On Healing & Prayer
Healing & Prayer Texts
There are many books and Internet materials on the subject of Healing and Prayer. A few well read authors are listed here:
Classic Texts – Christian Doctrines, Prayer, Healing, Spiritual Life …
A number of authors include chapters on the subject of healing, but may focus on particular areas such as prayer, what Christianity is, spiritual life, the human condition, and so on. Some authors are:
What Cancer Cannot Do
A text that has been of use in recent years in the church community is called, “What Cancer Cannot Do: Stories of Courage”.
This book is by Sarah M. Hupp, Published by Zondervan, 2007 – ISBN-13: 9780310819158.
Today there are many popular ministries that assist millions of people through television and related media. A few are listed below.
Ministries often focus on specific areas of help, such as evangelism, prayer, healing, community support, emotional development, addictions, faith, positive living, and so on.
A Discussion On Healing
During our life, we face many forms of humanity’s difficulties, often addressed with our connection to healing and ministry.
There are many views on healing, and most often, educators have a particular set of views they emphasise in their ministry. Sometimes these views are taken out of context with the fuller work of a ministry, or are applied according to what we know at a point in time. This is why it is helpful to regard a range of ministries available to us, using open eyes, ears and heart, so that over time we develop a balanced and healthy view that assists ourselves, but others we meet who need our compassion.
Canon Jim Glennon says it well – healing as a way of life.
Over the years there are evident many strong positions relating to healing, and certainly variation on theology. Our position is not to judge, as how will that profit? When we consider the scriptures in Mark’s gospel, of the woman who touched the garment of Jesus, that power immediately went out of him, we face but one astounding example where we contrast our own faith. Healing may sometimes just happen, and sometimes it is from a closer walk with the Lord Himself. It involves faith, and is not a methodology.
Agnes Sanford had a life of incredible healing miracles, but even she said she did not know why she herself got sick, and that she would not step beyond the faith she had. This does not discourage, but encourages us to find out more about healing.
It is said a large aspect of healing is willingness to see our main problems in a humble position before God, having a repentant attitude, asking God’s help to heal and restore us. There may be important issues such as our anger, that is contrary to the nature of God’s love, and we struggle to forgive another person – these are the tough issues. If we come to Holy Communion for example, and remember a situation where we have been angry or unforgiving, we are so strongly urged by the Lord to heal that so we may come before the throne in Heaven not with that anger, but with humility so our prayers may be answered.
Sometimes, illness is genetic, and we are challenged to either be resentful, to cast blame, or to trust God.
It is generally taught that these underlying issues have strong ties to various infirmities, but it is not a mathematical approach to healing, as we are all unique before God. When people become legalistic, they become controlling, insular, judgemental in a hurtful way, blocking God out. Do we want the Word of God to help heal us? Do we want to let Jesus wash our feet? If we put our swords of contention to the ground, and leave them there, we start to see the way of Jesus, and ultimately have more peace for ourselves, but are of greater assistance to others. Then maybe one day He may say we can pick up our sword again – but has it died on the Cross first?
This humble approach does not conflict with the times we are strong, but as Katherin Khulman used to say emphatically, it is the work of the Holy Spirit when we receive God’s help.
A significant part of healing is discussed in terms of co-crucifixion, dying to self. Man’s endeavours outside of communion or fellowship with God, have direction that readily turn to man’s self, rather than to what glorifies God, or is in a blessed obedience to God for best productivity and outcome. Often when talking about healing, people do not want to give up what they love. Unfortunately, man’s own will being in a fallen state, naturally fulfills his own desire and loves his satisfaction. Have you ever heard a man in rage, admitting that he loves his anger? Have you ever heard or seen other conditions people love to have rather than have healing? These concepts are difficult to grasp, as at its core is the condition of sin and the battle against sin. But you can see that the fundamental change to “self” infers a price – not annihilation of the person, or the functioning of the created self as such, but as given by many people in their testimonies, genuine changes of the inner being, with both tears, and joy. When an addict finally gives up their stronghold, it is not just the body, the flesh, the mind, and the “self” that is battered and wounded, but at a deeper level, the innermost self cries at its very own loss and former place. The place of God takes on a higher position with significant power – otherwise it is just a battle of the wits and stamina of a person that eventually wear out. We may not face these exact circumstances, but we are all of the same humanity, and God will take us somewhere if we are willing. In this process against sin, and our repentance of transgression and iniquity to the Father, God does not damage essential aspects of our being and never would.
