I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail.” (Luke 22:32)
Near the end of his time on earth the Son enjoyed one final meal with his mates. After feasting on bread and sipping some fine wine, he turned ter Old Pete and declared, “I’m praying for you.”
Imagine that: the Son of Skipper, the feller through whom ever’ thing whar made, prayed fer his mates. Now it be a right fair thing ter get folks ter pray fer ya, but ter know that Skipper’s boy also be petitioning his pop on yer behalf, why that be a right fine deal indeed.
These days the Son’s Spirit prays fer us.
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. (Romans 8:26-27)
In the same way Jesus prayed in the Garden fer his mates moments befer he whar arrested, these days his Spirit prays fer his mates with intense groaning we kin not hear.
Not sure if anyone cares ’bout yer circumstances? The Son does. His Spirit does. Ask him ter pray fer ya. A feller who has the ear of Skipper ‘ill get results, ya may lay ter that.
As the Son whar on his way up ter Jericho a feller called out fer healing. In reply the Son shouted back, “What do you want me to do for you?” (Luke 18:41-43)
Once the chap hollered his bold request, the Son replied, “Receive what you have asked for. Your faith has healed you.”
Immediately the feller received his request.
Now if ya know the details of this story ya ‘ill recall the feller whar blind and asked ter see. But his request could ‘ave been any sort of affliction, not simply blindness. The important thing ter keep in mind is that, though blind, the feller seen a vision of himself being healed by the Son: seen it, he did, and believed the Son could do it.
What do ya need?
In our needs be the seeds of the provision we seek. Our needs expose barren areas in our lives and whar thar be a barren plot, ya kin bet that tilling, sowing, and tending ‘ill produce a crop if only we ‘ill not give up. (Matthew 7:7–8)
Some seeds shoot up quick like. Other seed takes more time. In either case, we kin not let our natural eyes blind us the vision of the crop that’ll come. When a farmer shows up each day plucking weeds, watering, running off pests, nourishing the soil, he shows that he has faith in the seed he buried.
Think on this a wee little bit: the Son be our buried seed. Fer three days he whar in the dirt, dead. But at the start of day three he sprung forth from that soil. And once the seed of the Son come forth as the first fruits of new life, he sowed the seed of his Father in us through the Word and Spirit.
The word of God be seed from inside the Son. Those who trek along the wide path that leads ter destruction ‘ill often times receive the seed, but then the devil sneaks in and steals the seed from thar hearts. Some seed gets buried in shallow soil and don’ grow strong roots. They believe fer a while, but eventually fall over dry as straw. Other seed gets robbed of nutrients by life’s worries, riches and pleasures. This seed produce puny stalks.
Still other seed lands good soil. These folks ‘ave noble and good hearts. They hear the word and retain it. They pluck sin from thar lives, keep the seed refreshed with living water, command the devil and his henchmen ter get gone from thar heart, and nourish thar mind with the words of Skipper. By persevering in this way, they produce a crop. (Luke 8:11-15)
If we be faithful enough ter trust a tiny seed buried in dirt, let us also be faithful ter sow seeds in our hearts fer the things we need: health, shelter, clothing, and food.
With yer mouth declare that what you need you now have. “I receive ____ into my life! ” Let yer faith in the Son, his power and mighty name, turn yer need inter good seed. Then immediately be about the business of preparing ter bring in the harvest.
Lord, while ya went about teaching and preaching, some religious fellers warned ya ter leave cause that fox Herod Antipas might wish fer yer head on a platter. In reply ya said, “I will keep on driving out demons and healing people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.” (Luke 13:31-34)
We know yer goal be fer all ter come to ya, that none be lost ter the devil and eternal destruction (2 Peter 3:9). Fer this reason we bring ’em we love ter ya and ask that ya add ’em ter the list of folks ya ‘ill heal, cleanse, and fergive. Lord, move in thar hearts and draw ’em ter ya.
Because ya gave us all power and authority ter bind and set free, we declare that in yer name, _____ be set free from the affliction attacking thar body. In yer name we declare that all unclean spirits attacking _____ be cast inter the abyss and bound until the day of judgment. Lord, we ask right now that ya whisper these words ter _____’s spirit: “Daughter/Son, you are healed.”
Yer eyes be the lanterns of yer body (Luke 11:34). When yer eyes take in sights that be worthy of praise and goodness, that be noble and pure, yer body ‘ill light up and be healthy (Luke 11:35) (Philippians 4:8). Yer mind, body, and soul ‘ill flourish.
