Author: Ron Graham
We continue to look at the relationship between prayer and healing? We say a qualified yes to the question of whether we can expect physical healing through prayer?
God is the Creator of the human body, as he is of the entire cosmos and the life that inhabits it. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, and he made man both male and female (Genesis 1).
The human body has amazing powers in itself to heal itself. The "immune system" is an example of the mechanisms within the body designed to fight disease. Other organs of the body, combined with the powers of the mind, contribute toward health and healing. As the inspired poet exclaimed, "I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well" (Psalms 139:14).
Because healing of this kind occurs mechanistically, that does not mean we should not consider it an answer to prayer and praise our Creator for it. The providence of the eternal Creator, which he bestowed in his great design "in the beginning", is no less an immediate blessing in our lives, and we should give thanks for it when we enjoy health and healing.
There are times when the body needs assistance through the physician and healing practitioner. We live in an age of wonderful drugs and healing technology. And still the ancient healing arts such as acupuncture and homeopathy bring relief to many. We hear predictions that both nature and new science will provide marvelous new remedies for our children.
Jesus in one of his proverbs, acknowledged that sick people need a physician (Matthew 9:12). Jesus would not utter a falsehood, even as a metaphor. It is right, not wrong, for Christians to go to the physician. Luke is called "the beloved physician" (Colossians 4:14). If the Holy Spirit thus honours the profession of medical practitioners, it behoves us surely to honour the use of it, and to seek healing from doctors and health practitioners as a prayer-answering blessing from God’s providence.
Although nobody can demonstrate the gift of healing (one of the New Testament's spiritual gifts) today, it remains as true as ever that prayer can bring healing directly from the hand of God. The so-called "Age of Miracles" may be past, but that does not prevent God from answering prayer for healing in a supernatural manner today if he wishes. God is not restricted to healing by natural and medical means. We should be neither surprised nor skeptical if God sometimes answers prayer in a way that seems to defy nature and science.
When we pray for the physically sick, God may know better than to grant them healing. This definitely happened in Paul's case, and the reason was made clear (2Corinthians 12:7-9). This should teach us to trust God’s wisdom and grace, when he does not seem to grant the healing we pray for. We can rely on the positive that he will answer our prayer in another way and grant us the courage, strength, and assistance we need to cope with our sickness.