The Centurion’s Prayer

Jesus was, and still is, amazing!  But Jesus was, and still is, seldom amazed, except on two occasions in the Scriptures.  In one, He is amazed at the lack of faith of the people in His hometown of Nazareth,.  In another, He is amazed at the depth of faith of a Roman centurion.  This foreigner approaches Jesus, asking Him for help with one of his servants suffering with paralysis.  This alone is notable, in that a man of cultural distinction and military power should care enough about a lowly servant to approach this strange Rabbi with a request for help.  But when Jesus offers to visit the home to heal, the centurion offers this prayer:
Lord, I do not deserve to have You come under my roof.  But just say the word, and my servant will be healed (Matthew 8:8).  Though the centurion reasons his position on the basis of how a man of authority, such as he, and such as He sees in Jesus, can just say a word in order to make things happen, Jesus commends not his reason but his faith, saying I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith (Matthew 8:10).
Do we, the People of Jesus, recognize His Supreme Authority, and do we call upon Him in that Faith?  If we pray in accord with The Word of God, and in concert with what we believe are the present-day words of Jesus interceding at The Father’s Side, then it should be our privilege and responsibility to pray with such confidence.  In fact, in the Roman Catholic Eucharistic liturgy, this centurion’s prayer is altered to read:Lord, I am not worthy that You should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.  May we pray similarly for others, and for ourselves.

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