To consider these things takes a decision and request in prayer to address ongoing. Sometimes God will use circumstances to confront our issues, but all is for the purpose to bring us more into God’s love, to be more like who we are meant to be or can be according to the things of the Kingdom of Heaven, and the likeness of His Son. These sorts of discussions in the Christian community have direct ties to healing, being set free from what binds us. This is why healing is so varied.
It is broadly recognised that today’s world has great distractions and pressures upon us. Who has not seen the increased demands and anxiety placed onto school students? Who has not been caught up in cycles of countless hours in television and computers? Where once people went to church on a Sunday, people are now financially surviving by doing non-standard work hours, making sure they catch the sports match, or placing all their remaining time into family support. Yet, above all this, God is waiting with the power of His love. Our response, that we may ask Him quietly to help us give Him time, to find His way among these challenges, so that we know we are worthy of the Lamb, ready for that day we race towards His Son with great love and throw our crown at Him in eager praise. Amen.
Saint Augustine of Hippo in the fourth century was one who believed in Grace, but for some reason he could not wrap his beliefs around healing. In the last weeks of his life, he saw healing first hand, and turned 180 degrees around from his previous position. There have been saints whose lives have been threatened, such as in the middle ages. They talked of fellowship with God, and principles of healing. We have a great cloud of witnesses before us.
Whilst we do not wish to focus on the negatives, there are several things that healing is not, and as we grow in faith, there are many aspects of healing we discover that bear truth and origin from our Father in Heaven.
For example, it is generally accepted in the healing ministry community, that we do not judge people, or give up on prayer, even to the last moment in time before a person passes on to the Lord. We exercise our faith together. An example of a clear cut error, is when someone says to give up praying for someone after a nominated period of time if their healing has not taken place. Another is that God must really be condemning us to have such a bad disease or infirmity. These are damaging statements, not born of light, and can be wicked. We are confirmed through scriptures and teaching, that it is right to constantly bring our needs sincerely before God, some prayers being maintained over time, others being more brief. As we pray in our hearts, in Spirit, we learn new dimensions of stamina, responsibility and stability. How often mankind embarks on help to others in their own strength, and at some point turn away from us removing that support. Not so if we move forward into prayer. We truly become people known by our fruits of the Spirit, and develop wisdom, discernment, right judgement and love.
Another misconception we sometimes face is born out of imbalance from another person’s ministry and what they have taught. Canon Jim Glennon’s ministry in Sydney was strong on faith. What happens, is that some enthusiastic folks say, well, if you did not get healed, you don’t have faith. Have faith! If we read and listen to this ministry, we go much deeper than this, and appreciate the struggle of life we go through. When Canon Glennon talks of problems in faith, he usually talks of the continual focus on problems, and refusal to develop faith for healing and trusting God. The teaching is balanced and never advises people to refuse their medication on the grounds that God will heal you instead. It may be the interaction with doctors and the discipline of medication, or some other reason that is important for us to learn about. In what places are we willing to be humble so that we can draw closer to our Lord. If we have a God who wants to walk with us, why would He not help us with our doctors and nurses. How often we hear of last minute events that ensured safety as folks worked with practitioners.
Healing takes place in various ways. It can be remembering a memory that needs release. It can be a healthier immune system. It can be the right events taking place for surgery. Healing can relate to emotions, psychology, relationships, career, finance, spiritual development, and not just physical healing. All these parts of our journey can take us closer to God, but we do not label pain and suffering as from God. God loves us. Even that which we hold up as a roadblock to believing in God can be the central need of healing, such as feeling we are guilty or not good enough for God.
CCEF – Christian Counselling & Educational Foundation
CCEF has a passion for Christ’s relevance in counselling. CCEF works to restore counselling to the church.
Help is available in areas such as addiction, anxiety, fear, depression, tragedy, singleness, relationships, parenting, guilt, anger, disease, suffering, psychology, and disasters. See the CCEF Resources for more details.