A person’s faith is an important element in healing (Matthew 9:22), but notice in Mark 2 that the faith of others also can be a vital factor. Four men came to Jesus carrying a paralysed man and “when they could not get near him (Jesus) because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him and when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic: my son your sins are forgiven you … rise, pick up your bed and go home” (verses 4,5,11).

It was their faith that Jesus reacted to. There is great importance in praying for others, it is a vital part of our efforts to serve God. James writes, “The prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he (or she) will be forgiven … pray for one another … the prayer of a righteous person has great power in its working” (chapter 5:15,16). Prayer and faith go hand in hand. Sometimes people boast of having faith in themselves (some of these will turn to God when all else fails!) But we need a faith in the Lord Jesus and his Father who are active in our lives every day.

Often only when the faithful look back and see strange twists in the course of events do they perceive the hand of God at work. These events often cause faith to grow, even though they were considered not to be good at the time. Did the man who was paralysed and his four friends think it was a good event when he became paralysed?

In reasoning with the believers in Corinth Paul, quotes the words of Leviticus, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Therefore … be separate … and I will be a father to you and you shall be my sons and daughters” (2 Corinthians 6:16-18). Let us become more conscious of the reality of Jesus among us, for he said, “I will never leave you or forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).