I looked at this morning’s devotion (Prayers Can Heal) and thought long and hard about what to say. I don’t want to diminish what happened to the author of this devotion. She healed faster than the doctors thought she would, and she believes, as do I, that it was due to the power of prayer.
God has the ability to heal while we are here on this earth. I believe that fully and firmly. James 5:14-16 says, “Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”
The language in these verses is powerful, but it can also be misunderstood. What if a person isn’t healed? Did they not pray hard enough? Were the right kinds of prayers not offered? Were their sins not forgiven? Were the people praying not righteous enough?
I’ve pondered these questions. I’m sure you probably have as well. Because, you see, I have prayed for people who I considered to be people of faith, and they weren’t healed. God brought them home to be with Him. People who were dear to me and who were dear to friends of mine went to be with their Lord and Savior. Some were taken way too soon, and others were taken after they lived what we consider a long and normal life. They were prayed for though and weren’t healed. How does that work?
What about the people who still suffer here on this earth? The people who suffer from what we would call major diseases–like cancer, heart disease, or diabetes. Or the people who suffer from chronic conditions like Lyme Disease or Crohn’s Disease. Or the people who suffer from chronic pain. Or the people who are unable to have children. I could name hundreds of other things, but I think I’ve made my point. These people have all prayed for healing, but haven’t been healed. Why? Something else I don’t understand.
I think my heart aches mostly for the children and the young people at the beginning of their lives who have been afflicted with some illness. It aches for my husband who had to take medicine many years ago for his chronic condition which makes him more likely to get sick now as he is today. It aches for my friends whose spouses were taken way too early. It just aches, and I don’t understand.
I think the closest I can come to understanding (until I see Jesus myself) is thinking along these lines. God can heal all who are sick, but He chooses to heal some while they are still here and others when they go to be with Him in heaven. I know this is a hard answer especially for those of you who are missing someone. It’s a hard answer for me.
The one think I do know is that God wants us to pray for healing. He wants us to pray about everything. And He promises to walk with us through it all–the happiness and the sadness.
To finish this post, I want to quote the prayer the author of this morning’s devotion wrote. I think it represents what God wants from us as we pray.
“Dear God, thank you for each day you give us. Help us to learn to pray more often, show your love to someone each day and hug more often. Thank you for answering and hearing our prayers. In Jesus name, Amen.”
God’s blessings on all of you today!