Prayer, Plain and Simple

Maybe it’s the stereotype white shoes and plastered hair that rubs me wrong, but I admit, I sometimes have negative reactions to television faith healers. This is hard to admit, because these guys are on my team. Honestly, I believe most of what they say to be absolutely true. I believe Jesus can heal. I believe faith matters in the process. I believe, I believe. I’ve even prayed for people in ways they employ, and while I haven’t seen anyone raised from the dead, I’ve had a few victories that have set me dancing. So what’s my problem?


Culture. I’m convinced my push back is more cultural than substantive. I have never been able to see God through the gaudy, and with age I’m coming to see this as much more about taste and preference than it is about truth. I need a more open mind!


All that to say, I’m a true believer: Jesus created the world; Jesus fixes things in the world that are broken. Including me; and including people and things I touch and address in words on his behalf. I’ve got to push pass the messenger and see and hear the message. ANYONE borrowing Jesus’ words in Jesus’ power can do what he did.


He’s another piece from Mark’s Gospel about these wonderful wonder words of Jesus… and how we can turn them loose in the world.  


“Be free!” (Mark 5:34)


“Where are you hurting?”


Swollen joints. Fever. Back spasms… Pain hurts. Pain is real. Pain is a pain. Pain is a sign something is wrong. Pain is a sign something is broken. Pain is the enemy of God. Pain is your enemy’s most effective idea. Pain is personal. Pain is prison. Yet pain can be cured. Pain will be cured because it already was, once and for all.


A suffering woman crawled to Jesus. She touched him and Jesus felt power transfer. He turned, saw her and said, “Be freed from your suffering!” Instantly, her broken body became whole; her disease fled from his command. She stood freely, and free!


“Be free!” was enough. Jesus’ simple, single edict put all scattered and tattered pieces together again.


Now you must enforce it. Your world hurts. What can you say? In the face of pain, “I’m sorry” or “That’s too bad” or “What a pity” are worse than saying nothing at all. Instead, when you observe pain, say something worth the breath it takes. Announce, “Be free!” One “Be free!” “sets free.”


Answer paralysis: “Be free!” Answer cancer: “Be free!” Answer arthritis, depression, diabetes, alcoholism, broken-heartedness, bi-polar disorder, any disorder: “Be free!” Disease flees at his command. 


Your mission: Fix broken things. Your knapsack holds two words from Jesus: “Be free!” Dare look into the prison camp of human brokenness and suffering and with his words through your voice declare it liberated. 


Question: “Where is there hurt?” Answer: “Be free!”


There are nine such statements of Jesus in Mark’s Gospel. I have written short studies of each similar to this one and packaged them in a free ebook called Fight Like Jesus. Get it at


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