There is not a day that there are not many prayer needs.
Did you know that the medical field is now the #1 business in our nation? People are sicker today than ever historically. We have huge opportunity to pray for the sick, but why are so many are too shy or scared to pray? Is it because:
- You don’t know how to pray for the sick?
- You think “What if they die?”
- You have prayed before, and it didn’t work?
- You are heartsick because you have lost someone you loved and needed?
First of all, I am so sorry if your heart is hurting because the people you loved are no longer here with you. I have experienced this pain.
In 2003, my mom was diagnosed with cancer. That was when I realized when I personally did not know God’s will. I did not know if it was his will to heal my mom or if it was her time to go. I sought God and his will like never did before. I read my bible round the clock, at the stop sign, waiting in parking lots. Every spare minute, my nose was in the word.
It was during that time that the Lord opened my eyes to John 10:10. It changed the entire direction of my life. “The thief came only to steal, kill, and destroy, but I have come to give life and life abundantly.” You see, up to that point, I thought sickness and disease were just a part of life. I didn’t realize that that was a thief. But Jesus came that we could have life and life abundantly. Cancer is not abundant life. Sickness—if you talk to any sick person—you will find out that it is not abundant life. I realized at that time that I didn’t know the difference between God’s fingerprints and the thief’s. Because of that, I wasn’t able to resist the thief’s fingerprints. I was fearful of sickness because I didn’t understand God’s purpose for me was to have an abundant life.
Hope deferred makes the heart sick.
Still knowing this truth, I prayed for my mom night and day, but on February 6, 2006, I lost my mom. I was heartbroken. Did God not come through for my mom and me? Do I quit praying for others? How do I continue when the miracle didn’t come?
Most of us try to understand what happened? We come up with our own understanding and then with the best intentions share it with those who have lost have a deep loss, like it is somehow going to make it all better:
- “It was just their time to go.”
- “God needed them more than you do.”
- “God just said, ‘No.’”
- “God always takes the best. He gives and takes away.”
- “In time, everything will be okay.”
None of this is helpful to a hurting soul.
But if this does not help, how then are we to respond?
Just do not try to make sense of it. We are not supposed to understand (Proverbs 3:5-6), but we are supposed to pray about everything so we can have the peace that is BETTER than understanding (Phil. 4:6-7). When we try to explain it, we put limits on God.
Stop trying to understand. Stop trying to explain why. You do not know or understand. In fact, Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us to not even lean on your own understanding. There is something better than understanding, and you can find it in Philippians 4:6-7. It’s the peace of God that guards your heart and your mind!
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
– Philippians 4:6-7
After we don’t see the miracle, many of us back off from praying because we feel inept. We wonder: “Does healing really work?” “Am I qualified to pray?” “Maybe I don’t have this gift.” When mom wasn’t healed, I felt unsure, and my questions caused me to stop praying for miracles for almost four months. It rocked my foundation because I was carrying the weight of the outcome. The burden was never mine to bear, but I did! Never allow your circumstances and own understanding to cause you to make up our own doctrine. The thief wants us to stop to shrink back, but all of God’s people should say, NO WAY – not today!
“But My righteous one will live by faith; and if he shrinks back, I will take no pleasure in him.”
– Hebrews 10:38
So what happens when you’re praying for a miracle, and you don’t get it?
Let’s say your father asks you to go fishing with him. Some of you are already cringing, but fishing isn’t about how many fish you catch, it’s about spending time with your dad. It’s like Father God has asked you to go on a mission trip with Him, and it’s not about how many souls you save or miracles you witness, it’s about doing it together.
Are you ready to join Him because He’s asked?
He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”
– Mark 16:15-18
We are supposed to share the good news gospel. Does this mean that every time we do, but people aren’t saved that we just quit? By no means! We are also supposed to place their hands on sick people. It doesn’t say, “You make them well.” The weight of the outcome was never meant to be on your shoulders.
I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
– Phil. 3:14
Believing isn’t seeing—it’s continuing to believe even when we do not see.
Since the loss of my mom, I began to pray for everyone, everywhere in every way, believing and knowing that God is for us. He is not against us. He is for us, not against us. He came to bring life and life abundantly. I was convicted that instead of praying, “Lord, if you will,” “If you are willing,” or “If it agrees with your will,” I knew God’s will at that time. I knew for sure that it was God’s will to bring abundant life. I begin to pray with that expectation. I know the Lord is bringing abundant life.
I prayed with someone who had a broken toe and it was healed immediately. I got to witness it. I prayed with someone that had one leg shorter than the other and their leg is perfectly healed and whole now. I’ve seen the power of God bringing abundant life, bringing healing. But I have also not seen it. I came upon an accident where a pedestrian had been hit in the street. I pulled over, jumped out of my car, ran up to her, laid hands over her, and prayed over her. She didn’t get up. Nothing changed. I heard from the news that she lived a day and a half. I don’t know how my prayer impacted her or anyone on the scene or if it did at all.
But faith isn’t seeing. Faith is not knowing. Faith believes even when you do not see. Faith is following God and doing his will even when you do not see the results and believing the results are happening somewhere regardless of what happens. Some miracles I’ve seen immediately, and other miracles I’ve seen nothing happen. When I prayed over someone’s eyes recently, nothing changed. They were still blurry; the symptoms were still fully present. But if I say, “Well, it didn’t work. It must not be God’s will,” if I lose heart and give up hope and give up faith just because nothing happened, it would be going in complete opposition of what I know God’s will is which is to give life and life abundantly.
So I press forward, running towards the goal, continuing to pray and believe in every single thing that I pray about because I know the Lord. He is good. I know he is a good father. He desires healing and miracles to happen. When the miraculous occurs, a crowd gathers because they want to know, they want to have a part of the power. So you prayed, but didn’t get the miracle right away; don’t stop, just believe. Never stop believing in a God who sent his son to die so you could have abundant life.