My own prayer life has been formed under the mentorship of praying women, my mother being the primary role model. These women taught me how to “stand in the gap” as I prayed for family and friends who were standing in the need of prayer. The church called these women “prayer warriors” because of the intensity and tenacity of their prayer life. The tone of their prayers said, “God it’s you or nothing, and since we won’t accept nothing then we will remain before your throne of grace and mercy for as long as it takes.”
It is this going to God on behalf of another, combined with a sense of desperation, that we see in Jairus. His words and behavior indicate, “Jesus, it’s you or nothing!” It is not typical that we hear of men who intercede like this. We live in a world where paternal and parental abuse has devastated too many lives. This is why, whenever we find a contrast to such abuse, we need to recognize and salute fathers and parents who do what it takes for their daughters and sons to thrive and flourish. God hears their prayers and the prayers of many others who come to God on behalf of someone else who cannot.
These first verses of this story remind us we can approach God on behalf of our loved ones, on behalf of any urgent situation we care deeply about—deeply enough that we are willing to virtually throw ourselves at God’s feet, making repeated petitions for God’s mercy to intervene in a humanly impossible situation. This kind of prayer is not daunted by the very real possibility that the petition may not be answered in the way we expect. In the moment, it knows only deep love and desperate faith.
We share each other’s woes, our mutual burdens bear; and often for each other flows the sympathizing tear. (UMH, no. 557)
David is remembered in scripture as a mighty king but also as a great poet. Many of the Psalms are ascribed to him. In Second Samuel we find a song of lament over Saul and Jonathan. Saul was violently jealous of David, yet David still honored Saul as God’s anointed king. Jonathan was David’s best friend. David bemoans Israel’s loss of these leaders. The author of Psalm 130, although probably not David, appeals to God in David-like fashion. The Gospel shows the power of a woman’s faith. In Second Corinthians, Paul deals with practical matters, appealing to the Corinthians to send promised financial help to the believers in Jerusalem.
Read 2 Samuel 1:1, 17-27. What part does music play in your prayer life? Do you sing both songs of lament and songs of praise?
Read Psalm 130. When have you cried out to God from the depths of your despair? What was God’s response?
Read 2 Corinthians 8:7-15. How do you maintain your eagerness to practice your faith?
Read Mark 5:21-43. What has been your experience of God’s healing?
Responda publicando una oración.