Praying for healing – what’s the secret?
Well let’s just look in the Bible.
And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him… When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing. (John 9:1-7)
Ok, so for healing (especially blindness) you just need to make mud from spit. Oh, and you have to do something (wash). Alright then. So that’s how it works. Good to know.
… blind Bartimaeus … sat by the highway side begging. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me… And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight. And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight… (Mark 10:46-52)
No, you don’t need spit and mud; all you have to do is have faith and ask! The trouble with you Muddites (you don’t mind me calling you Muddites, do you, after all putting a label on your belief helps me feel more comfortable in my criticism), the trouble with you Muddites is you have based your whole approach on one instance. Muddites like you need to understand that this was a special occasion and you shouldn’t use it to create healing doctrine.
Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour. And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God (Acts 3:1-10).
You Muddites and personal faith people! Wake up! – it’s all about the Name! You just have to say the name! It’s the faith of the pray-er that counts; that and saying the Name. Peter showed us how the Church should do it; just read your Bibles!
And there they preached the gospel. And there sat a certain man at Lystra, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his mother’s womb, who never had walked: The same heard Paul speak: who stedfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed, Said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked (Acts 14:7-10).
Come on. It’s clear as day! Why do you Muddites, ‘personal faith’, ‘pray-er faith’ and ‘say the Name’ people get so caught up in your methods. Clearly you have to create faith by speaking the gospel, and then the hearer’s faith (plus an Apostle’s command to the hearer) is all you need…
What’s going on? They can’t all be right, can they? We haven’t even got to the ‘speak to the disease’ folks; the ‘confess your faults first’ brigade; the ‘laying on of hands’ elders; the ‘speak the word only’ types; the ‘anointing with oil’ experts; the ‘fast till you drop’ approach; let alone the non-biblical but nice and dramatic ‘deep and authoritative voice that will scare that sickness right out of you pronto and no mistake’ purveyors.
The thing is: it’s not the method that matters. God is a spiritual being, not some mystical magical power that just needs the right incantation. Not the big Automatic Teller Machine in the sky that won’t do anything unless you get your PIN code exactly right. How insulting to God to think that He is so remote, so weak, that He relies on the right mechanism and the correct type of words to spur Him into action.
It’s about the relationship, not the mechanics.
Yes it’s about faith. Sometimes in the Bible it was the faith of the person doing the praying: “Lazarus come forth”; other times it was the faith of the person being healed: “your faith has made you whole”.
It is the will of God to heal. Sometimes it’s instant; sometimes it’s not. Sometimes it’s dramatic; sometimes it’s gradual. And sometimes it doesn’t happen at all, and the saint goes to “sleep”, waiting for the resurrection.
The miracle of healing has been, and remains, a staple of the Church. The bigger deal for a Christian is their relationship with God. In a real relationship, even when you don’t see everything, you take on trust the bits you don’t understand. You accept that God has all things in hand. You pray expecting and believing; and leave the rest to God.
In a real relationship it’s not about finding the right mechanisms and forms of words to manipulate the other one into getting what you want. It’s about trust and growing to know the other one more and more.
Jesus died to save us and to heal us. That’s the truth.
Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed (1 Peter 2:24).
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