When do you stop praying for physical healing?
My gut reaction is never. My faith response is to never ever give up on God who can deliver the unexpected and last minute healing. For our God is always hopeful, always powerful and always merciful. God’s heart is for healing!
In the past, I have been asked to pray for the peaceful passing of others’ loved ones that suffered too long in the body. I politely declined to pray in that manner. But twice now, for close family members, I have asked God to give my loved ones the healing found only in heaven.
I have thought long and hard about my answer to that question, “When do you stop praying for physical healing?” It was a gradual and emotional process that carried me from the denial of death to the acceptance of God’s healing redefined.
There were signs along the way. The doctor shared, “Depending on your faith, she is already gone.” The nurse remarked, “Sometimes, it doesn’t matter what (end-of-life) decisions you make, the decision has already been made.” The pastor prayed, “Any decision made in love is the right decision.”
Your heart screams “NO!” as God pulls you closer to Him. Without words, God reassures your spirit that He has “got this.” Am I willing to trust God for everything in life and for everything in death?
I knew when it was time to stop praying for the physical healing. It was the moment I let go of my loved one and asked God to fill my mouth with praises for Him. It started out with just drops of praises that turned into a trickle. God was present in the midst of doctors, nurses, monitors and tubes. Family was huddled together around the hospital bed keeping watch. We could sense that the physical pain of our loved one was finally easing as life ebbed before our eyes.
I know that time and hindsight will bring the rush of praises, but in the moment it is difficult to muster. Letting go of my expectation for physical healing didn’t make death any easier. But it did help me to keep moving forward in God: one baby step at a time and one praise at a time.
I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”