If someone asked you to name your number one worry, what would you say? Like many parents, I would have to confess that my top worry and the target of many of my prayers is my children. I realize that my aspirations for them far outpace my ability to help them. There are some things a parent just can’t do, no matter how well-intentioned he may be.
A story in the Gospels is instructive, pointing out a way to deal with worry, whether it’s worry about our children or about others we care for. You probably remember the four men who lowered a paralyzed man into Jesus’ presence so the man could be healed. Fern Nichols, founder and president of Moms in Prayer International, points out that intercessors are a lot like those four men who were bold enough to climb onto another man’s roof, dig a hole through it, and then lower the paralyzed man into Christ’s presence:
“Many of our children are paralyzed by sin, and the weight of that reality is too much for a parent to bear by herself. We become weary when we don’t see any change, when we don’t spy even a glimpse of an answer to prayer. Imagine a mom pulling one corner of a mat, as she slowly drags her two-hundred-pound football player of a son to Jesus. But then another mom comes alongside and picks up a corner. The prayers of the second mom spark faith. Then another mom and another come alongside, each gathering up a corner. Hope returns, as she hears the believing prayers of the other moms.”
Fern knows just how effective a group of praying believers can be. We may not be able to save a single soul or perform a miracle in answer to our worries about loved ones. But we can do something vital, linking arms in prayer as we bring those we love into the presence of the only one capable of keeping them safe and giving them peace.