I wrote about a healing service that left me with more questions than answers. Are special services necessary for God to heal? How did the preacher know so much about me? Was the woman at the service healed of a blood disorder simply because hands were placed on her? Did Jesus really heal the blind man? What about those who are not healed? Are there other, less dramatic ways we can be involved in a healing ministry?
So along with several leaders of our church, we began to look into the miracle of God’s healing. The first step was to study scripture. Here are a few clear examples:
- God heals. “He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases – ” (Psalm 103.3)
- Jesus heals. “- and he (Jesus) healed all the sick.” (Matthew 8:17)
- The disciples heal. “Then he (Jesus) sent them out to heal the sick.” (Luke 9:2)
- We can heal. “Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray and their prayer offered in faith will heal the sick.” (James 5:14-15)
- Healing is a miracle and an example of God’s mercy, not a performance.
- Healing involves spiritual, emotional and physical wholeness as much as a physical deed.
- Healing occurs in God’s way and in God’s time, not simply because of what we say or do.
- Healing includes human responses such as nursing care, counseling and acts of friendship.
- Healing may mean courage to endure suffering and hardship rather than instant reprieve.
- Healing ultimately trumpets our earthly death as a victory ensuring eternal life in heaven.
After months of preparation and prayer our church and I reached a critical turning point.
For several weeks during Sunday worship, I shared what our leadership discovered and how we hoped to expand our healing ministry in several spiritual and practical directions from increasing our visitation ministry to providing training for one of our members to become a Parish Nurse.
At the end of the final service, after months of preparation, several leaders stood with me as I offered the opportunity for anyone who needed prayers for healing to come forward. In the background a musician began playing softly. For the longest moment, nothing happened —
Then the miracle of God’s healing began.
First one woman needed help in dealing with Osteoporosis. Right behind her was another person suffering from chronic back problems. One man confessed an addiction to prescription medication and asked for help.
The line grew as we gathered around each person, heard his/her request and took turns offering prayers to God. At one point the music stopped and for several minutes, all you could hear were the sounds of people sobbing while others prayed for them.
In over twenty years of ministry, I never before witnessed such a spiritual and emotional outpouring. Over the next few days, several who came forward told me of dramatic changes and yes — even miracles!
Understanding and believing the miracle of God’s healing was a critical turning point in my life and the ministry of our church.
Have I successfully answered all the questions and concerns about healing? No and I likely never will, but like the healed blind man, I can now emphatically say to Jesus and to you:
“Yes Lord, I believe! I was blind and now I see!”