I have recently become affiliated with a church that may be a little more charismatic than I am used to. One of the things to indicate that is that they have a healing ministry. A couple of weeks ago, I was at a life group meeting where a member had just had surgery. Of course we prayed for that member and of course we prayed for healing. There is nothing out of the ordinary about that; but during the prayer the group leader gave a command that the member should be healed. I had heard of that before and while I thought it was strange at the time it wasn’t unacceptable to my sensibilities. What got to me though is that after the prayer, the leader asked the member if during the prayer, he felt anything. He kept pressing the member trying to get him to admit that some healing took place.
That started me thinking. The illness that caused the surgery to be performed was obviously God’s will. And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. I can’t help but wonder what good God wants to work when he allows sickness and suffering to come into our lives. With that in mind, why do we always pray for healing when someone gets sick? It seems that we pray for the outcome that we want never considering the possible outcome that God planned. The perfect outcome! Shouldn’t we be seeking God’s will in all things? Sure we need to let our desires be known. I mean He knows them already. Why then should we pray? Maybe when we pray we should try to determine if what we are praying for aligns with God’s will. Maybe our prayers can tell us if we are heavenly minded or earthly minded. I wonder if our prayers would be different if we remembered Matthew 6:33 “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
That’s what I think. Am I wrong? What do you think?
Most of us in our church or small group have a prayer chain or prayer list. Usually this prayer list contains the names of people that are sick or hurting. Typically, our prayer is that they would get better or that the situation that they are going through will be resolved according to our wishes. What about what God wishes?
We forget that they are in there situation because it is God’s will. Remember, nothing that happens is outside the will of God. The common question heard on earth is, “Why does God let bad things happen to good people?” The answer is, “I don’t know!”
What got me thinking on this is my reading of Numbers 23:19-20, “God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? “Behold, I have received a command to bless; When He has blessed, then I cannot revoke it.” These are the words of Balaam to Balak when Balak wanted Balaam to curse Israel for him. We are a lot like Balak. We want what we want and give little thought to what God wants. We should remember that “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.”
When praying, know that God’s plan is more perfect than our wishes and that His result is for the ultimate good.
I just received an email which included a picture of Jesus. I think the same picture is in every Catholic church in the nation. Anyway, the email said that something good would happen to me today. (I believe something good happens to me every day. I am blessed.)
All I had to do was sent the picture (and attached prayer) to 12 people. What struck me were the words immediately before the prayer, “This prayer is so powerful.” I thought, there is no more power in that prayer, or any other prayer, than what is in any writing or words. The power of prayer comes not from the prayer but from the One being prayed to. It is the relationship of the petitioner to the One being petitioned that gives prayer it’s power. You want powerful prayer? Establish a deep personal relationship with the God to whom you pray !
Jesus has this relationship with His Father. Anything, I mean ANYTHING that Jesus prays for He receives. Because He is God? Certainly! Because He is the Son of God? Absolutely! Because He has a relationship with the Father is why his prayers are answered.
You and I can have this same kind of relationship. John 1:12 tell us “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.”
Forward an email if you wish. It may give some people some joy. To others it may be an annoyance. To still others, it may cause them to stop and think (like it did me). It would be more profitable to become a disciple of Jesus Christ and become a child of God. As for the “good things” that will happen to you if you forward those emails:
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matt 6:33