The church gathered around, laid hands, and prayed. I’d been a part of those kinds of circles before, but this time it was my own mom being prayed for. She had an undiagnosed brain condition that was continuing to worsen, causing diminishing functionality of her fine and gross motor skills. So we prayed. We prayed in faith. We prayed for healing. We asked God to display his power in touching my mom’s physical body. I knew God was able. I remember thinking, God, if you raised the dead, certainly restoring my mom is not too difficult for you. After all, the same Holy Spirit that raised Christ from the dead lives in us! So, we prayed with confident hope.

However, our hopes were dashed. Over the months that followed, my mom’s health grew worse and worse and she eventually passed away. Have you ever struggled to make sense of healing? I have. Questions like: does God still heal today? Or, why don’t we see the same kinds of miracles in the United States that the church saw in the New Testament? Understanding healing can be complicated, nuanced, and frustrating. We want things to work more like an equation. If we input the right kind of prayer and faith, then God outputs the healing we long for. However, we know it doesn’t work that way.

It can be easy to look at the way God didn’t answer prayer for healing and draw the conclusion that he never answers that kind of prayer. And yet, I have seen people healed! I’ve seen a woman’s back restored, I’ve seen people regain sight, I’ve seen God move in power and set people free. I’ll never know why he didn’t heal my mom, but that won’t stop me from praying for the healing of others.

When Paul wrote to the Corinthian church about the way the Spirit was manifested among them he said, “For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 12:8-9) One of the ways the Spirit displayed his presence and power in the Corinthian church was through healing. Certainly that didn’t mean everyone in their church was always healed. He’d already told them some had grown sick and died (1 Corinthians 11:30). But it did mean some people experienced God miraculously healing their physical bodies.

It seems to me the Corinthians lived in the tension that while God doesn’t always heal, it doesn’t mean he never heals. That can be the erroneous conclusion we draw when he doesn’t heal in the way we prayed for. However, the Spirit is at work in and among us, and He can do whatever he wants. He’s God! So, let’s pray bold prayers in confident faith. Faith means that we simultaneously trust God can do whatever he wants to do, but we also trust His wisdom when he says “no.”

Today, take some time and pray for someone you know who needs healing. If you can lay your hands on them and pray, do so, praying and knowing God can heal, and pray trusting our sovereign God.

Pastor Ryan

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