Faith and Healing

11 Jun

 

This morning when I was reading Jesus Creed I became aware of someone who is in need of prayer for their health right now.  I felt drawn to pray for her complete healing.  When Jonathan came home for lunch he was talking to me about a man who comes to church, who is confined to a wheelchair, and does not communicate very clearly.  He saw him on the street and talked to him for a while, and prayed for him.

What followed was a discussion between the pair of us on healing.  Why is it we do not see or hear of many healings, when we know Jesus does heal.  Is it because we have a lack of faith or is it because Jesus chooses not to heal everyone?  I know in the past I’ve prayed for healing for people, and they have simply not been healed – was it my lack of faith, was it theirs, or was it just not God’s will for that person?  Sometimes now I wonder if I should pray for healing for people, what if they are not healed?  what if someone, like the guy in the wheelchair, has had people pray for healing in the past, and it doesn’t happen, then you pray for healing, and still nothing happens.  Humanly we feel stupid, the people who have been prayed for feel let down.  Do we not pray for healing so much now because, not only do we have a lack of faith, but because we are worried that if nothing happens our God will look weak and uncaring?  We must remember that healing isn’t always physical.

I read recently on someones blog – sorry, I can’t remember who’s now – about how they were in a coffee house recently and noticed someone on the table next to them was in a lot of pain in their back.  They had a word of knowledge from God that this person had one leg shorter than the other, so he asked the man if he could pray for him.  The man left the coffee house pain free with both legs the same length.  Should we listen for words of knowledge before we pray for healing?  Would we see more healing in the world if we really trusted in God, had a lot of faith, and prayed for who ever we came into contact with, believing that Jesus would touch them.  What are your thoughts?

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12 Responses to “Faith and Healing”

  1. Erin June 11, 2007 at 16:01 #

    Lyn – this is a question which has haunted me. I have not come to any real conclusion – being a “recovering charismatic” (meaning I don’t discount manifestation gifts but I am skeptical the frequency of them and I disown the obsession with them) at least partly because of the “demand” prayers for healing which never happened.

    I suspect it’s along the lines of what you said – and I know the typical charismatic position is that God wants to heal everyone…but I think we must consider timing. I am not certain God wants to heal everyone – but if He does, I do think it’s dependent on His timing – but then how do we know? A word of knowledge is good but still possibly inaccurate for our own failing to filter words correctly. So we pray in faith, knowing it’s not up to us whether or not someone is healed, just that God has a plan. I don’t think it has anything to do with us or our faith, as long as we pray. God decides.

    Sigh. I don’t know.

  2. lynhallewell June 11, 2007 at 18:42 #

    Good points Erin – maybe charismatic christianity has made things seem too flippant at times. It obviously is dependent on God’s timing, and I think will. We have prayed for people over the years who have never been healed, some of whom are no longer with us, this is what makes me think that God chooses not to heal everyone. I’m like you, I don’t really know either.

  3. calana June 11, 2007 at 21:44 #

    when i was about 5 months pregnant with our 3rd child, he was diagnosed with a “lethal” form of dwarfism. we prayed, we to the elders to be annointed and prayed for, we had people who had heard of our situation praying for us that we didn’t know – with all that prayer and hope and i believe faith joseph still died. the prayers for healing were answered because he’s completely well where he is now. i don’t understand why he didn’t live though. God is so mysterious – some miraculously live while others do not, even when the situations are so much alike. even though our prayers at that time were not answered the way i wanted or expected, i still pray. sometimes i wonder if it’s worth it or if i’m wasting my time – deep inside i know it matters – prayer really matters. i don’t know how His decisions are made – i just know God is good and God loves me.

  4. Paul June 12, 2007 at 13:06 #

    I don’t know if there is a formula for healing which explains why it does happen and when it doesn’t. Classic kingdom of God theology talks about the now and the not yet, so some people are healed and some aren’t etc…

    I wonder if this is a wider invitation to become involed in people’s lives – that it is about not just praying with people for healing but to keep being with them whether they are healed or not? That is of course harder as it leads to those Qs you ask Lyn – but it is also part of the need for christian community, of gathering together so we can support each other, as we struggle with the tensions of life and to remember the greater hope we bear witness too…

  5. Paul June 12, 2007 at 13:23 #

    you might be interested in something i wrote last yr on signs and wonders 🙂

    http://jasonclark.ws/2006/08/23/sighs-and-wonderings/

  6. Erin June 12, 2007 at 14:23 #

    Whoa. Yeah, I’m definitely with Paul on that. That’s a good point where I had never put 2 and 2 together. In charismatic circles we were always so concerned with the outcome, never the relationship.

  7. Jon Hallewell June 12, 2007 at 14:57 #

    Paul, I like what you say: “an invitation to be involved in someones life whether they are healed or not” – I feel all pentecostal for a brief moment “Amen Brother!” Hang on, now I’m thinking about the challenge !!!!

  8. calana June 12, 2007 at 20:01 #

    thanks to paul too, i never felt community so much as when we were dealing with a difficult situation.

  9. Paul June 13, 2007 at 11:30 #

    lol, thanks Jon, can you dance like a pente too?? 😉

  10. lynhallewell June 13, 2007 at 15:18 #

    🙂 You obviously haven’t seen him dance!

    … that words cropping up again – relationship. Why are we not so good at community?

    Great points everyone!

  11. treeoflifelondon February 2, 2009 at 10:56 #

    Healing comes in response to faith. Faith comes by hearing the Word.

    I have seen deaf ears open, cripples get out of wheelchairs and other miracles.

    Am I special? No. Am I something with a charismatic gift? No.

    All I am is a messenger, bringing the message of the good news of the gospel. If we understood what Jesus actually accomplished on the cross, we would see many, many more healings and miracles.

    If you look at our church website, you will have some more information. If you want to leave a comment on my blog and ask any questions, you are more than welcome,

    Bless His name forever,
    Ben

  12. anthony Edgington. March 9, 2009 at 01:43 #

    Two points to make if I may. First of all, God does not make mistakes, but He does expect us to pray for what we want, since He has given us free will, and only prayer can negate it.
    Secondly, how we pray is important, you never assume that God is wrong of course, so why pray for healing without knowing God’s intent. If he chooses to heal it is because He was waiting for us to show faith in Him and pray. If he fails to heal remember when he healed a man of his sins first, and then as proof of who he was, healed him physically? There is a lesson to be learned there.
    As a final comment, have you forgiven anyone against whom you have a grievance? God demands that of us before He answers our prayers…
    I have a Faith Healing clinic for Cancer sufferers and their families. Do you suppose I must have a perfect record of cures or I am a failure? I don’t see it that way, I just pray and trust. If I did not I would be lacking in faith….

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