This story continues from part 1:
The offer of prayer
…They both looked at me, there was a pause which felt like an eternity and then the girl whose arm was in a sling said “yes please” to my offer for prayer.
This girl and I then had a bit of a chat, we introduced ourselves to each other and I learnt that her arm was in a sling because she had broken her elbow 3 weeks beforehand.
I asked her “have you ever been prayed for before?”
She replied, “yes, I once went to a Spiritualist Church and they prayed for me!”
Now at this point I’m sure some well-educated and good-at-communicating follower of Jesus would have mentioned to this girl about how a Christian Church is very different to a spiritualist church. Not me however! Not quite knowing what to say I instead decided to go straight for the prayer.
Definitely out of my comfort zone now
I asked for permission to put my hand on her arm. She nodded and I then commanded healing in Jesus’ name, just like Jesus does in the Gospels…
I looked at her, but she showed no reaction. Her colleague just stared in bewilderment. Before the girl with the broken elbow had a chance to say anything I said to her,
“I’ll pray again.” So I prayed again and commanded the elbow to be healed.
“Has anything happened? Can you feel anything?” I asked.
She looked at me and said, “I don’t know unless I move my arm.”
She then moved her arm and cried out in pain “Ouch it’s more painful than before!”
As I walked off, I thought I would feel disappointed about the fact I stepped out and God didn’t heal. However to my surprise I was instead filled with an incredible amount of joy.
At this point I felt God remind me that:
It is not about results, it is all about being faithful.
This girl hopefully experienced love as she saw this random Christian showing he really believed this stuff and cared enough to stop and pray for her. As I was driving home, being filled with this God given joy, I couldn’t help but praise God for this opportunity and hunger for more.
Now looking back there are a few things I would do differently. In another blog post I will mention what I’ve learnt from my prayers and how they have changed and developed over the last year.
However this story brings me nicely to two main points about praying for healing which I believe set a good foundation to our prayers:
1. Be willing to fail
This is part of faith. We don’t know which prayers God will answer. There will always be some prayers that just are not answered and that’s ok. God is in control.
John Wimber the founder of Vineyard Churches, prayed for 1000 people before he saw any healings. He even preached on healing for 6 months before seeing anyone healed.
Todd White, who is a brilliant inspiring evangelist, apparently prayed for over 300 people before he saw any healings.
Robby Dawkins who has been a huge influence on me prayed for over 50 people before he saw any healings.
Then there is Heidi Baker. For a whole year she prayed for every single blind person she met, but not one of them was healed. Then one day her prayers began to be answered.
Each of those faithful followers of God could easily have given up after the first prayer wasn’t answered and the second and the third. Then you have poor John Wimber who was even preaching on healing every week. I imagine the temptation was so strong and frequent to chuck in the towel, to give up and just settle for the easy life.
They did not let unanswered prayer, or what would be seen in the worlds eyes as failure stop them though. Since then God has used all four of these amazing Christian role models for his glory. Thousands of people have been impacted and had their lives transformed by God working through these four heroes.
Fortunately for me, God knows I’m not a very patient guy and so after praying for about 10 people I very thankfully saw the first healing (I’ll share this story in a future blog post). But there have been and there will continue to be times, when my prayers are not answered. Changing our attitude to failure and being willing to fail makes a huge difference, it is ok to fail. This is part of the upside down Kingdom of God.
2. It is not about results
It is awesome when you see someone’s life transformed as Jesus has healed them. It’s amazing seeing the shock on their face and a joy to be able to tell them that Jesus loves them and knows them. Then in some cases asking them how they would like to respond to Jesus who has healed them.
This however is about individual lives, it’s not about results. It can be easy to get caught up in thinking, “I haven’t seen anyone healed in a week or month, I really want to see an answered prayer soon”. Here though, you’re focused on the result of the prayer being answered, rather than a life being transformed.
I believe that God’s concern is not on a prayer being answered, but on us showing faithfulness to him.
This is part of our obedience to go about doing what Jesus said even if we don’t know what the outcome will be. Just don’t worry about the results, it’s not up to us. God is in control.
Let me finish by sharing something I feel God has placed on my heart for those of you that have read this blog post: