peace with God than to be well and have contention within
1. Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than an house full of sacrifices with strife. (Pro 17:1)
b. Acted on his faith took up his bed and was healed
And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none. Therefore have I poured out mine indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: their own way have I recompensed upon their heads, saith the Lord GOD. (Eze 22:30-31)
Once when I (Sam Jones) was preaching just as I’ve been preaching tonight, a lady came to the altar and kneeling began to pray. I asked her if she couldn’t take her trouble to the Lord, and have faith that he would give her relief, and she said: “I’ll tell you, Mr. Jones, I’ve prayed to God to soften my husband’s heart until I’ve almost despaired of having my prayers answered, but you have made me feel that God will do all in his own good time, and I believe tonight is the time;; now I am going to get on my knees and pray till God does change my husband’s heart. I’ll never leave my knees until my darling husband gives his heart to God.”
While she was praying I went back in the church to where her husband was sitting – and I knew him to be the coldest blooded old infidel in the land – but I just said to him: “See here, there ain’t enough weapons in the world to make me hurt my wife, and grieve her like you are doing yours. Now you just go up there and get on your knees and ask God to give you a new heart.” So I went along down the aisle and presently saw the old sinner up there kneeling by his praying wife, and after a while she asked him: “Husband, have you given your heart to Christ?”
“No,” he answered.
Again she prayed and again she asked him: “Have you given your heart to God?”
Then I said: “Surrender, man! It is useless for you to struggle longer. You are in the hands of a power stronger than you and the prayers of your faithful wife will prevail,” and they did. That hardened old sinner just got on his knees and surrendered for time and eternity to his wife’s God. That wife would have died on her knees before her husband had been allowed to longer go headlong on his road to Hell.