Healing Faith

Our adult Sunday School class has been studying the Book of Acts, a book I never tire of studying. It is an AMAZING book, rich with drama, history, action as well as theology, preaching and doctrine. Sometimes it's hard to move along because there is so much to be gleaned. Today's discussion got hooked on one short verse. 

In Acts 14:8-10, Luke shares the story of Paul's entrance to Lystra:
In Lystra there sat a man crippled in his feet, who was lame from birth and had never walked. He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed and called out, "Stand up on your feet!" At that, the man jumped up and began to walk.

Our discussion centered on part of verse 9 - Paul looked at the lame man and "saw that he had faith to be healed." What exactly does that mean? What kind of faith is the faith to be healed? Is it different from other faith? Was it Paul's "spiritual eyes" that saw the man's faith? Did the man himself know he had the faith? If he had faith, why wasn't he healed already? Why are some of God's faithful healed physically and some are not? 

What about our friends and loved ones? Some were healed, some were not. Some were sitting in our class. Some went home to the Lord years ago. Should we pray for healing? Should we pray for God's will? Should we pray at all?

Interestingly, none of the study notes or commentaries addressed this particular part of the verse.  Our hour-long discussion is too much to be posted here, of course, but let me just say this: God is God. We are not. He is trustworthy, and we need to keep our eyes squarely on Him and view life - the good, the bad and the ugly - through His lens. We pray simply because He instructs us to do so. As a mom, I want my children to come to me with every concern, and how much more does our heavenly Father. Also, prayer is not about getting things or even getting answers. Prayer aligns our desires with His. As we pray and have two-way conversations with God, our spirit has fellowship with the Spirit, and we are changed by it.

Paul was used by God to bring about healing of this lame man. Yet Paul also asked the Lord three times for his own "thorn in the flesh" to be removed, and God's answer was "My grace is sufficient for you." The Susanpanzica translation: "Stop looking at your thorn and start looking at Me. I'm all you need." See my post on that here.

After church, I came across this video in my inbox. It puts many of today's questions in proper perspective.

My dad is battling stage 4 prostate cancer with a new chemo regimen started this week.
Kelly, a sweet friend of our family, will have surgery on Tuesday to remove a tumor on her pituitary invading her brain. She's in 10th grade.
You all have a story to tell as well. Would you pray for these requests, and let me know your requests so that I can pray for you?

Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray.
Are any of you happy? You should sing praises.
Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord. 
Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven.
Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.
The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.
James 5:13-16


joy said...

Wonderful blog and video. Thanks, Susan, for sharing. Do you know how I can share it on my Facebook?

Susan Panzica - EternityCafe said...

I'm not too sure about how to load anything onto Facebook, but here's the URL. Hope that helps.



Jody Hedlund said...

Hi Susan,
I'm sorry to hear about your Dad battling cancer. My FIL is battling lung cancer and it's been a hard year for him and us. Also, I just read through the book of Acts with my kids--it really is packed with good stuff!

Lauren said...

1. I do come to you with my every concern :)
2. "prayer is not about getting things or even getting answers. Prayer aligns our desires with His. As we pray and have two-way conversations with God, our spirit has fellowship with the Spirit, and we are changed by it." is sooooo inspirational. I LOVE IT!

Terra said...

I love the James 5 Scripture you quote, and another of my own favorites for healing prayer is 3 John 2. "Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers."

Donna Bolster said...

Such a powerful message! You put it together with great insight. I will continue to pray for Dad and also for Kelly. Thank you for your messages that always touch hearts and encourage.

Cheri Bunch said...

Hi Susan~ Thank you. That was amazing!

Jean said...

Thanks, Suzan.

My sister is battling major blood clots in her lungs, her legs, and now, her head. I pray for her healing out of obedience to Scripture. But I know that God's definition of "healing" isn't always the same as mine.

Blessings on your Dad and your family.


Diane said...

yet another fitting message; I forwarded this to Sean.

I’m keeping your dad in my prayers.

Please pray for my son Mike on Monday; he’s going in for some minor surgery.

Hope all is well.

With love,