Encouraging, Living, Reaching

Should We Pray for Healing? Part 1

Should We Pray for Healing? Part 1

Are we praying too small when we pray for healing?  So often at our prayer meetings, we have lists of those who are sick and aging. As we pray, we often recall that our God is the Creator who made our bodies so wonderfully and has the ability to recreate parts that don’t work. And we remind ourselves that He is the Healer, and He is able to restore life to the dead.

Speaking from experience

While all of this is true, could it be that we are missing the bigger issue? I will interject here, that I have suffered with a chronic and terminal disease for the last 11 years, since the age of 19, so I do not write this lightly or without experience.

It has often worried me when people have, kindly and with great intentions and love, said “I’m praying that the Lord will heal you. We pray every day! We know He can and we’re just believing He will.” There are a number of issues with this common way of thinking that cause me concern.

God’s character

Our God knows our beginning from our ending. Job 14:5. He loves us and desires for us to walk in the Spirit and grow in the likeness of Christ. Eph. 2:10 and Phil. 1:6. So the hardships that enter our lives, be they medical, financial, relational, etc. are allowed. We know God does not tempt us; however, I cannot find Scriptural backing for the idea that God does not challenge and push us – with the end goal that we will come out like gold. Job 23:10.

From the mind of a 4 year old

My son, Alistair, is 4. The other day I made him a special treat. He loves hot dogs, and I had found Pillsbury wraps and made pigs in a blanket. When first presented with this new food, he got angry that it wasn’t hot dogs as he has previously known them and told me, very strongly, to take them away. However, after he tried one, and found that I had made them with him in mind, he did indeed enjoy them.

We are not promised an easy life

I worry often because I hear myself, and so many other believers, praying away everything that we perceive as “different” or “hard”. We are not promised in Scripture that life will be easy. However, we are promised that God will complete His work in our lives! And that we will not be alone. If every time I get a cold, or feel sick to my stomach, or have aches and pains, all I can think of is to pray it away.

What does that say to my heart, to those around me, and to the angels about my view of God? Does it say, “I trust God as long as I’m comfortable”? Does it say, “I deserve to have a life immune to the environment that I live in”? Does it say, “God can’t have intended for this to happen, so I need to make sure He knows what’s going on because when He does, it will be removed”? Are any of those true? I don’t think they should be.

In the next post in the series we will look at some other thoughts to consider.

Should We Pray for Healing Series by Anne Griffiths

Read all the current articles on prayer and healing.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect any other author or an official position of the assemblyHUB team.

Anne Griffiths

Anne lives in Oakville, Ontario and fellowships at Hopedale Bible Chapel. She and her husband Nathan have one son, Alistair. They both have a heart for the assemblies and a passion for the Word of God. Anne teaches piano and is a part time social media liaison along side homeschooling her son.

4 Responses to Should We Pray for Healing? Part 1

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    Some nice thoughts, Anne. Thanks.

    I like Paul-sized prayers—“Fill them with the knowledge of thy will…!”

    But, I also see value in child-like prayers, “Lord, it hurts.” And Nehemiah arrow prayers into the throne room, “What do I say NOW, Lord?”

    I don’t think the Lord is insulted by little prayers anymore than he is intimidated by big ones. I guess I see our relationship with the Father as just that…a relationship. Pray can be a conversation with the most powerful Person in the universe. We desire his will, because we know it’s best and because we know we should. We trust him to know our hearts and do what works everything together for His purpose.

    I had an accident a few years back that cost me about 50 percent of my vision in one eye. I was told that I would never recover that vision. I accepted that and never really prayed for “healing” of that eye. But I was never insulted when others did.

    Prayer is an interesting thing. We should certainly think more about it and DO more of it. I like that the Lord’s ears are open to my little prayers as well as my big ones.

    Thanks again.

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    I read the “Desiring God” link provided by the anonymous commenter above but in all honesty it seems to me Anne’s sentiments are closer to the heart of God for our present day.

    Healings, like tongues, were signs primarily given to confirm the truth of a message to a rebellious Jewish people at a particular time in human history. They were given with great frequency to testify to the truth of the words of Christ and the apostles prior to the completion of scripture, when such things were most needed. In modern Western culture they simply do not serve the same purpose.

    It would be neat to be able to call upon a God who would “fix” the medical situations of all his people if we simply demonstrated enough faith to please him, but I am highly suspicious of such subjective experiences as are cited in the article, though grateful to God for those rare medical situations that do end well.

    If Paul’s thorn in the flesh was not removed because God’s grace was sufficient for him, I agree with Anne that some of what we experience is not merely a test of faith, but intended to be experienced in full for our own ultimate betterment.

    I too speak from experience.

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    Mary Bruce

    When I was 17, my father died from a cancerous brain tumor, that had gradually grown to interfere with his brain functioning. For the previous 4 or 5 years we had seen many miracles of the Lord’s provision and timing. My mother had tremendous faith in our Lord, such that she was afraid to ask the Lord to stop him from driving. She knew that might mean the Lord would take his life. But our prayers that the Lord would get him safely back and forth to work daily were the equivalent of asking God for a miracle, as he was subject to seizures, and at times had tunnel vision. My brother had been in the car during one, and had been able to steer the car to the side of the road, as his right side went out, and his foot came off the gas. Mom had discussed his driving dangers with his doctor, who said, at that time the only way for her to get him off the road was for her to petition the court. What would such a trial do to a man already losing his mind?. and how would she be obeying the Lord, and being submissive to a man who did not believe his wife should drive, if he was in the car? She did not even know how to drive. So she prayed for the Lord to stop her husband from driving, so that he would not take someone’s life by accident. She prayed this prayer in fear and trembling…. Knowing that she could have her answer be that the Lord would take his life. Shortly therafter, he gave her the keys to the car, and never drove again.
    I share this one incident, so that you will know that she was a woman with faith in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. During this time, we were plagued by believers of the “charismatic faith healing” pursuasion that assured us that if we had faith, and asked the Lord, he would be healed. Since he did not get healed, as the tumor kept growing, our lack in faith, in their minds was evident. Another unhelpful comfort was the believers that had prayed, and were convinced that their prayers would be answered, and he would get better(Which they assured us.) Fortunately, our faith was in the Lord, who daily gave us strength to love and care for my father during some very trying times. He gave my mother the strength to hold on to her trust in God, despite those who would tell her that he would get better, if she only asked God….and believed.
    I see a danger in those who act as prophets, and assure those who are undergoing trials, that God will make it go away. In Hezekiahs day, the penalty for a prophet when his prophesy did not come true was death, for obviously, they were false prophets. Fortunately, we do not take the lives of those who assure us our trials will go away, because they prayed, or if our faith is strong enough. But they do harm to the name and reputation of God, especially in the minds of children, listening to their false promises, and thinking God has let them down.
    He does not always answer our prayers the way we want Him to. But in every trial, He works for our good, and gives us the strength to persevere and grow, and sometimes just to hang in till the next sunrise.

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