The prayer that heals
Ask and you shall be given’ and ‘Thy will be done’. These are two different ways of praying. Both prayers are Scriptural and valid. But in considering them, when prayer is a desire to be healed, for example, it may seem on some occasions that this prayer is not answered. And yet, there is certainly Scriptural authority to pray for healing. In James it is written: ‘Is any sick among you? Let him pray’. And the assurance of this healing prayer is in the verse following it, ‘And the prayer of faith shall heal the sick, and God shall raise him up.’ Many individuals may say they prayed for healing, yet remained unwell. What then is the healing prayer that heals?
Christ Jesus says in Mathew 6:6 that when praying, we should enter into the closet, pray in secret and not ask amiss, to consume it on our own lusts. But asking for healing is not lustful. In the chapter titled ‘Prayer’ in Science and Health with key to the Scriptures, the author, Mary Baker Eddy writes in the opening sentence: ‘The prayer that reforms the sinner and heals the sick is an absolute faith that all things are possible to God, —- a spiritual understanding of Him, an unselfed love.’ This is why the Bible says in Proverbs 3: 5 to trust in God with all the heart.
There is, therefore, a need to make the distinction between trusting and outlining, when praying. Jesus assured us that there is nothing impossible for God, and we prove this as we grow in faith, gain a spiritual understanding of Him and express greater selflessness toward mankind.
Outlining on the other hand, predetermines what we think the outcome of our prayer must be, and Eddy warns that our limited human knowledge is insufficient to warrant us advising God. The All-knowing God, whom the Bible assures is divine Love, certainly knows the need of man, even before he asks in prayer, and God can be relied upon to supply the need without being reminded to do so.
So, the healing prayer goes beyond merely asking for healing, since God is already giving much more than we accept. It goes beyond blind faith to an absolute faith that is unwavering even when symptoms have not disappeared. It goes beyond the human understanding regardless how erudite, educated or learned that is, to the spiritual understanding, which grasps the truth Christ Jesus says makes free. It goes beyond a personal sense of love or attachment, either for one’s self or for the patient desiring healing, to an unselfed love – the compassion which moved Jesus and ensured his 100 percent record of healing.
Mojisola Solanke is of the Christian Science Committee on Publication for Nigeria West
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