The Gospel Of The Kingdom – Overcoming Obstacles

By Pastor Juliana T Akinbami

The Story of the Man at the Pool of Bethesda

John 5: After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had. Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?”
The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.”
Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked.
And that day was the Sabbath.

In the bustling city of Jerusalem, there lies a pool called Bethesda. The name “Bethesda” is of Aramaic origin, and it means “house of mercy” or “house of grace. “This pool was a place of great significance and divine intervention. John 5:4 says an angel of the Lord would come down and stir the waters of the pool, and whoever stepped in first after the water was stirred would be healed of their afflictions. This pool became a beacon of hope for the sick, the lame, and the paralyzed, who would gather around it in the hopes of receiving their miracle.

In John 5:1-9, we see a man who had been paralyzed for 38 long years, lying by the pool, waiting for his chance to be healed. This man’s situation is one of desperation and hopelessness, as he has been unable to move or walk for nearly four decades. He was trapped in a cycle of despair and helplessness, unable to break free from his circumstances.

For many of us, the Pool of Bethesda can serve as a powerful symbol of the obstacles and challenges we face in our lives. Like the man at the pool, we may find ourselves stuck in a place of hopelessness, unable to see a way out of our suffering or circumstance. We may feel trapped by our circumstances, unable to break free from the chains that bind us. But just as Jesus saw the man at the pool and offered him healing and hope, we too can find strength and courage in our faith to overcome the obstacles in our lives.

Despite his condition, his presence means he did not lose hope or faith in God’s healing power. This man’s perseverance and faith serve as a powerful reminder that no matter how long we have been suffering, no matter how long it has taken for that situation to change, there is always hope for healing.
John 5:1-9 provides a powerful illustration of obstacles to divine healing. We will examine five of these obstacles.

1. Doubt and Resignation:

John 5: 7 The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.”
John 5: 7 The sick man answered, “Sir, there’s no way I can get healed, for I have no one to lower me into the water when the angel comes. As soon as I try to crawl to the edge of the pool, someone else jumps in ahead of me.” TPT

The disabled man had been in his condition for a very long time. When Jesus asked him if he wanted to be healed, his response pointed to his doubt and resignation as he explained that he had no one to help him into the healing waters when they were stirred (John 5:7). Often, long-standing problems can lead to a sense of resignation and disbelief in the possibility of change, which can be an obstacle to divine intervention.
Let us pray against doubts and resignation to any possibility of change.

– Lord Jesus, I confess that my long-standing struggles (or that of your loved one) have led me to doubt that there will be any change in my circumstances. Renew my hope and faith in Your goodness and ability to transform my life. Help me to trust that You are always working for my good, even when I cannot see a way out of my difficulties. (Romans 8:28, Psalm 27:13)
– Heavenly Father, I exercise my authority in Christ as I break down the barriers of doubt and resignation that prevent me from receiving Your blessings. I pull them down in the name of Jesus.
– Lord Jesus, I ask that You would stir up the waters of my life, bringing new opportunities and possibilities for change. Help me to be open to Your leading and guidance, even when it seems unlikely or difficult. Give me the strength to take the first step towards transformation, trusting that You will be with me every step of the way. (John 5:4, Psalm 37:23-24)
-: Let the obstacles of doubt and resignation standing in the way of my healing and restoration be removed. Lord Jesus, I know that You are my Healer and my Saviour, and that with You, all things are possible. I receive the faith to believe that You can and will bring about transformation (healing, restoration etc.) in my life. (Psalm 46:1, Mark 9:23)
– Holy Spirit, I ask that You fill me with Your power and presence, driving out the doubts and fears that hold me back from receiving God’s blessings. Help me to trust in Your guidance and wisdom, and to walk in the confidence that comes from knowing that I am a beloved child of God. (Acts 1:8, Romans 8:14-17)

Declaration of Faith and Transformation

I declare in the mighty name of Jesus that my life is being transformed by the renewing of my mind. I confess that despite the longevity of my struggles, God’s goodness and power are working to change my circumstances.
I break down every barrier of doubt and resignation that has hindered my blessings. In the authority of Christ, I claim victory over these obstacles. I welcome new opportunities and possibilities that the Lord is stirring in my life, and I commit to following His lead, trusting in His guidance and strength for every step towards transformation.
I believe that with Jesus, all things are possible—including my healing and restoration. I am filled with the Holy Spirit’s power, driving out fear and doubt, anchoring me in the identity of God’s beloved child, confident and secure in His promises. Amen.

