Throughout my walk with Christ these 30+ years, this keeps coming up:

Why pray to God for healing, if He doesn’t always heal?

The Bible is filled with miraculous healings and there is no end to verses that believe that God is capable of healing like…

“Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved, for you are my praise.” — Jeremiah 17:14

These beautiful words spoken by God through Jeremiah is a plea for healing and salvation to a God that has the power to do both.

The song, Heal Me Oh Lord, by Don Moen was part of my playlist before there were playlists. His lyrics contain this verse:

“But I know you might have questions
About this person or that person
Did not get healed
I have questions, but it doesn’t
Change the fact that
He is a healing God”

This idea, “people don’t get healed,” is pretty hard to deal with, especially when you are the person praying for someone else to be healed.

In the early days of my walk with Christ, there was a young family that was dealing with illness. The wife was sick and her sickness didn’t  have hope. In fact, it seemed like all the women in her family got sick around the same age and few recovered.

As a church we prayed and individually, we prayed. Even the pastor of the church declared that she would be healed. There was no lack of faith, yet…

I remember being at work and getting the phone call, she died. I was overcome with grief and wept in one of the cubicles. We loved her and her family (and still do) and knowing that she left behind children and loved ones did hurt… a lot.

Yet, some of that grief was over the fact that God did not heal, even though we prayed. We believed, trusted, prayed and did like He said we should do and still, a few days after that phone call, we had a Going-Home Service.

Some pastors made up excuses for God by saying that the sick person received a final, better healing through death. I couldn’t accept that. It was religious-spin on the fact that God said, No, and we weren’t listening.

As I matured and prayed for others to be healed, some did, some didn’t.

I started to learn the desperate cry of Jeremiah — “Heal me and I will be healed, Save me and I will be saved.”

Jeremiah is telling us that God is the source of healing and salvation. We are to come to Him for both. Our desperation should be that of: if God doesn’t do it, it won’t be done. God wants us to come to him for everything, even healing.

Thank God, that in our modern age there are so many ways to be healed that don’t require a miracle. God is always the healer by the fact that He created and gave wisdom to people to make medicine. But where medicine fails, there is only one person to turn to with the power to change that reality: Jesus Christ.

Jesus has shown us through His life in the Bible, that He has the power to heal. He not only saved us from Sin and Death at the Cross, but, He has given us His Holy Spirit. The same God that spoke the Universe into existence lives in us. The same, although mysterious, nature of God dwells in our bodily form (2 Peter 1:3-4).

The same Spirit that was in an ordinary man like Elijah (James 5:17) is the same Spirit that lives in us. And he asked that no rain would fall and God made his request a reality… for three and a half years.

Why should we pray for healing, even though we don’t always get a ‘Yes’ from God?

Because He commands us to ask…

“Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. 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 5:13-15

When we pray, we are to pray in faith, in humility and in community:

  • we pray in faith, believing that God is ABLE to do what we ask,
  • we pray in humility, believing that God is WILLING to do what we ask,
  • we pray in community, believing as a people, that He WILL do what we ask,
  • we pray in faith, humility and community, accepting WHAT God actually does.

Prayer is not demanding, but believing. We don’t ask God to do something and then doubt he’ll do it (James 1:6). God wants us to ask Him without the fear of getting a ‘no’.

Prayer is aligning ourselves with what God is doing in the situation. The more we are aligned with what God is doing, the more clearly we can ask God for the right things. Sometimes, healing is not in His plan. Jesus gave us an example of this, when He asked and got a ‘No,’ (Luke 22:42).

We pray for healing, accepting that sometimes, even in our most faith filled prayers, God has a different plan.

There is maturity in that statement, but it doesn’t come to our lives without pain. The kind of pain that comes when you believe God for healing, like I did for that family and instead of rejoicing at her recovery, we mourned as we buried our miracle.

My hope is that these words bring faith and comfort to you. Faith to keep praying and believing that God can and does heal.

Comfort in the knowledge that there is a Healer in your life.

Cry out to Him in your time of trouble and He will hear you (Psalm 46:1).

Joy in knowing that your job is to ask and believe, God’s job is to decide whether He responds to your request with a Yes, a No, or a Not Yet (Jeremiah 33:3).

All the while, making Him your praise!

“Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved, for you are my praise.” — Jeremiah 17:14

 

Photo by Levi Clancy on Unsplash