“My God is faithful and I believe that He is going to heal me from this cancer.” “God is good. If we wait patiently, I know He will take away this illness from my child.” “If you just have the faith to believe, God will do whatever you desire. He loves His children and wants to give them good things!”
Statements we have all heard throughout our lives, along with many others that internally lean toward the idea that as Christians, if we pray in faith for something, God will give us our every want. Even outside the Christ-following realm, comments such as, “Think positively and imagine that it is as you desire,” or, “Sending warm energy your direction for good things”. Beyond that, I have had many well- meaning individuals say things such as, “Our words are powerful. Claim healing and positive things over your children and God will hear your prayer.” Yes, our words are powerful. That is certainly biblical. The book of James adequately discusses the power of the tongue. To imply that whatever we claim as a believer will come to pass, however, is not biblical. In fact, those words can sting to the core those who have spoken words of life over their sick loved one, only for the loved one to pass way. Tell that to the person that had thousands and thousands of prayer warriors praying for healing over their family member, only to have the sickness end in death. To say that we can escape suffering and illness all together if only we will believe looks ignorant to a watching world that knows that not all things end the way we anticipate nor desire. The Bible does show many instances of healing through faith, and miracles certainly occur in the here and now. So where does this leave us?
To make myself vulnerable, I have struggled with how to pray for our girls during this time. As I have been reading through the Word, time and time again the Lord performs miracles and heals people of physical ailments simply because they ask in faith. Many modern-day unexplainables (this is not a word, just go with it) have occurred in many people’s lives as well. While I want to pray for complete healing on this side of heaven, I also have not felt comfortable with this. I have wondered if this was because I was afraid that if I trusted God for this and it didn’t happen, where would that leave me? Or, if I did pray this was I preaching the prosperity gospel of rainbows and butterflies that is no gospel at all? The problem in all this is that there are way too many “me’s” thrown into the scenario. This put the pressure on me and how I prayed instead of looking toward the Lord in His wisdom and comfort. What began to bother me is that I could not find a time in the Word where healing didn’t occur when the person had faith to believe that Jesus would. And then I found this:
“Going a little farther, He fell with His face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” (Matthew 26:39).
A few verses down, Jesus prays again, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may Your will be done.” (verse 42).
There was my answer. There was the Person in Scripture that I had been looking for in all His glory. Jesus. He is the Ultimate Example of praying for another route and trusting God that He had the ability to make a way, yet trusting the cup that the Lord had given Him if not. God’s plan for Jesus was not deliverance from the cup. Do you think this is because He did not have the faith to believe that God could? Ha. Jesus was fully God and fully man and clearly had been there from the beginning, so He knew God could do all things. He also knew that if this was the road He was to walk, better things awaited.
Yes, God is a God of miracles- this is clear in Scripture. We ARE called to pray fervently and anticipate God hears our prayer and can do that of which we ask. We pray; and then we trust God for whatever comes next. Isaiah 53:5 says that, “He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed.” We ARE healed. Moment by moment He is knitting together that which makes us whole. We will not experience the fullness of this healing until we meet Him face to face, but He promises to bring it about. The One who drank wholly the cup which He prayed could be taken away now comforts us in all of our sufferings. Let’s pray unceasingly all things. Let’s trust that He hears our prayers and has the sovereignty and Lordship to do anything. And if He chooses to answer in a way that doesn’t line up with what we had hoped, be reminded of the words in 1 Peter 4:19, “Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good”.