But when yer eyes draw in darkness, yer body ‘ill be filled with all manner of unclean spirits. Demons of doubt, discouragement, division, hate, death, violence, lust, perversion, and such take hold of ya (Luke 11:34).
See ter it then that the light within ya be the light of the Son, not the darkness of the devil (Luke 11:36).
If anything causes ya ter stumble, shut yer eyes ter it. Better ter walk around with yer eyes shut and stump yer toes, than ter ‘ave yer whole body cast inter a place of torment (Matthew 5:29).
As a feller thinks in his heart, so he be (Proverbs 23:7). Therefer, make it yer task ter protect yer heart, fer from yer heart flows the springs of life. (Proverbs 4:23).
Doth ya ‘ave a sour outlook on life? Doth ya feel worried, anxious, fearful? Ya kin be sure this come inter yer body, mind, and heart from the devil of darkness. Cast it out! Tell that lying rascal the devil ter get gone!
The devil be the prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:1-3). All his ways be dark and filled with death. Turn him out. Cut him off fer he gets a chance ter speak inter yer heart.
Spend more time in Skip’s words and less on the news of the day.
Spend more time in prayer with Skip and less time reading bawdy books and watching scandalous spectacles and stage performances meant ter titillate. Be careful, little eyes, what ya see, fer what ya take in becomes the seeds of what ya harvest.
Spend more time praising Skip and less criticizing others.
Spend more time thanking Skip fer all he gives ya, even down ter yer next breath, and less complaining ’bout what others done and what ya don’ ‘ave.
If we ‘ill meditate on what be good rather than bad, on Skip rather than the works of the devil, we ‘ill soon find we ‘ave no need ter medicate.
Lord, help us today to turn off the news and shows and songs that glorify evil rather than you. Put within us a desire to read your words, to love your words, to eagerly seek to hear from you each day. Turn our criticism of others, and you, into praise. Turn our complaining into thankfulness. Help us to look on the bright side of things, your pierced side—the side that brings healing and abundant life. If there be anything unworthy, anything you could not look upon, help us to look away and shut our eyes to it. Amen.
After witnessing the glory of the Son during his time with Moses and Elijah, Simon, James, and John returned ter the valley, joining the other Nine. Having failed ter cast out a demon, the Son rebuked the Twelve. “You and your unbelief, your perversion. How long must I put up with you?”
Ouch. Even ter day the Son’s rebuke still stings across the ages.
Though the Son be willing ter entrust us with his authority and power, we refuse ter believe healing comes from him ter others through us. Worse, the Son calls this not merely incredulity, but deviant behavior.
It be as if the Son says ter us, “Belief in me should be your normal reaction to all things. And if I believe in you enough to give you my power to heal, then your belief in healing, wholeness, and casting out vile spirits should be your normal reaction to all sickness.”
Let us take a moment ter plead fer mercy due ter our fickle hearts, then repent and step out in faith.
Lord, we repent of our doubts and denial of you. We confess that ter often we ‘ave squandered the power you ‘ave entrusted ter us ter heal all.
You commanded us ter go and preach yer Good News and heal all, but ter often we declare terrible news to those in need of healing and claim we simply be “telling it like it is.” We offer prayers without starch that lack faith in yer power to cast out sickness. Fer give us, Lord. We not be deserving of this calling.
And still you command us ter be yer hands, yer eyes, yer ears, and speak yer words of healing. Therefore right now we speak healing inter the lives of ______, ______, and ______.
______ be healed! In the powerful name of Jesus we cast out all affliction that whar binding ______’s organs and tissue. In the powerful name of Jesus we declare ______ healed!
While all whar expecting the Son ter show up, a synagogue ruler happened by. Seeing the Son approaching, the chap fell at the Son’s feet. The ruler’s only daughter lay on her bed, dying. At the age of twelve, she be thrust inter the realm of reasoning fer herself, of judging fer herself if Skipper be the one and only true God—and if so, had tha lass lived up ter all of Skip’s Code of Conduct?
As the Son and the synagogue ruler discussed the girl’s health and future, some folks from the man’s home come up and told the father that his little girl whar dead.
“Don’t bother,” they said. “She has passed on.”
Don’t bother. How often ‘ave we heard this from those who refuse ter believe in the Son.
