O Lord, rebuke me not in your anger,
nor discipline me in your wrath.
2 Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing;
heal me, O Lord, for my bones are troubled.
3 My soul also is greatly troubled.
But you, O Lord—how long?
4 Turn, O Lord, deliver my life;
save me for the sake of your steadfast love.
5 For in death there is no remembrance of you;
in Sheol who will give you praise?
6 I am weary with my moaning;
every night I flood my bed with tears;
I drench my couch with my weeping.
7 My eye wastes away because of grief;
it grows weak because of all my foes.
8 Depart from me, all you workers of evil,
for the Lord has heard the sound of my weeping.
9 The Lord has heard my plea;
the Lord accepts my prayer.
10 All my enemies shall be ashamed and greatly troubled;
they shall turn back and be put to shame in a moment
Two millenniums ago, people expected the blessings of God meant blessings of God. Illness and accident, in the Gospels and in Job, were considered to be signs of His disfavor. Today do we even stop to pause to ask what is the relationship to attitude, sin, behavior, and His Plan?
Jesus was personally asked this-favor-disfavor-question by people who were perpetually dismayed, confused and in fear. The people? The people who walked right beside the Son of God.
Luke 13 Easy enough to remember luck with thirteen.
There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2And Jesus answering said to them, Suppose you that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? 3I tell you, No: but, except you repent, you shall all likewise perish. 4Or those eighteen, on whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think you that they were sinners above all men that dwelled in Jerusalem? 5I tell you, No: but, except you repent, you shall all likewise perish.
Behold, O LORD, and consider to whom you have done this. Shall the women eat their fruit, and children of a span long?
1 Peter 4:17,18
For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us...
And the blind man, who was healed -
Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.
And in these lives and times - I passed an ad for exercise and vitamins with nutrition - it was declaring 99% of illness is stress related. I guess we don't have dna issues, ever. And we were meant to stay forever on this planet. Madeline L'Engle said we all have an invitation to leave the planet.
Let's add this in with :
1 Thessalonians 5:17
Pray without ceasing
I have to disagree with the top photo of white knuckled prayer. I had a premature infant who was failing to breathe for the first year of his life. His prematurity revealed apnea occurred frequently. The sheer, raw horror of seeing that perfect infant struggle for life was combined with CPR instructions on keeping him alive. Then, about a month later, he had pnemonia so badly he had Bradycardia - slow heart beat. Not forgetting the emergency hernia operation where the hospital sleep monitor failed to function, after several false positives. Hernia operation? After bathing the most beautiful of infant sons to discover something horribly wrong with his testicles. Let's discuss the emergency CPR used upon a blue infant at home. Or the distress of failing to breathe multiple times in the night. Alarms ring and the infant fails, still, to breathe. The year was... perilous.
One of the first steps of discovering illness and the hope of a healing is this:
1 Peter 4:12
Dear friends, don't be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you
Jesus told us there would be days like these:
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
Why disagree with white knuckled prayer?
18 And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. 2 He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. 3 And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ 4 For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’” 6 And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. 7 And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? 8 I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
Faith on earth is the key to prayer. Father God wants us to expect Him. To expect HIM with hope and love. To touch His heart the way the know-how-authority-really-works-in-Him Centurion who believed if Father God merely spoke HIS Word - then prayers are answered. This faith changes lives.
Sometimes we will not be able to attain peace. God makes us transparent to Him for good reason. Express to HIM your heart, He surely never despises a broken or a contrite heart. Nonetheless:
1 Thessalonians 5:13-25
Be at peace among yourselves. 14 And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. 15 See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies, 21 but test everything; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.
23 Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.
25 Brothers, pray for us.
Prayer from the community of believers, is corporate community prayer, which is, of course, the prayer of the communion of the saints. Always ask for prayer and attend prayer services.
Yes, brother, I want some benefit from you in the Lord. Refresh my heart in Christ.