Monday, October 27, 2008


Ok, this is going to be an unpopular post. . . . maybe. I am doing some reading, and I keep coming across stuff about healing. There are lots of "formula's" for healing. Do you know what I mean? Pray, lay hands, pray scripture, annoint with oil, confess, repent. Now these things are biblical, and we do them. Why don't we have healing?

Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. James 5:14-15 (ESV)

That seems like a pretty straight forward verse, right? Call the elders, pray over him, anoint him with oil and the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick. So why does it seem to happen so seldom in our churches?

Well, I'm not a dispensationalist, so I don't think it has anything to do with the century we live in. I am also not a methodist, (not the denomination, the view that the power is in the method), so I don't think it has anything to do with the methods we are using. I don't think we need to say the right words in the right order, use the right brand of olive oil.

Here is what I think the issue is. I think it’s our viewpoint. We know and have learned so much about illness and disease, and we know what a huge deal it is to be healed of things we have no modern cure for. We don’t pray healing for a sinus infection, we just go to the doctor and get some anti-biotic. The things we really pray for are the big diseases that modern medicine cannot heal.

When it comes to the big diseases, things like Cardio-myopicy, something I have been praying is healed for some friends. Diseases like cancer which touch all of our lives. Lifelong infirmities and diseases, we pray for those, but I think we have tainted motives. Our motives aren’t impure, we love and care about the people we pray for, but I think there is something else that is often greater than our love. Something inherently selfish about our prayer for healing, and it’s told to us specifically in scripture that if this is our motive, we will not get it.

Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered him, saying, “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.” But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.
Matt 12:38-39 (ESV)

If we are honest with ourselves, which do we want more, healing or a sign? Do we want a visible manifestation that God is working, that He is on our side? Sometimes we even ask Him for a sign. Our sins are forgiven, we have the Holy Spirit inside, but so often, we want to see more. I think we have mixed motivations. First, we want to be sure that we have it right. Want to be assured. I think we believe that evangelism will happen, that people will come to Christ if they see a sign. Jesus restored the ear of a servant that has been cut off. The mob still crucified Jesus, after seeing Him perform that miracle and all the miracles that He performed before that.

So, in conclusion, I think (and here is the unpopular part) that we are so often an evil and adulterous generation, seeking after a sign, wanting to show the world that our God is better than medicine and better than new age healers or whatever. We want to prove it. Sometimes we get into a “my dad can beat up your dad” argument. We want God to prove it, send fire from heaven, heal the disease and we can sing His praises with a chorus of “I told you so” at all those pagan doctors who said there was no hope. Am I wrong? I sure wish I was, but I don’t think I am. Feel free to disagree.


  1. Yes,I think you are wrong ~ at least partially. I don't think you are wrong about us living in an evil generation or a selfish one. I think you are right about that. Add this one . . .we are a disobedient people who have turned our face from God. Clearly the scriptures teach us that obedience is tied to blessing.

    So does that mean that illness for the Christian is a judgment from God because we are evil or disobedient? NO! The scriptures say it rains on the just and the unjust. They also teach that we will suffer with Christ. Yet, few in today's culture understand what it means to suffer with Christ. We are expectant of immediate gratification. If we don’t get it, we quickly lose heart. Sometimes. Yet even for those who have learned to wait upon God, there is that recognition that God works as He wills, not as we will. What greater testimony is there than that person who has come to complete surrender to the will of God with a praise upon their lips in every situation!

    Yet, God has not changed. He continues to manifest healing today. There are testimonies of His healing everywhere about us. So who does He heal? All of us, in His time and for His purpose. Some are healed on this side of heaven and some on the other. And when we pray for healing as we are directed, I think the vast majority of us do so not from a motive to see a sign from God. I think this is where you are wrong. We pray for healing because we love. We pray for healing because scripture says we are to pray for healing.

    Think about it. Is there any greater healing or release than to stand before God and enter into His presence as His child? What do we really believe? Is it not to our great benefit to exchange the corrupt body that begins to degenerate and move toward death from the moment of our birth for an incorruptible body designed for eternity?

    If such is the case, why would we even want to be healed here? And why does God heal here? For one purpose. That purpose is HIS glory! God ALWAYS heals. Sometimes He heals and delivers FROM the fire. ~ Sometimes he heals and delivers IN the fire ~ and sometimes He heals and delivers THROUGH the fire. Yet in all places, God works to complete His purpose, to bring a testimony through the story. Yet, we do not see conceptually. We only see the moment. We are people of limited vision.

    God IS better medicine than anything man kind can offer, yet God has gifted and equipped the physician in a time of unparalleled knowledge and wisdom. Each of us is in need of "sozo" that deep and complete work of salvation and healing in some way: spiritual, physical and emotional. As our heart seeks to know the Lord our healer in greater measure than to receive the gift of His healing, we find that healing belongs to us in ways beyond our understanding.

  2. I think that where the issue lies is in our faith. When we pray for healing, many times there is in the back of our minds the thought that it really wont happen. But we have to go through the motions. What kind of friends and family would we be if we did not offer up a prayer for healing of a loved one? For that matter, how could we call ourselves people of "faith" if we didn't at least pray?

    The Bible says that if we have the faith of a mustard seed... we all know the quote. But do we have that much faith? How many times do we pray for God's healing and honestly, completely believe that God will heal?

    I have seen God heal in an instant, due to the prayers of His people. I have seen the people of God, earnestly pray for weeks and months and still the person is not healed. What is the difference?

    I believe the difference may be in the condition of the heart of His people. We don't spend the time in earnest prayer on a daily basis. But then a need arises and we shout off a quick prayer asking for healing. Phillipians 3 says that we have the same power that raised Christ from the dead living in us and breathing life and power into us everyday. If we are living in that power everyday, then I believe that we would see a whole lot more healing.