His old car had seen better days. It was easy to see how the sun had faded its paintwork and a number of small skirmishes with posts and walls had left tell-tale bruises on the bodywork.
He knew there was something not right happening under the bonnet but, not being mechanically minded, he wasn’t sure what the odd noises meant.
His finances were tight but he knew he needed his car. His first thought was to get the bodywork repaired so he could once again be proud of his vehicle and hope the motor lasted long enough for him to save up and get the local mechanic to check it out.
Although it didn’t make him happy, he decided the repairs to the motor were more important.
Scripture tells the story of how Jesus was once asked to heal a physical illness and his response was “Your sins are forgiven”. This response was viewed somewhat cynically by the onlookers and Jesus asked them what was easier, to repair what could be seen on the outside or the unseen inside?
Sometimes we can pray really hard for someone to get better and we see no physical signs of improvement in their health. This doesn’t mean that our God isn’t hearing our prayer. It means our prayer is being answered in the way our God feels is more important for our friend.
In our so-called ‘instant society’ we expect things to happen when we want them to happen, yet in God’s repair workshop the overall needs of the person being prayed for is of prime consideration.
Our prayer then can be one of repair and respect. We ask our God to repair what we see as a problem and we respect how this prayer is used and thank our God for hearing our request.
I’m Peter Mack and that’s faith.