Though there are no definitive statistics on subjects as broad as prayer, I’d wager that more than half of all prayers made throughout history were for God to heal an ill or injured loved one. When God answers those prayers with a “yes”, we call it a miracle. When he answers them with a “no”, we have a crisis of faith. With just 10 days until Christmas, I’d like you to take a few moments to reflect on all of the people spending the holidays in the Hospital or those faced with the daunting task of making funeral arrangements. Let’s all say a special prayer for those suffering through one of life’s most difficult challenges at a time when we’re constantly reminded of good times spent with family and friends.
Gifts of Healing
Perhaps one of the sweetest blessings Our Lord can give us is the gift of healing. There’s nothing as moving as the miraculous recovery of a terminally ill parishioner after an entire church joins together in fervent prayer. There are a number of promises in the bible that seem to make God look like a genie in a bottle in some people’s eyes. What many fail to realize is that these promises are made on the assumption that the individual making the prayer is in tune with God’s will. Miracles do happen, but they happen in God’s time and only according to God’s will.
Types of Healing
I wish I could give you a set of instructions on how to get all of your prayers for healing answered, but I can’t. I wish I could tell you why God allows us to suffer physical illness and catastrophic injuries, but I can’t. Only God can know the mind of God. What I can tell you is this: when you ask God to give you the gifts of healing, know that He is love. If it’s according to His plan, he’ll heal any illness and mend any wound. If it seems like He isn’t answering your prayers, it might just be that this particular illness or injury is a part of His plan. Through adversity, God is able to draw us nearer to Him than at any other time in our lives. If your prayers for healing aren’t answered, ask the Lord for the peace to accept his will. One of the prayers that God always answers is the invocation of the Holy Spirit.
More on physical healing: God sometimes works through modern medicine to give the gift of healing to someone. It may be in the form of an experimental surgery, a new medicine, or simply the successful outcome of any medical procedure. Not all miracles are flashy and attention-getting.
God is willing and able to heal any mental illness. As always, though, he bestows his gift of healing in his own time. If you or a loved one is suffering from clinical depression, schizophrenia, or any other serious mental health condition, simply put the problem in God’s hands. That goes for every problem you encounter in life.
A lot of people mistake “gifts of healing” for “healing touch”. As far as I know, there are no true “healers” besides Our Lord himself. When someone lays their hands on another person and prays for healing, God is the one who decides whether or not that prayer will be answered. He is the one who heals; not the person laying their hands or anointing the sick.
Does that mean there is no such thing as “healing touch”? I believe that all things are possible in God. Though I’ve never encountered a genuine “healer”, I won’t discount the idea that God may bestow on certain special men and women a gift of healing.
The only way to fully experience the healing power of prayer is to get close to God. “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness…” Let’s all pray that everyone suffering from an illness or chronic medical condition this holiday season are granted the peace to endure and, if it’s according to God’s will, the gift of a healing.
All My Best,
Rev. Doug Hauptman
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