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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Expect (07/11/13)

TITLE: Where does expectancy fit into our prayers for healing?
By Noel Mitaxa


God loves to answer our prayer, but he will never answer “Yes sir!” or “Yes ma’am!”

As well as his seven-year cycle of complete cell-replacement, God has built healing into our bodies. He desires our healing, for salvation means wholeness; but healing is not always his first response. His priority is on our knowing him and trusting us to become positive, nourishing people who discover ways to be a blessing to others – no matter what goes wrong. Our personal comfort and fulfilment come along for the ride, but more as a by-product.

Jesus’ miracles came with or without Steven Spielberg-type special effects; for – unlike many modern faith healers - he often downplayed his miracles. Though Lazarus (John 11: 11-14) and Talitha (Luke 8: 51–6) had both actually died, he only described them as “sleeping” before returning them to life!

The bible contains thousands of promises that God promises to fulfil.

But imagine a family scene when dad breaks news of a delayed picnic or holiday. The kids might chorus their reactions: “But Dad, you promised!” Naturally, they are disappointed; but does their disappointment stop them from being his children?

And who needs more reminding about his promises – God or us?

Let’s not burden ourselves with a tunnel-view of promise texts, for I’ve found that “Name it and Claim it” prayers may work for strong-minded or self-absorbed people, but life serves up distractions like wider responsibilities that upset our memories or ability to maintain our concentration.

“Faith healing” can easily slip into a faith in how much faith we have, or in what we have experienced. Ironically, faith healing can limit God as much as doubt, because it can easily cramp his freedom to reach beyond the limits of our experience, our assessments or our perspectives.

Praying for insight to discern God’s choice of healing will also avoid any half-hearted “if it be Thy will, amen.” To focus on God, rather than on what we want from him, helps us to discern how to deal honestly with any lifestyle issues or habits which may contribute to illness – like unbalanced diet, smoking, drinking, gambling, bad temper, lack of exercise or the simple reality of getting older. This honesty may also lead to new, credible ministry to others whose response to the gospel, or their Christian freedom, is being stifled by these issues.

Decades of ministry has opened my eyes beyond my own expectations to see the following reasons for God’s delays or denials of healing:

Lack of faith is one reason, but it’s a cruel indictment if people in pain can’t align with the self-righteousness that can sadly flavour this verdict.

Another reason is a lack of authority or integrity within the person who prays, like the sons of Sceva in Acts 19: 13 – 16. This is rarely admitted, but allowing another to pray can enhance our maturity.

Unconfessed sin must be handled with compassion rather than condemnation, so people may embrace God’s forgiveness for themselves.

To exaggerate or to ignore satanic activity will always dull our response to God’s desire to bring healing.

Refusing to accept medical advice is also unwise, for Jesus himself said that those who are sick need a doctor (Matt 9: 12)

Conversely, relying too much on medical opinions can also delay healing, like the woman in Luke 8: 34

I’ve also seen God use illness to build people’s character or to widen their perspective; or it may be a bridge for the gospel to reach someone who may not otherwise hear of God’s love.

Perhaps the hardest challenge for our expectations is to recognise that God wants to take someone home for complete healing; so their illness is not terminal, but transitional. Paul described this in 2 Tim 4: 6 – 8

I can well imagine cynics viewing this list as excuses that “protect” God, but I offer these reasons to help readers to recognise any points where we may give God more room and time to work his grace within and through our needs.

This is so our faith in him may become more open-minded and inviting to hurting people; instead of approaching them glibly, defensively or aggressively.

God bless us all, and spread his blessing through us...

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This article has been read 400 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 07/19/13
Wow - that was a powerful execution that resonated truth and insight along with a prolific message.

I was impressed with your ability to bring forth valid reasons and situations which will touch home with many people reading this well-written entry.

THe "name it and claim it" particularly hit home, I have a friend who is in this "phase" right now, and that is all she is espousing about the Bible, nothing more, nothing less.

Well done and well said Chaplain!

God bless~
Fiona Stevenson07/20/13
Aye. You've hit the nail on the head. And the next time the Holy Spirit entrusts you with a gift of healing for someone, and you pray and you pray inaccordance with His will, expect a miracle! God bless you.
Melanie Kerr 07/21/13
What touched a chord with me was having faith in your faith. This was a good article. It shed clear light on what can sometimes be a very grey area.
lynn gipson 07/21/13
I especially loved the line about "our illness is not terminal, but transitional." This writing brought me a great deal of peace and serenity. Thanks for sharing, my friend. This is excellent!
Carla Rogers 07/21/13
This really hit home on many levels. We are in the midst of a long trial now, and all I hear is name it, claim it. It really hasn't happened in 8 years, so in our case I don't think that is the answer. Thanks for reminding me that God has reasons for everything He does. Really good article!
Bea Edwards 07/21/13
Excellent advise given in a diplomatic yet potent manner. Well written, thank you.
Virgil Youngblood 07/21/13
Sometimes God says "Yes, sometimes "No, and sometimes "Wait." But, in all things rejoice for God will never leave you or forsake you. The clarity of your writing always makes for a refreshing read.
Glynis Becker07/21/13
Powerful writing! You give a lot of insight and ideas on which to meditate in such a short piece. Great job.
Laury Hubrich 07/22/13
This is definitely the longest piece I've seen you write! And it's very informative, for sure. I agree with you and some things you wrote, I just never thought about in the way you said. Thank you for sharing!
Colin Swann07/22/13
Thanks for sharing your gifting and experiential knowledge with us in your interesting article.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 07/27/13
Oh how I can relate to this piece. I've suffered with chronic pain and shingles for 25 years and can't tell you how many times someone has said if I had more faith I would be healed. I still go to healing services and pray for healing, but I also can see the wonderful ways God has used my illness as a way to glorify Him. My three kids are amazing examples, they wouldn't be as caring and dedicated to serving had they not experienced what they did in their childhood. Oh how I fretted that when they were grown they would hate or resent me. Though they may have moments of what-ifs, they also are wonderful and close to me. Your words will bless many as well as open some eyes. Congratulations on ranking 35 overall!