Perhaps a better title for this post might be: “So what if it doesn’t work?” This is the vexing question that paralyzes well-intentioned Christians the world over. What if I pray and nothing happens? Ecclesiastes 11:4 states;
Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.
If we struggle with that thought, we will never be free to pray in faith. In the natural, we don’t want to make a fool of ourselves. We dread the thought of our prayer resulting in…absolutely nothing. We are frequently afraid of those who would pounce on us for giving the sick “false hope”, and we would rather not be classed with those who are labeled the “name-it-and-claim-it people”. This leads to paralysis and hesitation.
I was helped by realizing that God is the Healer, not me. All I’m required to do is my part, namely to nurture my faith and minister healing to the supplicant. Oh yes, there’s also consecration, and training to make me more effective.
However, let’s just follow that hypothetical, shall we? If “nothing happens”, then as long as I have fulfilled my part, the responsibility for healing lies with God. He is the Healer. I am neither embarrassed nor mortified if there is no immediate discernible change in the situation. Why would I be? I am only ever embarrassed if I am not prepared or hearing clearly or consecrated. Besides, something always happens after faith-filled prayer- in the spirit if not in the physical.
Second, we think healing is easy. Well, it is not, sorry. Eating bon bons is easy, healing is hard. Please read “Healing is Hard”. A nation of instant gratification gets upset at temporary failures without realizing there is a price to be paid. An unfocused church gets so demoralized that many pastors now avoid the topic entirely. Read John Wimber’s Power Healing about paying the price for success in the healing ministry.
Jesus, as it happens, was in the habit of waking up very early to pray. In Mark 1:35, we read,
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.
Did He have to get up early in the morning to pray? Not really, but to be as effective as He was, definitely yes. We know that Jesus did not minister as the Son of God, He ministered as a man anointed by the Holy Spirit. Otherwise, He never would have said we’d do the same and even greater works than He did.
So here’s the sequence. We don’t pay the price, we don’t get results, and then we back off because we don’t get results. Even worse – and this is the most distressing – there are some believers who once believed in Jesus the Healer, who have now joined the chorus of naysayers.
I like to look at it this way: naysayers will never receive healing other than through natural means. Deliverance will always be out of reach. What have we got to lose by getting trained and going for broke in healing and the supernatural? Embarrassment? If so, read Hebrews 11 and realize how good we have it today in the West. If you call this embarrassment, consider what your brethren are going through in South Sudan, Eritrea, China, Egypt, and parts of India. That is beyond embarrassment unto death.
Let’s put it all together then. Never consider what people may think or the “what if it doesn’t work?” question. Do your best to get trained by one of the very few remaining teachers that teach authoritatively on Christian healing (books, tapes, actual meetings and the Internet are all good). Join a Healing Room or other band of believers, where you can develop your gifts and exercise your faith. Pray and meditate on the scriptures that relate to healing . Then pray some more. It may take time as you pay the price, but your faith will grow, as will your sensitivity to the Holy Spirit, and ultimately, your effectiveness. Then you will eventually, like Elijah, begin to seek out and challenge naysayers and see God’s power demonstrated through you.