Can I pray for healing for you?
It’s a question I get asked a lot when I’m at Christian conferences.
One person asked if they could “Pray for my leg”. For a nano second I mulled over different responses.
“It’s not my leg that’s the problem at the moment - You’ve seen the walking stick and guessed” was at the top of the list of more polite thoughts I considered.
I opted for “No Thankyou”
That was the least pushy offer of prayer for healing I’ve had recently. On one occasion I had to say “We are going to differ greatly in our theological standpoints on this, and I don’t think we will ever agree. So I am going to wheel away from you now. But thankyou for your concern.”
I use a walking stick and often use a wheelchair, so people assume my legs are my problem, therefore offering to pray into that area.
If some one came up to me and offered to pray for my arms I would be really impressed and ‘possibly’ agree, because that would show they were in conversation with the Holy Spirit about what I needed. This is because recently the pain I get in my arms and hands has been so excruciating it’s overtaken any other issues I get, including the muscles in my legs that won’t do as they’re told! It’s also made using my walking stick very difficult.
Over the past few months I’ve had many conversations with people about prayers for healing. For almost all of those people, the fact that people keep wanting to pray for healing for them or their disabled child has been their biggest source of pain and distress.
We all agreed with lots of points about this:
- We are not projects for healing ministry, neither are we a problem to be solved - we are humans…. that happen to have a disability.
- Offers of prayer should come out of mutual friendship and respect, but most offers tend to come out of exceedingly poor theology and even poorer understanding.
- The idea of what constitutes healing differs greatly - depending on your theology.
- It hurt that when prayers “didn’t work”, the people who prayed abandoned us because they didn’t know what to do. It was usually deemed to be the fault of the disabled person or their family (Or the sin of those long dead - also bad theology).
There were many more points raised by my hurting friends.
My faith levels have nothing to do with my illness continuing - the grace and faith that comes out of seeking God IN my disability is very important.
I have been given a measure of healing - not physically, but in my attitudes, in the way I view myself and others, and how I can be peaceful in the midst of pain. (That is, until some one wants to pray for healing….!!)
We live in a world where bad stuff happens - we’re not immune from it just because we are Christians. The measure of my faith is not whether I am healed. What matters is how my relationship with God grows through my pain.
I acknowledge that physical healing does happen - and that’s great - I thank God for it gladly. But this is not a reason to look at me and my friends with pity because “It hasn’t happened for us yet”.
I happily accept that there is a tension in this world - there is pain and suffering, and there is a God who loves. No matter what sort of day I’m having, God is still a God of Love.
I started writing this blog last week, and left it sitting on my computer.
Then I saw this video - It said so much!
Watch it here: http://youtu.be/Vfbi4G_8BiM
I spend a lot of time fighting for those who have disabilities especially children who have disabilities and additional needs and it’s hard - the people who need to listen rarely do. My pain levels in the last few months have have been high too. I haven’t been discouraged - I have too many friends fighting my corner with me, but I have become tired. On listening to the video I felt as though God was saying “keep going - I’m with you! Keep shouting - I’m with you! I’m with you!!” It was something I needed to hear today.
If you want to pray for me..... pray that I can continue to be gracious to those who offer to pray for my healing....