Last month we held a wonderful healing service at TRINITY St. John’s, at the instigation of Rev Dick Field. I have been involved in praying for healing for some years now, but I wasn’t always so keen and that’s why I wanted to write about it now, in case there are others wondering about it too.
When I first became a Christian, I have to be honest, I was skeptical – could God really perform healing miracles here and now? I went to several healing services to see those well known for healing ministry and I was a definite doubting Thomas, until I saw it for myself.
Since then I have prayed for healing many times, and sometimes with some success! Perhaps the most interesting was when I had booked a man to come and clean our carpets, who turned up limping across the driveway whilst trying to carry his heavy equipment. He had twisted his ankle that morning at a previous job and it seemed unlikely he would be able to continue. So I took a risk and explained that I was a Christian and had prayed for people for healing and would he like me to pray for him. He said yes and after a very simple prayer his ankle was healed. Not only did my carpets get cleaned that day but we also chatted about church and Alpha, so perhaps God led him from there to know him deeper.
The thing about praying for healing is that it can be a bit controversial, we can get caught up in questions like: does it happen today? What happens if someone isn’t healed? Or why has God not intervened? And I have been in that situation, I’ve seen people die who I believed would live, and in fact in my own case, I still had to undergo back surgery when I had received huge amounts of prayer for my injury. It’s hard to continue to believe that God can heal when you experience situations like that. But the thing is, God is God, there will always be an element of mystery about Him and so whilst it can be hard, I choose to focus on what I know of God, what I believe and have experienced, rather than dwelling on what I don’t understand.
So I will go on praying for healing no matter what! In fact a great example here, is of the well known evangelist John Wimber who had a real gift for healing, someone who God had clearly called to this kind of ministry (perhaps read 1 Cor 12:8-10 on spiritual gifts given to people). He saw hundreds of people healed in the 1980’s and 1990’s and he taught many others to pray for healing in Jesus. But did you know that he prayed for more than 1,000 sick people before he saw his first healing? How could anyone possibly stick with something through such constant failure? He just refused to go by what he was experiencing, and stood on the testimony of scripture.
In the bible we see that Jesus healed all who came to him seeking healing, and more than that at the great commission (Matthew 28) Jesus says this:
All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
Let’s clarify that – he told them to make disciples and to teach those new disciples to obey everything he commanded them – so, if we follow that on, that means us! We should obey what Jesus taught the disciples. And a few chapters earlier in Matthew 10 we can read him telling them:
As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.
This is for us too! This is just as much a command or commission to us as it was 2000 years ago.