2. Dependence on A Specific Method: 

John 5: 7 The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.” NKJV
John 5: 7 The sick man answered, “Sir, there’s no way I can get healed, for I have no one to lower me into the water when the angel comes. As soon as I try to crawl to the edge of the pool, someone else jumps in ahead of me.” TPT

The man was focused solely on the traditional means of healing—the stirring of the waters. His hope was tied to being the first to enter the pool following the stirring of the water, by an angel. This reliance on a specific method or tradition can limit openness to God’s power working in other ways. It shows how adherence to traditional views or methods can blind individuals to the new things God wants to do.
Heavenly Father, I pray against a closed mindset that is bound by traditional methods and past experiences. Break down the walls of rigidity in my thinking, and open my heart to the fresh and creative ways You are moving in my life. Amen.
Lord Jesus, I ask You to open the eyes of my spirit to see beyond human traditions and the familiar paths. Help me to recognize and embrace the new things You are doing right now, which I might not yet understand or see. Amen.
I declare that I am open to God’s innovative ways and unexpected paths of blessing. I renounce any attachment to the methods I have known before, believing that God’s ways are higher than mine. I am receptive to His divine interventions, however, they may come. Amen.
God of all wisdom, cultivate in me a heart of divine flexibility that joyfully accepts Your sovereign will. Teach me to trust in Your good and perfect plans, even when they unfold in ways I did not anticipate. Amen.
I declare that God is actively working in my life right now, bringing about healing, restoration, and growth in ways that are beyond my understanding. I trust in His timing and His perfect will, and I am ready to receive all that He has prepared for me. Amen.
Holy Spirit, grant me the discernment to see where and how You are moving. Help me not to be blinded by my expectations or past experiences but to be sensitive to Your leading and promptings in my life today. Amen.

Declaration of Openness to God’s New Workings 

I declare that my heart and mind are open to the new and dynamic ways God is working in my life. I renounce any reliance on past methods and past knowledge that may limit my experience of His power.

I embrace divine flexibility and am prepared to receive God’s blessings in unexpected forms. With renewed spiritual sight, I am ready to discern and accept God’s sovereign actions today, trusting that His ways are perfect and His plans are for my good.

I celebrate the fresh movements of the Holy Spirit, confident that He is actively shaping my future with divine creativity and love. Amen.

3. Isolation: 

John 5: 7 The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.” NKJV
John 5: The sick man answered, “Sir, there’s no way I can get healed, for I have no one to lower me into the water when the angel comes. As soon as I try to crawl to the edge of the pool, someone else jumps in ahead of me.” TPT

The man mentioned that he had no one to help him into the pool (John 5:7). His isolation could have contributed to his despair and hindered his healing. Often, isolation can prevent individuals from receiving spiritual and community support, which is crucial for healing and growth. May you and your loved ones never lack the help that you need per time in Jesus’ name.
Heavenly Father, I pray that I will never lack the help I need to advance to my next level. Send Your angels and the right people into my life to lift me up and guide me forward. Let Your divine assistance be evident in every aspect of my journey. Amen.
Lord Jesus, I ask for a community of believers to surround me, providing the spiritual and emotional support necessary for my healing. Protect me from isolation and connect me with brothers and sisters in Christ who will encourage, pray, and stand by me in times of need. Amen.
God of perfect timing, You brought help just in time for the paralyzed man; I trust that You will provide the help I need exactly when I need it. Whether for physical healing or emotional restoration, prepare my heart to receive and recognize Your timely interventions. Keep me from missing out on the resources and opportunities You provide. Amen.
Dear Lord, break down any barriers that could prevent me from receiving the help I need. Remove obstacles of pride, fear, or doubt that might keep me from seeking or accepting assistance. Open doors to healing resources and relationships that will contribute to my well-being. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Heavenly Father, just as You sent an angel to stir the waters at Bethesda, send Your heavenly hosts to stir the circumstances of my life towards healing. Let angelic helpers guide me, protect me, and ensure that I am positioned to receive every blessing You have in store. Amen.

Here is a summary declaration based on the prayer points provided for overcoming isolation and securing necessary help:

Declaration for Divine Help

I declare in the name of Jesus that I will never lack the help I need for advancement and healing in my life.
I am assured of divine assistance at every step of my journey, knowing that God’s angels and the right connections are always within reach.
I rebuke any form of isolation that could hinder my progress or healing. I am blessed with a supportive community of believers who provide spiritual and emotional support, encouraging me and standing with me.
I affirm that barriers to receiving help are removed, and I am open to the resources and relationships God provides for my physical and emotional well-being.
I welcome angelic intervention and divine opportunities that align me with God’s plans for restoration and growth. In Jesus’ name, Amen.*

4. Inaction VS Action: 

John 5: 8 Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” NKJV
When Jesus told the man to “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk,” it required an action on his part (John 5:8). Until that point, the man might have been passive, waiting for something to happen to him. This illustrates how passivity and inaction can be obstacles to receiving God’s healing.

