ODJ: Healing Prayer

August 13, 2016 

READ: Isaiah 38:1-20  

Think of it—the Lord is ready to heal me! I will sing his praises with instruments every day of my life in the Temple of the Lord (v.20).

After learning that a 7 year old boy dying of leukaemia wanted to be a police officer, several members of the Arizona Police made every effort to make his wish come true. Just days before he died, they made him an honorary officer—including his own law enforcement hat and junior-sized police uniform. That one wish launched a movement. Make-A-Wish, an international organisation that grants the wishes of seriously ill children, was established in 1980.

Since then, Make-A-Wish has granted wishes to more than 254,000 children afflicted with life-threatening medical conditions. Sadly, there’s one wish they’ve not been able to grant—the wish to get better. Regardless of age, it’s the wish we all find ourselves praying for when an illness threatens our lives.

Sickness wasn’t a part of God’s original creation. So it’s only natural that we call out to our Creator to make us well. As we pray, it’s helpful to keep in mind that the Scriptures reveal a God who provides healing for some and grace to all.

The Old Testament records the Lord answering King Hezekiah’s desperate prayer for healing by allowing him to live 15 more years (Isaiah 38:1-5). The apostle Paul got a different response when he “begged” Jesus three times to remove something painful from his life—perhaps a physical affliction. Instead of healing Paul, Jesus said, “My grace is all you need” (2 Corinthians 12:8-9).

The good news of Jesus declares that a day is coming when there will be no more sickness or death (Revelation 21:4). Until then, it’s okay to hope and pray for healing. Jesus provides the grace we need to live faithfully in the present until the time comes when our full and permanent healing will be realised.

—Jeff Olson

365-day plan: Luke 14:15-35

Read Philippians 4:19 and consider how God can meet our needs, even when we don’t experience healing. 
Why is it important for us to bring our pain and suffering to God? How can we pray in a way that acknowledges God’s compassion and sovereignty?