Jun 302013 1 Response

Healing: Frequently Asked Questions

The following are questions asked at Community Bible Church‘s Fort Smith Campus after a sermon on healing:

Q: Why doesn’t God answer some of our good prayers (i.e. healing for a sick child, etc)? I don’t know. I feel like I should say more than that, but what more can I really say? I don’t know why God does what he does.

Q: Why does God allow miscarriage? I don’t know why he allows it (see the previous question). I do think it exists as the ultimate reality of the world in which we live and the grace of God at work in this world. When sin entered the world, it touched everything. Nothing is off limits. Few things remind us of that as much as miscarriage. At the same time, God’s grace is still present. We think life is the norm and abnormalities are rare. I think it’s the opposite. It’s amazing life ever happens.

Q: What do you pray regarding healing? I always pray like a child asking his Father for whatever he wants. I normally tell God exactly what I want. Sometimes I verbally submit to whatever the outcome might be, other times I just tell him my desire.

Q: How can someone else’s suffering teach me? In my opinion, there is nothing more powerful than someone exhibiting a strong faith in the midst of a horrible illness. If faith is false, during suffering would be the time to give it up. We can learn much about God’s character and nature during our own suffering or through the suffering of others.

Q: How do you help someone whose faith is being challenged daily by wavering belief? Be consistent with them. Gently proclaim the truth. Tell them what God is doing in your life. Pray for them. Assist them in being aware of God’s blessings.

Q: If you want something that is good and from the heart and seems to be in line with what God desires, how long do you continue to pray if it is unanswered? For as long as you desire. It is fair to tell God you have prayed long enough and will pray no longer on that issue or it is fair to continue.

Q: Do you feel there is healing through the laying on of hands? I find the modern research on the power of touch very interesting in correlation with the New Testament practice of laying hands on the sick. I do not think there is anything magical by laying hands on people. I think it is a visible sign of fellowship between believers.

Q: Does one individual possess the gift of healing? I think the gift of healing in the New Testament is more situational than personal. Consider the elders in James 5. The text doesn’t seem to imply that one of them has the gift, but that in some situations any elder can pray a prayer which might result in healing.

Q: Is it wrong to pray for the death of someone terminally ill? No. I do so often. Many times death is the most merciful thing which can happen.

Q: How do you talk to someone who will not get medical help because they believe God will heal them without it? I try to gently remind them of the nature of God’s creative order. He created us to reason. He created with truth and placed truth into creation. He called us to steward this planet and to make it better. Medicine/science/research is a natural response to a loving, truthful, and powerful God. Paul healed people in Acts 14, 16, 19, and 20, but then he told Timothy to take a little wine for his stomach. If Paul used wine as medicine, why can’t someone else use medicine?

Q: Why bother to pray for healing if God decides? He commands it and says it makes a difference. Notice I never said, “prayer doesn’t matter.” It does. Prayer plays a role in God’s sovereign design. He has invited us to be a part of what he is doing. What a great privilege.

Q: How do you restore your faith after praying so hard for a loved one that died in spite of those prayers? Remind yourself of the truth. Remember that while we have the privilege of asking God for what we want, those things are not promised to us. His ways are greater than our ways. Read the Psalms of lament. Read of the sufferings of the prophets. If you are disappointed with God, you have many friends among the Biblical writers. Keep praying. Keep reading. Yell at God. Tell him of your disappointment. Just keep talking to him.

Q: How do you attempt to explain to a non-believer how ‘my God’ allows suffering and evil? I try to tell the Biblical world view of Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Glory. Everyone lives in a world in which good and evil exists. The Biblical story makes sense of it all. Apart from God it is hard to explain how good and evil are both present.

Q: Do miracles and healing happen more on the mission field when reaching unreached people groups? Maybe. I don’t know. That would make some sense.

Q: Is a lack of faith the source of depression? No. While there are multiple sources of depression, much of it is an illness like any other disease. Failing to have a relationship with God and an understanding of the great questions of life can lead to depression. If that is your case then talking with a pastor can be very helpful. If you have a relationship with God and are at peace with him, see your doctor.

Q: How does a believer help a non-believer when they are going through an illness, without sounding pious? Gentle, loving truth in the midst of overwhelmingly, bold loving action. When the opportunity arises, tell your story. When questions are asked, answer them the best you can. Be there for them and pray for an opportunity to speak.

Q: When healing doesn’t come, is it ok to have assisted suicide? Not in my opinion. I think we have a right to ease pain. I think we have a right to stop treatment. I do not believe we have the right to intentionally end life.





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