Summary: From Mark Yarbrough called “When God Doesn’t Heal” (https://www.epm.org/resources/2005/Mar/28/when-god-doesnt-heal/) Why doesn’t God cure everyone who prays fervently for healing? Two assumptions and then 3 points
A faith healer ran into his old friend Max and asked him how things were going. Max said, “Not good, my brother is very sick.” “Don’t say that, your brother isn’t sick,” answered the faith healer, “he only thinks he’s sick. Remember that, he only things he’s sick.” Two months later they meet again and the faith healer asked Max: “How’s your brother now?” Max groaned, “Worse, he thinks he’s dead.” Those steeped in the prosperity gospel have this idea- “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he” Proverbs 23:7, KJV. Our reality is determined by our thoughts- we can just think and speak bad things away- our faith determines our reality
JoAnn Perez, a leader in faith based ministry to the dying, said, “I believe when a Christian has a terminal illness they know when to change their prayers from requesting healing to requesting a pain free and burden free death. When a saved person asks for healing prayer, I agree with them in prayer and ask for God’s will in that person’s life. When do you transition your prayers from healing to the hope of heaven? When the person who is dying tells you they believe they are dying, then you transition the focus, the prayer to preparing for meeting Jesus face to face and the glorious eternal life ahead.” I follow this faithfully but one patient caused me struggle in this area. She wanted healing prayers right to the end. Why? Because she never believed that she was dying. Diabetes and on hospice because refused to have feet amputated. When I went to visit her she would give confessions of how Jesus was going to heal her and how she was going to walk again. I would talk about death and she would hear none of it. She went against medical advise and she did die, all the while confessing that Jesus was going to heal her and that she would walk again. In our prayers, she demanded that God heal her. It was like she was pleading with God to do what she wanted.
From Mark Yarbrough called “When God Doesn’t Heal”
Thesis: Why doesn’t God cure everyone who prays fervently for healing? Two assumptions and then 3 points
1. We serve a God of miracles, including healing
Just a quick view of the Bible, especially of the Gospels, shows that God has performed miracles of healing. Jesus spent a great deal of time and energy healing every disease and sickness among the people. The apostles also performed miracles of healing. However, we find that God did not always heal even during these miraculous times. Here are some:
Paul told Timothy to take wine as medicine for ongoing stomach problems (1 Timothy 5:23)
Epaphroditus nearly died from some illness (Philippians 2:25-27). Paul was concerned that he would die and he would have “sorrow upon sorrow”
2. God answers prayers affirmatively every time
We are instructed to pray fervently. We are to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
In Jesus’ name: “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” John 14:13, 14, NIV.
James gives us these instructions: “Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” James 5:14-16, NIV.
Given this passage in James, if this is done in this way, then everyone who is prayed for by the elders will be raised up, healed
Because everyone is not healed, we have to give these 3 points to keep us grounded in reality:
1. God does not always say “Yes” to our prayers, even prayers that are offered in faith
God frequently allows circumstances we wish He would not. God is sovereign, we are not. What is “the sovereignty of God?” A simple definition is this: God is the supreme ruler and authority over all things. In other words, we do not dictate to God, God is not our servant, we are God’s servants. God is the Master. We believe that God is in control. He has the power and responsibility to exercise his right over creation according to His will. “Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him.” Psalms 115:3, NIV.
Our prayer requests are not always in accord with God’s will, even the ones that appear to be based on Biblical principles and holy motives. John, the apostle, gives this disclaimer to some passages we have looked at: “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us--whatever we ask--we know that we have what we asked of him.” 1 John 5:14, 15, NIV.