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Door handles chained and padlocked shutI was praying for a friend’s brother the other day, a man unable to break his addiction to alcohol. As I prayed, the Biblical story of the demon-possessed man who was unrestrainable and who lived among the burial caves came to my mind (Mark 5:1-4). It felt as though the Holy Spirit was highlighting this passage so I would know how to pray. The man I was praying for isn’t psychotic, nor is he living in a cemetery. But like the man described in Mark’s Gospel, he is incredibly isolated, having little contact with family or friends.

Instead of being alarmed by the story, I felt encouraged. Why? Because I know that what Jesus did for the man in the Bible can still happen today. It was precisely in a place of isolation, bondage, and death that Christ reached out and delivered a man no one else could help. The devil must have thought he had a lock on this guy’s life. But then Jesus showed up and changed everything.

As I prayed, I could almost hear the Spirit saying, “See what I am capable of! I can reach the most unreachable person, changing a place of death into a place of life.” That’s how I am praying for my friend’s brother.

Chances are you have a few hopeless cases on your own prayer list, people whose lives seem to be hurtling toward physical and spiritual death. If that is the case, read Mark 5:1-20 and let the Holy Spirit build your faith, shaping the way you pray. 

(Image courtesy of linder6580 at freeimages.com)





Originally published May 11, 2015.