Lord, I approach You knowing You are both able and willing to bring healing and new life.
Read: Matthew 8:1-13
 When Jesus came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him.  A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”  Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy.  Then Jesus said to him,”See that you don’t tell anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”  When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help.  “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.”  Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?”  The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed.  For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”  When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.  I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.  But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”  Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that moment.
Reflect: What made Jesus commend the centurion’s faith?
What we believe about Jesus affects how we pray. If we believe he loves us, we will confidently bring him all our concerns. If we believe he is powerful, we will expect him to transform lives and situations. Both the man with leprosy and the Gentile centurion knew that contact with leprosy sufferers or Gentiles made a Jewish person ritually unclean. And yet they came to Jesus confidently, but humbly (2,6,8).
Both men believed Jesus had the power to transform their situations, but the man with leprosy (understandably scarred by countless rejections from others) doubted whether Jesus cared enough to help him (2). Jesus proves that his love extends to everyone: he is willing to touch the unclean (3) and associate with outsiders (7). Jesus’ willingness to make himself unclean in order to restore others finds its ultimate expression on the cross.
Why does Jesus commend the centurion’s faith? Was it because of his unshakeable belief that Jesus would and could deal with his situation, or his understanding that Jesus’ word, the word that brought everything into existence (John 1:3-5), is all it takes to transform every situation (8,13)?
Bring your needs or the needs of others to Jesus. He is willing and able to transform every situation.
Jesus, thank You that You are both able and willing. Thank You that You held nothing back in redeeming us.