Everybody knows that we are all supposed to pray for the sick and the needy and the poor.
But do we all know who they are?
You may say, of course we do!
And yet, today, I would like to invite you to re-assess your definition of sick and poor.
Or shall I say enhance and broaden it…?
Of course, the brothers and sisters who are physically sick and materially poor need our prayers and many of them need our practical help, too.
And yet, I think we mustn’t overlook and neglect the problems of spiritual disease and poverty.
What do I mean by that?
Well, just as some diseases and disabilities are invisible and even unknown – when it comes to physical or mental diseases, for instance, often times the person themselves isn’t even aware that they are sick. Or they could be and nobody else knows…
Or so many people are secretly poor or even homeless, they sleep on the street somewhere or in a hostel, in different hostels all the time, and then go to work from there… or they are depressed and sad and lonely and even suicidal and nobody knows about it.
We are already getting there, getting to the area of spiritual disease and poverty.
Nobody can see that those people are poor or ill, at least not with their physical eyes.
You need to learn to look at people and their lives in the spirit to be able to see spiritual disease and poverty.
But don’t be deceived, I am not talking about psychic readings, that’s witchcraft and very dangerous and will get you into spiritual great trouble yourself!
I mean more asking THE HOLY SPIRIT for teaching and wisdom, not so much about a single person, but more about life circumstances which indicate spiritual sickness and poverty, meaning this brother or sister needs our prayers.
I will start with a very easy one:
if this person has no spiritual home, if they have no master, believe in nothing, do not even believe in the spiritual realm, then they are spiritually homeless, they do not have a LORD over their life, do not have a FATHER to go to…
Just like homeless people in real life, that means they have no support, nobody cares for them, protects them, watches over them… and the worst thing is, they mostly don’t even know… they think they are ok, even though sometimes, they can hear the soft and small voice inside telling them that something is wrong… they will not admit that they need help and will pretend that everything is fine – towards you and towards themselves.
They need us.
We need to be available to them, need to pray for them – openly and secretly.
Our Christian brothers and sisters can pray for themselves, have their own relationship to GOD, their own access to the throne of THE ALMIGHTY.
They do not.
They are not even looking for HIM – sadly.
We all know them.
They may not even live in great sin, may even do their best to be good people, and yet, they are not saved.
We need to pray for them!
For GOD to locate them, for HIM to touch them and bring them to the kingdom – otherwise, the other one will get them sooner or later.
Then it gets more tricky…
Who will even be able to tell the difference between a mental, a physical and a spiritual disease?
Jesus ate with sinners and tax collectors.
The scribes and pharisees accused HIM for that.
But we understand, don’t we?
Here’s what THE LORD replied to these accusations:
But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.
So HE didn’t only mean the physically sick.
I think the bible shows that sometimes, it isn’t even easy or possible for us, but only for GOD to tell the difference.
What did THE LORD do when HE was here on this earth, during HIS ministry?
Well, as we all know, apart from abiding and eating with people, whom HE also blessed and taught and healed by doing so, in his “public ministry”, HE always did the same 3 things wherever HE came:
- HE healed the sick
- HE cast out devils
- HE taught them THE WORD
So the sick obviously were the ones considering themselves sick.
The physically sick: the blind and the lepers and the lame for instance – nowadays we can’t call them that anymore but that’s what they are called in the bible.
But there, we can already see that the sicknesses were not always sicknesses only, but in many places, they are called spirits.
And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself.
When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him.
And who are we to know the difference?
This is a science in itself and many doctrines and denominations are divided and hostile towards each other over this subject.
And yet, that’s not what OUR FATHER has taught us.
There is nothing against a good and fruitful discussion and even battle over details when it comes to interpreting HIS WORD correctly and getting the doctrine straight.
BUT in the end, we need to look at what HE actually DID when HE was here among us.
And if we want to be HIS disciples today, we need to do as HE did!
So who can you pray for today, my friend?
Who can you hang out with and eat with – most likely someone others will shun…?
How can you be more observant and sensitive towards discovering hidden spiritual diseases and poverty and how can you help?
Who do YOU know? Who do you live together with, work together with, pass by every day, someone who may be even wealthy, but poor nevertheless, someone who may be alright on the outside, but very ill and suffering inside…?
Who is GOD bringing to YOUR MIND right now???
This is a call to reach out, to go and find the unfound, befriend the hostile and the misfits and enrich the lives of those who are poor – with the free gifts of GOD and with the GOOD NEWS of THE GOSPEL.
In JESUS’ name!
And when you do so, may HE reward you abundantly!
The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.