Sunday, November 25, 2007

Different Styles of Healing Prayer

I'm not a "name it and claim it" type of Christian. At times I think that it is because I lack spiritual maturity or authority. At other times I think that it's because God is using me where I am to the best of my ability in His service. But a true self-assessment reveals that I'm humble. I'm humbled that God uses me for His healing. I'm humbled that I, so undeserving, can pray for someone and He answers that prayer. I don't command healing, rather, I supplicate for it. I don't wield God's power, rather, I ask that He wields His power. I just can't come to tell someone that they are healed...because I don't have that knowledge. The one asking for healing, and God, have that knowledge.

Oh, please, don't get me wrong. There are times when I'm tempted to say, "You're healed". But I don't...if I'm not led to do so. I blogged a while back about an incident where I was totally uncomfortable for an afternoon while visiting with relatives...and one was sick. I couldn't leave without having healing prayer for her and when I prayed, God said to me...."it is done". It wasn't me wielding the power of God, rather, it was Him wielding me to be His hands and be the deliverer of His mercy. There is a difference.

I never ask for a report card for God. I never ask "do you feel better?". I know that people are very open to suggestion when confronted with devastating circumstances in their health and wellbeing. I pray when asked to, and I supplicate when asked to, and I stand back and watch as God reveals his grace and mercy in the lives of those who come to Him. When they testify, without my beckoning it, I'm as awed as they are. When they testify, without my beckoning it, they are speaking about how their situation has changed and everyone there is mutually in awe of the power of prayer; the power of faith; the power of love, as the recorded words of Jesus Christ said: "I do nothing that isn't the will of the Father".

I simply cannot say: "You are healed." I cannot. But I can say: "Praise God...He has shown His mercy on you". I'm a spectator...and an intercessor...but not a commander of God's will. I bow before His throne. And pray that He is making a worthy servant of me. All glory to Father God.


Mark H said...

Hi Marty,

I've hosted a lot of discussion around this topic as you know, and I do have a strong opinion regarding petition when we are ministering to others, especially the spiritually orphaned.

BUT I'm also totally with you at the same time. I think the bottom line is (unsurprisingly) FAITH - i.e. being CONVINCED of what Father wills to do for somebody and making ourselves available as a "go between", i.e. an INTERCESSOR. That's ALL that matters IMHO. We are there to help somebody to connect with their Creator Healer (and therefore the burden of faith rests with us).

On the streets, we're also careful not to suggest to people that they are healed. We do ask people to test their condition, but we do not say to them "you are healed" even if we have a strong witness in our spirit that they are.

We advise people to go to their doctor for a proper test. If they're on meds then we tell them to stay on them until they've seen their doctor. As well as telling them this, we also give them a letter that reiterates it (and includes some thoughts on the Father's love and the power of the Cross).

I hope some of this is helpful to the conversation.

Also, maybe you can help me here. I've noticed that Jesus didn't seem to tell people "you are healed" either. It seems to me that He commanded healing but then he waited for their own witness concerning their healing?

For example, there was the blind man whose eyes Jesus commanded to open and then asked him "what do you see?" The man's reply is "well it's a bit better , those men over there now look a bit like trees walking" and so Jesus commands his eyes to be fully opened a second time.

When I have looked at cases where our Bible's translate Jesus stating to someone "your faith has healed you" I've found that the Greek text often says "saved" (sozo) not "healed" (therapeuo) - and usually Jesus is speaking in response to somebody's own witness concerning their healing.

In fact it's fascinating to look at the healing accounts and do a quick Greek look-up on words that may be translated for us as "healed" or "saved".

For example, in the case of the ten lepers. Nobody could offer any kind of therapy. Jesus gave instruction to them so that they could be healed. But the one who came back to Jesus and thanked Him was actually confessing that Jesus, not merely Jesus' wisdom, had healed him and to just this one Jesus says "your faith has saved you" though some of our translations are a bit misleading when they say "your faith has healed you".

Thanks for a thought-provoking post.

Given55 said...

Brother Marty,

One of the things that I have learned is to always ask God "Do you want me to pray healing?" There is a time and place for everything under heaven and I don't want to get out of line with God. I, also, never claim "You are healed". But, I also, find it to be a cop out to say your healing will comes over time. I do tell them to continue thanking God for His great plan for them. Enjoyed your post

Mark H said...

> One of the things that I have learned is to always ask God "Do you want me to pray healing?"

Absolutely! In order to know Father's will we first have to ask :-)

We know His desire is to restore every kind of wholeness, but only He knows what's really broken.

Mark H said...

given55: I only just realised that was you and not Marty I was responding to! Please forgive my familiar tone. Nice to meet you :-)

Given55 said...

Mark H.

Nice to meet you too. No offense taken

Brother Marty said...

I'm so very grateful to be a facilitator of the meetings of minds for those in the healing ministry. Our god is an awesome God. He works His wonders at our hands, and we all stand back in awe and wonder as He moves in response to our prayers.

I think there is a new post coming from this response. It will come when it comes. But in the meanwhile...I'm glad that two others have connected via this blog.

Praise Jesus!