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Confidence Prayer

Lent 2022

Read John 4:43-54

43 After the two days he departed for Galilee. 44 (For Jesus himself had testified that a prophet has no honor in his own hometown.) 45 So when he came to Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him, having seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the feast. For they too had gone to the feast.

46 So he came again to Cana in Galilee, where he had made the water wine. And at Capernaum there was an official whose son was ill. 47 When this man heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went to him and asked him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. 48 So Jesus said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” 49 The official said to him, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” 50 Jesus said to him, “Go; your son will live.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way. 51 As he was going down, his servants met him and told him that his son was recovering. 52 So he asked them the hour when he began to get better, and they said to him, “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.” 53 The father knew that was the hour when Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” And he himself believed, and all his household. 54 This was now the second sign that Jesus did when he had come from Judea to Galilee.

C.S. Lewis once wrote about how the devil plants “the haunting suspicion that the practice (of prayer) is absurd and can have no objective result…. If the thing he prays for doesn’t happen, then that is one more proof that petitionary prayers don’t work; if it does happen, he will, of course, be able to see some of the physical causes which led up to it, and therefore it would have happened anyway’, and thus a granted prayer becomes just as good proof as a denied one that prayers are ineffective.” 1

With John’s account of the official’s son, we are shown something different. A man, whose child desperately needs healing, recognizes that he is powerless and turns to Christ. He has heard reports that Jesus can help and will grant mercy. When Jesus says, “Go; your son will live,” the man believes and goes on his way. This is faith: seeing that Christ is kind, the gracious savior of all men, and that he invites us to come to him confidently. While Satan plants all sorts of seeds of doubt, the Holy Spirit summons in us the courage to go to God, call upon him in prayer, and believe his word.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for your invitation to pray confidently and without fear. Draw near to ___________________ who needs your healing. If it is your will, grant them healing. Amen.

1 C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters; Letter 27.

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