Theme : Find Friends Who Can Carry You
Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men.
Sometimes it is difficult for us to have faith when we are on our own. When you have no strength and no faith, you need others to pull you through. I want to share with you a precious testimony from Audrey, a leader in my church who experienced that for herself.
In the twenty-ninth week of her pregnancy, her water broke and she was admitted to the hospital for bed rest. Friends prayed with her and her husband, encouraged them, and believed with them for the birth of a healthy baby. She and her husband partook of the holy Communion as frequently as they were able to.
In the thirtieth week, baby Jenna was born, weighing 1.5 kg (3.3 lb), thankfully with no major complications. She was able to breathe on her own and all her organs were functioning properly. She gradually progressed from a tiny baby supported by tubes and needles to tube feeding and finally to normal feeding.
Audrey’s daily commute to the hospital was exhausting, but she was thankful for kingdom friends who kept them in prayer. Many of them partook of the holy Communion on their own as they prayed for Jenna and her parents. After forty days in the hospital, Jenna was finally allowed to go home.
However, Jenna was soon back in the hospital ICU as her heart rate suddenly became critically low and later became too high. Audrey was devastated and by this time was “out of prayer and out of faith.” But church leaders and friends kept surrounding them in an environment of faith and prayer even when they kept meeting with setbacks.
During that period, Audrey shared that I preached a fresh message about the Communion in church, and after she heard it, she and her husband persevered and kept partaking of the Communion for baby Jenna until finally she was out of danger. It was an arduous journey, but Jenna went home strong and healthy. Hallelujah! Audrey shared:
As I think of how Jesus healed the paralytic based on the faith of the four friends who lowered him through the roof, I thank God we also had these “four friends.” Our friends continually prayed for Jenna and encouraged us to press in to claim God’s healing and to partake of the holy Communion.
If you have been dealing with a long, drawn-out medical condition or you are exhausted from caring for a loved one, depression can creep in as the burden gets too heavy for you. My friend, bring your cares to God, knowing He cares about you with deepest affection, and watches over you so very carefully (1 Pet. 5:7 AMP).
At the same time, I want you to know God never meant for you to function in a vacuum. His heart is for you to be planted in a local church and not forsake “the assembling of ourselves together” but to exhort and encourage one another (Heb. 10:25). The church is not perfect by any means. But we have a perfect Savior who has done a perfect work on the cross, and there is safety, healing, and provision in the house of God.
This devotional is taken from the book The Healing Power of the Holy Communion—A 90-Day Devotional.