Jairus is like many of us – at his wit’s end he turned to Jesus. Serious illness of his daughter brought him to Jesus.
The illness of his little girl brought him to Jesus. He was a parent who would have done anything for his child. It was crisis prayer. Jairus didn’t go in for humbug prayer – he shared what was on his mind. What was on his mind was breaking his heart and it brought him to Jesus. A good way to pray. It brings us to God and hopefully when the crisis is over we are closer to God, and continue with God. It is good to pray in difficult times, but it is good also to continue in more ordinary times.
Jairus’ child may not have had faith. He had enough for the two of them. That’s why we pray for each other. When we are in crisis prayer, we value the prayers for each other. We grow in faith through the influence of each other, and our prayer effects the lives of one another.
Crisis prayer gives strength. Even when we are not specifically answered. No prayer is unanswered. That’s where the strength comes from. Prayer always encourages and makes us a bit stronger. Prayer works in God’s time and this is a challenge always to our faith and love.
Our prayer in Seamus Heaney’s words, ‘can catch the heart unawares and blow it open’. All times of our lives are God’s times, and especially the times of great need.
Donal Neary SJ