I have a pretty long list of questions I want to ask when I get to heaven; like how many angels can dance on the head of a pin? Could God make a rock so big He couldn’t lift it, and what is Martinizing and why does it only take one hour? Seriously, there are lots of things I struggle to know about God. The top question on my list is; why do some people receive divine healing and others don’t? Oh, I know all the cutesy answers like, ‘you just lack faith’ or ‘there is unconfessed sin in your life’. I’ve got a newsflash for you. There is unconfessed sin in every one of our lives so therefore no one should ever get healed. And, most of the people Jesus healed didn’t have an ounce of faith, but He healed them anyway. Divine healing is a complex issue that I could not hope to unravel in a few short paragraphs. But let me share a few thoughts.
When I was a newer christian I was part of a group that held a month long 24 hour prayer vigil for a 25 year old young woman dying of cancer. She confessed every sin known to man and we prayed with every once of faith that seems humanly possible. She still died. Many of the group became so disillusioned they stopped praying for the sick altogether. Some reacted even worse and were spiritually shipwrecked. I was in the other camp that decided I was going to become even more vigilant to pray for healing.
I have lost many battles since that day including my father and brother that both died of cancer while I prayed by their bedsides. I mourn their losses, but I have only increased my resolve to see a breakthrough in healing. In this church, we have declared war on cancer and are determined to fight till we win. We receive hundreds of prayer requests every month in our prayer room. We pray for them one by one. You would be shocked at how many families are being touched by cancer today. We hear terrible tales of this relentless disease afflicting the young and the old. You can’t help but feel their pain when you pray for people by name.
I think it is important to remember ALL healing comes from God. I have a friend who is an orthopedic surgeon. He tells me, “Mark, I can’t heal anybody. All I can do is set the bone and rely on God to heal them”. I love his humble attitude, but I also think we need to be of the same mind and be open to however God wants to heal. If someone gets healed by chemo, antibiotics, medical intervention or herbal supplements I am going to give God the praise. The ultimate goal is healing, I don’t care how we get there.
One evening we called folks forward who had pain in the sciatic nerve. Of the 30 people that came forward probably 10 got healed. It was a particularly good night. One man had been off work for 5 years and the pain was completely gone and has now been able to go back to work. Another had had a neural stimulator implanted under his skin and in the 8 months since we prayed that night, he has not had to use it once. He has been completely pain free. I love to share these stories, but what about the other 20 that did not get healed? I think there could be any number of reasons why some do not seem to get healed when they receive prayer. In my experience, we are not likely to figure out why. I just don’t know why we don’t see results every time. Anybody that thinks they do is only fooling themselves. All I know for sure is that God has made it clear in his word that He wants to heal us. But when Jesus knew it, He withdrew from there. And great multitudes followed Him, and He healed them all. Mt 12:15 And the whole multitude sought to touch Him, for power went out from Him and healed them all. Lu 6:19
For me it is like any battle, the more people you can get on your side the more likely you are to win. My appeal is for christians everywhere to get into the fight and just keep on asking, keep on seeking and keep on knocking. I don’t feel any need to MAKE something happen. We don’t push people down when we pray for them and we don’t pretend they got healed when they clearly didn’t. God doesn’t need us to lie to protect His reputation. Jesus said, “And these signs will follow those who believe… they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” Mark 16:17-18. Simply put, it is our job to do the praying for the sick, and then, leave the results up to God.