Jesus healed a paralyzed man:
When the crowds saw it, they were filled with awe, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to human beings.
(From the Daily Office Lectionary – Matthew 9:8 – May 24, 2012)
This is such a great verse! Matthew could have made some christological or soteriological comment about “the Son of Man” – in fact, he has done so earlier in this story and will do so again in the next chapter. But here the power and authority to heal is specifically described as being given not just to Jesus but “to human beings” . . . to you and to me! That’s great! ~ A couple of years ago the American Psychological Association reported that the first decade of the 21st Century saw a dramatic increase in the number of American adults praying about health issues. Even though attendance at formal religious services has fallen in the same period, informal and private spiritual practices such as prayer seem to be on the increase. One of the interesting results of a study by the Centers for Disease Control was that those who exercise are 25% less likely to pray than those who don’t…. One wonders if those who pray are less likely to exercise. ~ I’m not an exerciser myself. I admit that I should be; I’m just a lazy procrastinator who can’t get around to it. But I am a person who prays, and I often pray for health and healing for myself and for others. ~ The teacher of prayer who looms largest in my life is my late paternal grandfather. One of the things he taught me about prayer is “never pray for something you aren’t willing to work for.” His point was that God’s answer to your prayer just might be that God would send you into the midst of whatever the situation is to work toward a solution. I’m beginning to think that there’s a lesson here about exercise and health, too. I really shouldn’t be praying for my own physical health if I’m not willing to get off my duff and work for it. God has given me the authority to live a healthy life. I guess I’d better claim it and start doing it. ~ Tomorrow . . . maybe.