DOES GOD HEAL? WELL - DOES GOD STILL ANSWER PRAYER?
(By: Norm Rasmussen)l
No offense, but if you are caught up in the debate as to whether God still heals or not, Satan may be laughing. Why would Satan be laughing? Because he knows the question shouldn't be, 'Does God still heal?' The appropriate question SHOULD be, 'Does God STILL answer prayer?'
And to answer that question ' well ' it's like asking, 'Do eagles fly?'
The answer should be very obvious.
I'm persuaded that seeking God for healing should be considered nothing more (though certainly nothing less) than prayer to God -- just like any other prayer we would pray to God to answer in a fruitful manner.
The more appropriate question regarding healing and prayer, when I desire a healing, in my firm opinion, is: 'God ' how can I get You to answer favorably my request for healing?'
One of the clearest directions from God in the Bible regarding healing is James 5:14-15 (New King James Translation):
Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.
Scripture goes on to say in verses 16-18:
Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.
We can quibble over the precise meaning of words in these above scripture passages from James just given, but I am of the firm opinion that the prayer of faith can be vitally important in getting one's prayer answered for healing (or for any other need I pray for, for that matter).
I also believe that persistent prayer can play a huge part in obtaining healing from God, as does confessing sins if sins need to be confessed (and forsaken; stopped) by the one seeking healing. Holding unforgiveness (envy; resentment; bitterness; anger) against anyone, which includes holding unforgiveness against God, can stop your healing from manifesting (or any other needs you are praying for, for that matter). Disobedience can stop healing from manifesting.
Many take sin too lightly. God does not take sin lightly. Having sin in your life can affect your fruitful prayer life greatly. 1 John 1:9 assures Christians there is forgiveness when we sin ... but 1 Corinthians 11:25-31 (zero in on verses 29-30) also makes the point that having sin in our life can have SEVERE unfruitful consequences.
Treating you body like a garbage dump can also keep God from healing you. Much sickness and disease comes from not taking wise care of our bodies. How much wisdom on God's part is it to heal us when we are just going to turn around and put more poison into our bodies that made us sick and/or diseased in the first place?
Some people need to include detoxing/fasting when expecting God to heal them. A lot of healing will manifest when the body is given a break from all the poisons that have been stored up in it.
At the time James penned these scripture passages about asking prayer from the elders, they didn't have the medical means we have today. Whether God heals me supernaturally or uses the medical professionals to heal me, or uses both, God is going to get the ultimate glory from me, whatever the outcome.
And after all is said and done, and I still can't get God to answer my prayer for healing in a fruitful manner? I figure He'll have a good reason for it in light of eternity. It won't be the first prayer I never got answered the way I asked Him to answer it, nor will it be the last, and it sure isn't going to stop me from praying with faith in every future prayer I pray, because this much I've learned from the Lord. Anyone can ask God for anything. Mixing faith with each prayer I pray increases my odds GREATLY that God will be more inclined to answer my prayer in a fruitful manner. Mark 11:22-26 has been my biblical foundation in coming to that firm conclusion.
And when I'm not sure HOW to pray about a given matter? Ask Him FIRST how I'm to pray and wait until I'm confident He's giving me specific direction to pray. Praying in faith has sure been more fruitful to me than not praying in faith. I'm going to go with what works, until God adds something else to it.
I consider the following scripture to be the guidelines for "The Prayer Of Faith" spoken of in James 5:14-15:
So Jesus answered and said to them, "Have faith in God.
"For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be removed and be cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will come to pass, he will have whatever he says.
"Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them."
"And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.
"But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses" (Mark 11:22-26 NKJV)
You can try to make this above scripture a formula for getting from God everything your greedy little heart desires, and you'll find God seldom grants your greedy desire(s). OR - you can use the above scripture as WISDOM from God in how to get more unselfish prayers answered.
I believe God wants disciples of Jesus Christ to have EXTREMELY PROSPEROUS - FRUITFUL prayer lives. The longer I walk with the Lord, the more I'm learning to FIRST take the time to hear HOW God wants me to pray and trust before I just start praying presumptuously about a given matter. When God quickens in your spirit how to pray about a given matter ... it is so much easier to lock in your faith with persistence.
Having said the above, I simply cannot refrain from also addressing healing from another perspective to bring wise balance to the issue of suffering:
PLEASE HELP US HELP YOU SHARE THE BEST NEWS GOD HAS FOR EVERY PERSON BECAUSE...
JESUS DID IT! and...
Remember: All that we do in this life comes back to our God-given purpose which is to serve and glorify God. The money and assets we accumulate, the fame and power we've attained or seek to attain - all of the things of this nature will one day pass away, but those lives of others we impact for Jesus Christ will last for eternity, and we will be rewarded for the part we helped play by impacting those lives ... for eternity. (Matthew 6:19-20 is our assurance)