“When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked” (John 5: 6-9).

In the Christian life, just as in the physical life, being powerless to walk is a symptom that needs a physician’s attention. The lack of power to walk joyfully in the new and living way that leads to the Father and the throne of grace is especially devastating. Christ is the great Physician, Who comes to every Bethesda where the sick are gathered and speaks out His loving, searching question: “Do you want to get well?” For all who are clinging to their hope in the pool, or are looking for someone to place them there, or for those who are hoping to be helped somehow by the continued use of ordinary means, His question points to a better way. He offers them healing by a way they have never understood. To all who are willing to confess not only their own powerlessness, but also their failure to find anyone to help them, His question brings the sure and certain hope of deliverance. But when the man at the pool was made whole, he still had to learn everything about how to use his new strength. Be confident that as you have trusted Christ to be your spiritual health and strength, He will guide you and teach you. Begin to pray. Count on the fact that He will work in you what you need. Rise and walk each day in the confidence that He is with you, and in you, and will help you.

Adapted from “Power in Prayer” by A. Murray