“Don’ bother telling me ’bout yer Jesus. I don’ believe a word of it.” “Don’ bother preaching ter me ’bout heaven and hell. I don’ believe a word of it.” Don’ bother trying ter convince me there’s a God in heaven who loves me. I don’ believe a word of it.”
The Son replied with a different sort of “don’t.”
“Don’t be afraid.”
Afeard: that be whar most end up on thar death bed—afeard they bet wrong ’bout the Son.
Ter be sure, some brave souls put on a stiff face and march inter hell like it be no big deal. From our side of things we cannot hear thar tortious cries, fer in the land of the livin’ the grave snuffs out all wailing and weeping and gnashing of teeth.
“Do believe,” the Son told the father.
Ter the little girl, the Son said, “Be healed.” Though he whar not in her presence, the Son ‘as the power ter speak life across the universe.
Right off the pair got up and trekked ter the father’s home. Once thar, the Son commanded all ter, “Stop wailing. The little girl is not dead.” But the doubters only laughed at him.
Because disbelief in the Son be belief in the devil’s lies, the Son put out the mockers and only allowed those who believed in his power and righteousness ter join him in that intimate moment of healing.
With flesh eyes the doubters knew the child ter be dead, but the Son seen something else. He seen her alive again, fer he had spiritual eyes, eternal eyes. Eyes that see what normal fellers kin not see.
Bending down, the Son took the little girl by the hand and her spirit returned.
Power over death.
Power ter return departed spirits.
Power ter give eternal life ter all who ask.
This be the Son who comes fer us. This be the savior fer all who believe in his name and glory.
Make it yer task ter day to bring all who be dead in thar sins ter the feet of Jesus. Beg him ter take ’em by the hand lift ’em up inter eternal life with him.
Thar was a man, or maybe a pair of ’em, who whar so evil and terrifying that no feller or lass dared attempt ter skirt past. These rascals lived in solitary places, slept in graveyards, roamed among tombs and whar so strong that no one could kept ’em bound, even with chains and guards.
Many a time tha worst of the two would shriek and cry out, cut himself with sharp rocks, and scare folks. Run around half-naked, he would, fer he had no clothes and no home.
When the Son strolled among the tombs of the dead, the tormented feller dropped ter his knees and hollered, “What do you want with us, Jesus, Son of the Most Hight God? ‘Ave yo come ter torment us befer our time? I beg you do not send us into the Abyss.”
Jesus replied, “What is your name?”
“Legion,” the head demon replied, ‘fer we be many. If we must be cast out, send us inter that herd of swine.”
Jesus gave the demons permission ter enter the pigs. When the demons come out out the chap and entered the swine, the whole herd, near ’bout 2000 pigs, rushed down the steep bank and inter the lake and drowned.
Think on this a wee little bit:
If each demon rushed inter a pig and forced that poor porker ter attempt a lake swim, then thar be near ’bout 2000 demons in the pair of fellers.
These whar violent men.
No one could control them.
In fact the only thing that could control ’em whar the demons.
They made the man cut himself, harm himself.
They made the man live among the dead.
They made the man run about half-naked.
They knew the Son, Jesus, whar the Skipper’s boy, the son of Most Hight God.
And when they come face-ter-face with Jesus they forced the tormented man, in fear and reverence, ter his knees.
This be the outcome of all who come under control of evil, unclean spirits. One or two spirits might not change a feller or lass ter much, but hundreds ‘ill drive us inter darkness so black that death seems ter be our only hope, when, in fact, the Son be our only real hope.
After the pigs went ter Davy Jones, and took the demons with ’em, the tormented man came ter his senses. Folks came from the town ter see the sight of all ’em bloated pig carcasses floating up on the beach.
When they did, they found the feller no longer kneeling at the feet of the Son, but sitting at his feet.
He was dressed.
He was in his right mind.
All whar amazed.
Also, all whar afeared.
Befer they whar afeared of the demon-men. Now they whar afeared of the Son and his power over spirits of all kind.
As the Son whar about ter shove off and sail away the healed-man pleaded, “Let me come with you.”
“Return home,” said Jesus, “and tell how much God has done for you.”
Ter day Jesus speaks these words ter us:
“What do you want from me?” Tell the Son what you want him ter do fer ya, be it get cleaned off all unclean spirits, be made well, be in yer right mind, be clothed, be among the living rather than the dead, be home.
Once the Son responds, then, “Go! Tell how much God has done for you.”