When Do You Stop Praying for Physical Healing?

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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.

 

Psalm 34:1

I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.

 

Daniel 3:16-18

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.”

My Happy, Happy, Happy!

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Jumbled memories that define the start of my cancer journey. A lump that should have been nothing to worry about. My doctor was reassuring as she handed me a lab request for follow-up work. A room full of people. More than I thought necessary to inform me that the lump was benign.

My introduction to the word cancer. “It is 50-50 cancer and I’m leaning towards cancer.” The radiologist was blunt. All of a sudden, I felt very alone. Hearing the statistics for five year survival rate based on the type and stage of my cancer. It wasn’t as high as I figured it would be. Cancer is scary stuff.

The first tears. The oncologist informed me that if the breast cancer returned as a metastasis, I would die. Okay, he didn’t use those exact words, but I understood the implication for the first time. Cancer is serious business.

My husband’s birthday. We were hoping and praying for a celebration. We sat in the surgeon’s office awaiting the pathology report on the breast cancer. I scanned the mumbo jumbo of the lab summary for any sign of good news.

Relief and profound gratitude. Hope and resiliency anew. The cancer was caught early. My journey of healing had begun. Thank you, God for my happy, happy, happy!

NOTE: For the 50 word version of this post and my response to a writing challenge, check out the Holistic Wayfarer, (www.holisticwayfarer.com) and look for the post, “It’s Happy Hour.”  Parenting, family, poetry…all good stuff over on Diana’s blog.

Isaiah 61:1-3

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.  He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion – to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.  They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor. 

 

The Unexpected Healing

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Unexpected healing oftentimes starts with an unexpected hurt. This big hurt happened many years ago when I was the Vacation Bible School director for our church. One of the lead teachers chronically missed important meetings without a good excuse. With only two weeks to go, I informed the college-aged student that I was replacing her as a lead teacher. My decision did not sit well with her mother who attended a different church. Later that day, I received a call from her mother, Jane (name changed.) She let me have it. She didn’t mince words regarding my decision, regarding my Christian witness, regarding my faith or regarding how I was raising my boys. I hung up on her and called my pastor. I asked him to make these types of calls stop. To his credit, he took care of the problem and I never received another nasty phone call. However, it did not take care of the bigger problem: bitterness and unforgiveness that festered in my heart. Several years later, as I enjoyed my Bible study group, our paths crossed again. Our group had a new member: Jane. The voice I heard was my own, thinking to myself, “Oh great, this year is ruined.” But there was another voice trying to get my attention. The Holy Spirit was suggesting I talk to her after class. Okay, not suggesting, but rather compelling me to reach out to her. I no longer recall what I said to break the ice, but I clearly remember the emotions that washed over me. As much as I wanted an apology from her, she needed to hear me say that I forgave her. We both ended up with tears in our eyes. The beautiful ending to this story of healing is that we became best friends. It didn’t happen. And it didn’t have to happen. However, God’s healing enabled us to study his word together. To fellowship together. To worship together. To pray for each other. To have unity in the body of Christ. To know the joy of forgiveness. In the hands of God, unexpected hurts can have beautiful healings.

 

Mark 11:25

And when you stand praying if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.

Colossians 3:13

Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you.