Praying For Healing

Some persons teach all sickness and misfortune is the result of sin. Persons of this persuasion have the capacity of putting a guilt trip on a sick person. That is most unfortunate.
In John 16: 33 Jesus said, “In this world you will have tribulation….” The Greek text literally means, “I guarantee you in this world you will have tribulation….” It is a part of the world system. Jesus continued, “…be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
God never promised us immunity from difficulty or exemption from problems. He has promised to bless us regardless of conditions. He takes no pleasure in our problems, but He will take part in them. We are stewards even of our illnesses.
The children about to be put in the fiery furnace said, “Our God is able to deliver us.” They did not say He was going to deliver them. They knew He could but trusted His judgment as to whether to save them.
Regarding our illnesses it is proper to ask for healing and —– then trust the Lord.
James 5:14 is a misunderstood passage. It instructs us to anoint with oil and pray for the sick. This does not mean to put oil on the brow and pray. There are two Greek words for anoint. One means to put oil on the forehead as was done for prophets, priest, and kings. The other word meant to kneed or message into the body. This is the one used in James. Secular writing of the period tell of the medicinal qualities of olive oil. An example is found in the story of the Good Samaritan What the James passage teaches is we are to use the best medicine available, in their case olive oil, and pray. Then we will have done all God expects us to do. After doing so we are to trust God’s judgment.
For example I know chances are some day I will pray for God to heal me of something and He will not in a physical sense. Instead He will give me the ultimate healing —- a new body in heaven. That is when I will really be a winner.
Mark 11: 24 is a complex passage. It truly differentiates between self-intoxicating ideas that are beyond our capacity and often casts God in an improper light and genuine faith.
The “mountain” in Mark is not a reference to a physical mountain, but it is symbolical of any seemingly unresolvable problem. It was a common Jewish phrase referring to dealing with difficulties. It was used to describe good teachers who were capable of solving difficult situations. They were called mountain-removers.
Prayer in the Mark passage is represented as the power that can enable us to deal with any difficult situation.
Verse 24, must be understood in light of the general Bible principles of prayer expressed throughout Scripture. It must be viewed in light of:
Taking our problems to the Lord. We must act.
Submission to God’s will (Mark 14:36b; Matthew 5:43-45; 26-29). We must be willing to accept God’s will. It is unprofitable to ask for God’s will to be done unless we are first committed to doing whatever it is.
It must be “in Christ’s name,” that is, in harmony with the will of Christ. If it is in accord with His will it is natural He will answer affirmatively because He desires for His will to be done.
In faith we bow our head before our merciful God trusting His wisdom and love.
To be obedient we must pray and leave the response to God.
First John 5:14 offers the promise that God “will listen to us whenever we ask him for anything in line with his will” (NLT). But how do we ask “in line with his will”? The KNOWING JESUS PERSONALLY New Testament offers this explanation:
“Prayer is not getting your will in heaven. It is getting God’s will on earth. Prayer is not an argument with God in which you try to persuade him to move your way. Prayer is an exercise in which His Spirit enables you to move yourself his way. Prayer is not overcoming God’s reluctance. It is laying hold of his willingness.
“You have to first ‘stay in Christ’ by maintaining a healthy, ongoing relationship with him. When that happens, you will see your will coming in line with his, and your requests will begin to mirror what Christ wants to do in your life and the lives of those around you. At that point, you can be assured that God is listening to you and will answer your prayers.”
It is also important to remember that not everyone was healed by Jesus in the New Testament. A good example of this is the man healed at the pool of Bethesda (John, chapter 5). The Scripture is clear that there was “a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water” (verse 3). Yet, according to Scripture, only one person was healed.
It is good to know that we are in the hands of our wonderful Lord, who cares very deeply for us. At times God may not choose to heal. If this happens, we may be assured that He will provide adequate grace to endure the affliction (2 Corinthians 12:9). When God does not heal, He has a greater purpose in mind. We need to trust completely in His loving care, with the confidence that His ways are always best. Isaiah 55:9 states: “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Eventually we will understand more clearly why God allows various situations in our lives. Until we see Him face to face, we need to trust fully in His plan for us.
We have remembered you in prayer, trusting the Lord to work mightily in your life. Remember that nothing is too hard for Him (Jeremiah 32:17). All things are possible with Him (Mark 10:27), and He “is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20, NIV).

Jamie M. Adams (lw)
Christian Guidance Department
Billy Graham Evangelistic Association