One of the mysteries about prayer is why some people are healed and others not healed. It doesn’t seem to matter how much how much the person or their friends and family pray. Some people are healed and others not.
We really can’t explain why some prayers are answered in miraculous fashion, some slowly over time, and some don’t get answered or appear to be answered. It’s a mystery known only to God and we must always default to Him because we can always count on Him being good, faithful, and loving us no matter what. When it seems that our prayers aren’t answered we should continue to pray because prayer does make a difference.
Checklist for Healing
When you desire and pray for healing ask yourself a series of questions.
1. Am I expecting a miracle as an entitlement?
God neither protects Christians with a shield of health nor provides a quick, dependable solution to all suffering. Christians populate hospital wards, asylums, and hospices in approximate proportion to the world at large.
2. Am I using the benefits of God’s “common grace” — the healing built into our bodies and the medical knowledge we have gained?
Studies on faith and healing demonstrate that the best healing takes place when a person lives so that a properly aligned soul and spirit can direct the bodily healing prompted by good medicine.
The Christian heals because he or she has the kind of body that was designed by God to be equipped to overcome injury and infection.
The real direction of prayer for the sick and the suffering should be, first to praise God for the wonderful mechanisms of healing and recovery that God has designed and placed in the person’s body, and then to pray that God’s special grace will take hold of his or her whole person and give the ability to use these resources to their fullest advantage; and also that the church will rally round and lay their healing hands on the one who needs support, faith, hope, and love.
3. Do I wrongly blame God for causing the suffering?
We've all heard Christians say that the reason bad things happen is that it is a punishment from God. Absolutely not! Look at Job.
4. Am I prepared for the possibility that physical healing may not take place?
The apostle Paul had the power to heal a man crippled from birth and even raise another from the dead.
Acts 14:8-10 CEV In Lystra there was a man who had been born with paralyzed feet and had never been able to walk. The man was listening to Paul speak, when Paul saw that he had faith in Jesus and could be healed. So he looked straight at the man and shouted, “Stand up!” The man jumped up and started walking around.
Acts 20:7-10 CEV On the first day of the week we met to break bread together. Paul spoke to the people until midnight because he was leaving the next morning. In the upstairs room where we were meeting, there were a lot of lamps. A young man by the name of Eutychus was sitting on a window sill. While Paul was speaking, the young man got very sleepy. Finally, he went to sleep and fell three floors all the way down to the ground. When they picked him up, he was dead. Paul went down and bent over Eutychus. He took him in his arms and said, “Don't worry! He's alive.”
Yet three times in the New Testament he refers to friends (Epaphroditus, Trophimus, and Timothy) who suffered from a serious illness, not to mention his own ailment.
Philippians 2:25-30 CEV I think I ought to send my dear friend Epaphroditus back to you. He is a follower and a worker and a soldier of the Lord, just as I am. You sent him to look after me, but now he is eager to see you. He is worried, because you heard he was sick. In fact, he was very sick and almost died. But God was kind to him, and also to me, and he kept me from being burdened down with sorrow. Now I am more eager than ever to send Epaphroditus back again. You will be glad to see him, and I won't have to worry any longer. Be sure to give him a cheerful welcome, just as people who serve the Lord deserve. He almost died working for Christ, and he risked his own life to do for me what you could not.
2 Timothy 4:20 CEV Erastus stayed at Corinth. Trophimus was sick when I left him at Miletus.
1 Timothy 5:23 CEV Stop drinking only water. Take a little wine to help your stomach trouble and the other illnesses you often have.
One friend he left behind, ill; for another he counseled treatment. We have no record of their physical healing.
Jesus never promised to erase all poverty, all suffering, all human need.
Don't Blame The Sick Comfort Them
Whatever we conclude about physical healing, we must not add to the burden of guilt and sorrow borne by those who do not find healing.
Many Christians who roll about in wheelchairs, who awake each day to the scarred stumps of amputated limbs, who cope with debility and chronic illness, have prayed for healing. Some have attended healing services, felt a sudden rush of hope, and kneeled for an anointing of oil — yet still they live unhealed. For them, divine healing feels like the cruelest joke of all, a taunting accusation that in spiritual as well as physical health they do not measure up.
Paul wrote God “comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.”
A Prayer for Relief from Pain
By Meg Bucher
“You heard my plea: ‘Do not close your ears to my cry for relief.’” - Lamentations 3:56
Anyone who’s suffered long-term pain can relate to the sentiments of the prophet Jeremiah in today’s verse. God does hear and answer our prayers, but His answers don’t always look the way we want them to, or happen in our time.
We take things for granted until they are taken away. Why does human nature have to be that way? God designed us, and did so perfectly… to need Him. He does give us more than we can handle and He does allow circumstances to bleed out beyond our control (See See That's Not In The Bible - God Will Never Give You More Than You Can Bear). There’s a lot of life He will withhold the answers to, and we don’t have the capacity to understand even if He did explain it.
Hear God’s voice through the pain, and feel His presence through the frustration. “Don’t be deaf to my call;”Jeremiah pleaded. When someone we love is in pain, we feel helpless to stop it.
“Bring me relief!” When we are in pain, whether physical, mental, or spiritual, it takes over our focus. It becomes difficult to concentrate on the hope of healing, and hard to let go of what we think that should look and feel like.
Hold onto the hand that was nailed to the cross. That hand knows pain like none other. Our hope is in Him.
Father, we praise You for Jesus. No one has ever experienced pain like He did for us. Thank You for His sacrifice, which allows us to call out to You for help in full confidence that You hear us and will answer us and heal us. Forgive us for wanting to control what the answers to Your prayers look and feel like and when they happen. Bless us to be strong in Your Word, and rely on You for strength. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.