(The following prayers reference healing; if you do not have a health condition, you might know someone who does; either way, please still pray … bank it.)
Heavenly Father, grant me the grace and the will to obey Your instructions promptly. Help me not to be passive but active in pursuing the steps You guide me to take for my healing and restoration.
Empower me to move as You command, without hesitation. Amen.
Lord Jesus, I come against any spirit of lethargy and passivity that may hinder my progress or healing.
Stir up my spirit to be proactive in seeking and embracing the help and healing You offer. Let my faith be active, and my actions be filled with faith. Amen.
Holy Spirit, infuse me with divine motivation to take necessary actions for my healing. Whether it is seeking medical help, embracing lifestyle changes, or engaging in spiritual disciplines (prayer, meditating on the Word, fasting, etc.).
As I work towards my healing, grant me perseverance and patience. Help me understand that healing might require time and persistent effort. Sustain my spirit so that I do not grow weary while waiting to see the manifestation of Your healing power. Amen.

Declaration of Active Faith and Healing

I declare today that I rise up from any form of passivity and inaction that has hindered my healing and restoration.
I embrace the will and strength to follow God’s instructions actively. I get up and take decisive steps toward the healing processes, that God has laid out for me.
I renounce spiritual lethargy and summon divine motivation to engage fully with all necessary actions for my well-being.
With courage granted by God, I make necessary changes and pursue recovery without fear.
I am empowered by the Holy Spirit to persevere with patience, knowing that my efforts are supported by divine strength. I rise up in faith, ready to walk in the fullness of health and restoration that God promises. In Jesus’ name, I pray Amen.

5. Jesus’ Sovereignty Over Traditions and Limitations:

John 5: Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked.
And that day was the Sabbath.
Ultimately, the story underscores that Jesus’ power to heal is not confined by human limitations or traditions. The obstacle here for the bystanders and for us today is the challenge to recognize and believe in Jesus’ sovereignty over all methods, traditions, and apparent obstacles. Jesus has paid the price for our complete healing, but we must never limit ourselves to the way we think healing would come and rather allow God to act in His sovereignty.

Heavenly Father, I give thanks for Your sovereign plan for my life, especially Your will for me to live in good health. Thank You for being a Father who desires the best for Your children and for making provision through Jesus Christ for our complete healing. Amen.
I yield to Your sovereignty over my life and every circumstance I face. Help me to trust completely in Your methods and timing, knowing that You work beyond human understanding and limitations. I surrender my expectations and invite You to move freely in my life. Amen.
Open my heart to accept and embrace the ways You choose to bring healing and restoration. Help me to not be confined by past experiences or knowledge but to be open to Your limitless power and possibilities. Amen.
Father, I pray against any mindset that seeks to limit Your ways and works. Help me to not impose my own understanding on how You should operate but allow You the freedom to work as You see fit. Teach me to recognize and welcome Your sovereignty in every area of my life. Amen.
Holy Spirit, strengthen my faith in God’s sovereign will. Help me to believe that all things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose, including my health and well-being.
Let this truth anchor my soul in times of doubt and uncertainty. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Here is a summary declaration based on the prayer points focused on yielding to God’s sovereignty and recognizing His plans for our health:

Declaration of Trust in God’s Sovereignty

I declare my complete surrender to the sovereignty of God over my life and health.
I recognize and accept that His ways surpass my understanding and His plans transcend human traditions and limitations. I give thanks for God’s divine will that I live in good health, acknowledging that Jesus has made provision for my complete healing.

I renounce any thought that attempts to limit God’s methods or timing and embrace His freedom to work miraculously in my life. With a heart full of faith, I trust that God is orchestrating all things for my benefit, as His beloved child. I stand firm in the belief that God’s sovereign will is perfect, and I open myself to the full experience of His power and grace in every aspect of my life. Amen.

Let’s remember:

For many, the pool represented a place of last hope, where divine intervention was eagerly anticipated. The man’s encounter with Jesus highlights an important shift from relying solely on the way things have always been and human assistance to receiving direct healing from Christ. We must not limit our openness to the unique and sovereign work of God in our lives.

Through the story of the man at the pool of Bethesda, we are also reminded of the power of divine timing—Jesus arrives at just the right moment to meet us in our place of need, urging us not to lose heart but to maintain our hope in God’s perfect plan for our lives. Let us, therefore, walk in faith, trusting in God’s timing and His limitless capacity to transform our lives, just as He did for the man at Bethesda.

With Jesus, no situation is beyond change, and no form of bondage is too great to be overcome.

Next week we will conclude as we trust the Holy Spirit to teach us more. 

What miracle of Jesus should we consider next? As I prepared, the case of the paralytic who was helped by four men came to mind. Whereas the man at the pool said ‘I have no man” this other man had four men. Should we go for it? 

Let’s complete this watch by breaking bread together (Sharing communion). I will be live on YouTube and Instagram at 1 PM EST/ 6 PM WAT (Nigeria). All handles are @thewatchersprayerministry. 

Thank you for joining this weekend’s watch may you always have reasons to celebrate. 

I love you dearly

Pastor Tee