Last week, I wrote about attending a healing service that left me feeling confused and filled with questions: Are special services necessary for God to heal? How did the preacher know so much information about me? Was the woman at the service healed of a blood disorder simply because hands were placed on her? What about those who are not healed?
So along with several leaders of our church, we began to look into the miracle of God’s healing. We gathered as a group determined to find answers. The first step was to study scripture. After many hours of prayer and Scripture study we discovered four very basic teachings.
- 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 too can heal. “Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders and have them pray and their prayer offered in faith will heal the sick.” (James 5:14-15)
Next, we invited leaders from other churches to talk about their healing ministry. We were encouraged to learn that we are already involved in God’s miracle of healing. Every time we visit someone in need, send a card, deliver a basket of food, bake a cake, offer a prayer or simply share a conversation over a soothing cup of coffee we are offering God’s miracle of healing. We could stop feeling inadequate. Rather, our task was to learn how to improve our healing ministry.
So what have I learned?
- Healing is a miracle and an example of God’s mercy, not a performance.
- Healing involves spiritual and emotional wholeness as much as a physical act.
- Healing occurs in God’s way and in God’s time, not simply because of what we say or do.
- Healing includes responses such as nursing care, counseling and acts of kindness.
- 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.
“Jesus went to the blind man and asked, ‘Do you believe in the Son of Man?’ The man answered, ‘Who is he, sir, because I would like to.’ Jesus said, ‘You have seen him and he is speaking to you!’ The blind man responded, ‘Yes, Lord, I believe!’ And he worshiped Jesus.” (John 9:35-39)
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 prayer 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!”