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Sitting in my office early one morning recently, I tried to pray for someone who’s hurting. Hurting very badly.

And I almost couldn’t do it.

Because in prayer, we enter into the person’s pain, feel it with them, and try to assuage it by bearing the burden to the Father on their behalf.

We come with our own pains sometimes and so maybe we limp into His presence, already feeling heavy with the weight of ourselves.

We feel the gentle press of the Spirit in sympathy, in burden, in heaviness, and we know we must make great effort to clear out distraction, set ourselves aside, and pray.  Sometimes we have to roll aside the massive weight of our own selfish hearts.

So, through prayer, we become the friends of the paralytic, hoisting a corner of the mat and heading for Jesus. And maybe, mysteriously, we lighten the load.  Maybe, in a sense, that injured person lifts up weary head with tired neck, and sees Jesus in sight where once was darkness and defeat.

That invisible Holy Spirit blows through a mind cluttered with fear and worry, and suddenly hope lights up on the wind, like a kite soaring.

Can we do this for someone else this week?

Oh Lord, teach us to pray.