Healing prayer—be it as we pray for one another or as we pray for ourselves—is simple but not always easy, for it is filled with tensions. One of the greatest tensions is the expectant faith it asks of us with the realization that healing will happen but not necessarily at the time or even in the manner we expect: but healing will happen, healing does happen.
As we pray, we leave our healing—as we leave all things—in the hands of God, thanking God that he is at work within us. Sometimes there is amazing sudden healing. But most of the time healing comes slowly, one layer at a time, like peeling an onion often with tears flowing. With trust and patience we ask again and again in the same way as we pray each day, “Give us today our daily bread”.
To come again and again to the Source of all healing in persistent prayer is scriptural. In no way does it denote a lack of faith. It’s quite the contrary. It is, without question, God’s will that we go to Him again and again. And again and again we are replenished and refilled. Again and again a layer is removed. Sometimes we don’t see it till one day we realize that our heart is not so heavy, that a relationship is opening up, that an addiction is easing up, that a word of forgiveness comes easier, that the days are not so dark, that our body is getting stronger… At times it comes suddenly but often it’s one layer at a time.
We need a community of faith. God heals through our personal prayers, yes – yes – yes. But I believe strongly in the importance of community and healing services with Laying-on-of-hands (Read the book of James if you want to know more about this). I think it is through such encounters that we come to know and believe that as important as are the healing of our bodies and emotions, it is ultimately a closer relationship with Christ Jesus that we so deeply yearn for. It is through such prayers and the support of a community of faith that we uniquely encounter the living Christ and are enabled, by grace, to receive more and more of the “healing Christ” as the door of our heart gradually opens wider and wider. It is through such prayers that we come to experience and then reflect the love of God who is Himself “Love”. We end our prayer with a prayer of thanks to God, the healer, because God will answer our prayer: suddenly or one layer at a time. God is faithful. The healing power of Jesus Christ is still alive today, believe it.
The Rev. Lisette Baxter,
St. Andrew’s, Colchester