Praying the Names of God Daily Devotional from Ann Spangler

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Praying the Names of God - January 17


From Praying the Names of Jesus Week Five, Day Three

The Name
Jesus, the greatest of all physicians, performed more healings than any other kind of miracle. Nothing stumped him — not blindness, craziness, lameness, deafness, or even death. Every ailment yielded to his undeniable power, and every healing served as evidence that his kingdom was breaking into our fallen world.

When you pray for healing for yourself or others, remember that God never sends sickness, though he sometimes allows us to become sick. Indeed, Scripture sees sickness and death as byproducts of sin. And it was to solve the sin problem that Jesus came into the world. When you pray for healing, remember that Jesus is always your ally, always wanting what is best for you and for those you care about.

Key Scriptures
The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. Matthew 11:5

Jesus said to them, "Surely you will quote this proverb to me: ‘Physician, heal yourself! Do here in your hometown what we have heard that you did in Capernaum.' " Luke 4:23


 Praying the Name

Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
Matthew 9:35 - 36

Reflect On: Matthew 9.

Praise God: For his healing compassion.

Offer Thanks: For God's healing power.

Confess: Any pride, which keeps you from asking for what you need.

Ask God: To deepen your sense of dependence on him.

Matthew's Gospel recounts fourteen spectacular miracles that displayed Jesus' healing power. Five of these appear in chapter 9:

• Jesus heals a paralytic.
• He heals a woman of chronic internal bleeding.
• He brings a dead girl back to life.
• He restores the sight of two blind men.
• He casts out a demon and enables a mute man to talk.

Jesus was an M.D., a physical therapist, a gynecologist, an ophthalmologist, and a psychiatrist all rolled up into one. He healed men, women, and children. He was a wonder worker whose healing power even brought the dead to life.

Pictures of Jesus as the meek and mild shepherd often fail to capture the incredible power of this man. Who else do you know that went around raising the dead? Surely someone with that much power must have created a stir whenever he walked into a room.

But despite his power not everyone was healed. To Pharisees who criticized him for dining with sinners he replied: "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. . . . I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners" (Matthew 9:12 - 13). Can you hear the irony in his voice? He was saying that those who were too proud to admit their neediness would never know what he could do for them. They would never know his life-giving power to heal and to forgive. You have to ask before you can receive.

Then there's the matter of faith. He healed the paralytic when he saw the obvious faith of the friends who brought him; he told the woman who had the audacity to touch his garment that her faith had healed her; he touched the eyes of the blind men, telling them, "According to your faith will it be done to you" (Matthew 19:29). Time after time, wonder after wonder, Jesus healed and restored those who displayed two things — faith and humility. These two ingredients were catalysts for his power.

The next time you pray for healing, why not go out on a limb? Admit to yourself and to Christ just how desperate you are for him to touch you, body and soul. Then tell Jesus you believe in his power to heal you. Stop hedging your bets and qualifying your prayers. Ask him to glorify himself by making you a spectacle of his healing power and his great compassion. If in response you sense him asking you to do something to effect your healing, like asking others to pray for you, repenting of sin, changing your lifestyle, or seeking out the care of a specialist, do that as well. Don't limit the ways God can answer your prayer for healing grace. 

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Meet your spiritual ancestors as they really were: Less Than Perfect: Broken Men and Women of the Bible and What We Can Learn from Them.

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