Updated: Nov 4, 2021
Four men arrived carrying a paralyzed man on a mat. They couldn’t bring him to Jesus
because of the crowd, so they dug a hole through the roof above his head. Then they
lowered the man on his mat, right down in front of Jesus. Mark 2:3-4
If someone asked you to name your number one worry, what would you say? Like
many mothers, 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 mother just can’t do, no matter how
well-intentioned she 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
“Many of our children,” she says, “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 women 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.
Lord, help me to find other women to pray with so I can become “a mat carrier,” not
taking on the whole burden but sharing it with others who love you.