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Summary: Why God Heals in Answer to Prayer - Part 1

Why God Heals in Answer to Prayer - Part 1

Philippians 2:25-30

Sermon by: Rick Crandall

McClendon Baptist Church - Aug. 28, 2005

*Today we will start looking at why God (sometimes) heals in answer to prayer, so let’s read Phil 2:25-30...

25. Yet I considered it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, fellow worker, and fellow soldier, but your messenger and the one who ministered to my need;

26. since he was longing for you all, and was distressed because you had heard that he was sick.

27. For indeed he was sick almost unto death; but God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.

28. Therefore I sent him the more eagerly, that when you see him again you may rejoice, and I may be less sorrowful.

29. Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness, and hold such men in esteem;

30. because for the work of Christ he came close to death, not regarding his life, to supply what was lacking in your service toward me.

===================================

*Why does God heal in answer to prayer? I am really excited about this topic, but the more I started looking at it, the more I realized there is no way we could cover this in one week. It would be like trying to eat a whole watermelon in one sitting. You’ll have to come back next week for the rest of the story.

1. But today first of all, we must see some essential truths about answered prayer -- Essential truths about answered prayer for healing. There are some ground rules that we need to recognize.

Ground Rule 1:

-The first ground rule is simply this: God doesn’t always heal in answer to our prayers. If he did, then these pews would be full of people who are worshipping in heaven today, and Glenwood hospital would be empty every day by suppertime. God doesn’t always heal us in this world. As Rick Warren says, “This is not Heaven.”

Ground Rule 2:

-The second ground rule is this: God’s healing is a mystery. Part of the mystery comes from the fact that the same God who heals us, also sometimes makes people sick. We can see this many times in the Old Testament. Think about the first baby that David and Bathsheba had. Dad and Mom had sinned -- but it was the innocent baby who got sick and died. Look for a moment at 2 Samuel 12:13-15...

13. Then David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the Lord.’’ And Nathan said to David, "The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die.

14. "However, because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also who is born to you shall surely die.’’

15. Then Nathan departed to his house. And the Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife bore to David, and it became very ill.

*We read these words and are astounded by the severity God sometimes shows. But we must understand that sometimes God does send sickness to people. We can see this in the New Testament too. One example is the Scripture we most often use for the Lord’s Supper. It’s 1 Corinthians 11:28-32, where Paul said:

28. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread and drink of that cup.

29. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.

30. For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.

31. For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged.

32. But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.

*Who does the chastening in vs. 32? Who sends the sickness? It’s the Lord. Sometimes the Lord sends sickness, but it’s a mystery to us, because the truth is, we have no idea why some people have to be sick and suffer so much more than others. I think about Janis’ nephew, Tommy. He had major heart surgery earlier this summer -- 14 hours long, and Tommy was extremely critical. The surgeons were not able to use the vein they wanted, but the vein they did use is now working well -- far better than they had hoped the first choice would work. Tommy is getting more oxygen than ever before. -- But here is an 18-year-old born with extremely complicated heart problems. His whole life has been a struggle. Why? It’s a mystery to us.

*Then I think of our son Eric. -- How he had successful surgery and complete recovery from a brain tumor as big as a tennis ball. Eric was healed while others weren’t. Why? Didn’t those parents love their children? Didn’t they pray? You can be sure most of them did, and there are no prayers more urgent than a parent praying for a sick child! Why are some healed and others not? It’s a mystery to us.

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