Christian Discipling
26Sep/11Off

To Pray Or Not

The habit of ministering to people for healing.

Are we praying for people to be healed regularly? Should we?

Why don’t we do it?

1. We don’t feel like it.

This suggests we have anything other than obedience to put into the equation. It is God who heals.

2. We aren’t in a good place with God at the moment.

If we are obedient to God, we exhibit our love for him, whether we feel like it or not.

Romans 6:16
Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey - whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?

2 John 1:6
And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.

3. It is not our gifting.

Although Romans 12:6-8 says we all have different gifts, healing is not on the list. Paul expected all to be doing it. The further list in 1 Corinthians 12 does include healing, but verse 11 says All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.

We can maybe think of many more, but at the end of Mark’s Gospel we read;

14 Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.
15 He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.
16 Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues;
18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well."
19 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God.
20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.

We do it because we believe in Jesus, and because he is risen.

Percentages

If you pray for ten people and get 10% success, how many could get healed if you prayed for 100? Do you realise if you prayed for one person in your smallgroup and one person on Sunday each week, you would have prayed for 100 people by the end of the year, and still had two weeks off for holidays. The more people you pray for, the more will get healed.

Alternatively if you pray for no people at all, then you can guarantee no-one will get healed.

Dealing with success

We all learn quickly how to deal with failure, but what if God does heal. What does that do for our faith? Do we dare to risk success? OK we may find that 10% success rate is beyond our wildest dreams, but when even one person gets healed through the power of Jesus Christ, we are filled with such joy at the privilege of being involved.

© Paul Wood

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