Healing Prayer

My Parents - Clayton and Esther Barker

My Parents – Clayton and Esther Barker

My father, who will be 90 in May, was admitted to the hospital this week. I have been concerned because the tests he has undergone have been inconclusive about the cause of a blood clot which appeared to be hindering his liver function.

Yesterday I attended the service where two of our daughters and their families worship. I was touched deeply by the time of prayer that the pastor led for all of those who desired healing for themselves or a loved one. He asked us to stand to signify our need for healing.

I have received physical healing several times in my 62 years, and I know without a shadow of doubt that God’s power was at work in my life. Yet yesterday I was thinking about my father, and my dear friend Gloria, who is battling MS. I stood on their behalf.

The scripture that was shared came from Matthew 8: 14-17

14 Now when Jesus had come into Peter’s house, He saw his wife’s mother lying sick with a fever. 15 So He touched her hand, and the fever left her. And she arose and served them.
16 When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick, 17 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: “He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses.”

The pastor focused on the importance of the part of verse 17 where the emphasis is “Jesus HIMSELF took our infirmaties and bore our sicknesses.” What a glorious truth!

We can come before our heavenly Father with boldness to ask for healing, knowing His son Jesus took our sickness with Him to the cross. We are always free to ask for God’s healing power to be manifest in times of illness.

But does God always heal?

Some would say that yes, ultimately even death is a form of “healing’ since God’s children are transported to His presence in death.

The answer is also “no”. We all have prayed for individuals who are still facing grave health concerns, some with considerable physical suffering.

At the service we then prayed for those seeking healing by laying on hands. Those of us who had expressed need sat, while those around us laid their hands on us and prayed. Our granddaughters and daughters prayed for my father – their grandfather and great-grandfather. One of our granddaughters said afterwards –
“Nana, bunches of people were praying with you!” That was a special blessing.

That evening I called my mother and found out that my father was released from the hospital that very afternoon. I called our daughters rejoicing with the good news. I asked them to be sure to tell their children and remind them that we prayed together and asked God to heal Great Grandpa.

As I rejoice with my family, I still am praying for Gloria, a precious, Godly woman who is facing the complications of MS with courage and grace. Her hope is in Jesus, who Himself bore our infirmities. I will continue to ask God to heal and restore Gloria because He is in control of the outcome and He is faithful.