By Not Known
In the New Testament, our Lord Jesus ministered to the sick by healing Peter’s mother-in-law (Mk 1:30-31) and many who were ill (Mk 1:34). While we are often unsure whether God will to heal miraculously or by conventional means, we are sure that He wants us to care for the sick as a primary way to love Him and the brethren (Mt 25:36, 40).
The Apostle James also tells the sick to call for the elders of the church to pray over them (Js 5:14) and Christians are also exhorted to pray for one other so that they may be healed (Js 5:16). So it is clear that Christians are exhorted to take care of the sick and to pray for healing.
However, we find that we are constantly busy – we juggle with demands, pressures and deadlines which cry out for our attention endlessly everyday. We try to squeeze into our daily schedules, time for God, family, work, studies and a myriad of other things. We simply find that we have no time and this tension leads us to the neglect of certain essential responsibilities in the Christian life. One of these is taking care of each other which includes praying for the sick within our church.
What shall we do to keep this aspect of our God-ordained ministry alive given our lack of time? Some of us think that we can employ others to do the job for us. However, we need to realize that this is a Christian responsibility which is part of our calling as disciples. We need to be honest with ourselves and God: are we really that busy or can we give the needy some time by spending less time on our hobbies, fun or leisure?
Perhaps we do not really like to do such things like taking care of the sick, even if it may be our own relatives, not to say someone else in the church. Perhaps we find it difficult to pray for a sick person because we don’t like to deal with worrisome issues. We must remember that Jesus did not hesitate to get involved with needy people. He put others’ needs ahead of Himself. (Mk 6:60-34)
May I suggest some ways to develope a compassionate heart:
1. Ask God to make you sensitive to needy people.
2. Befriend and pray for them. Encourage them regularly.
3. Attend monthly prayer meetings when we pray for needy folk.
4. Join the church visitation team.
Carry each other’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ (Ga 6:2).