From Praying the Names of Jesus Week Five, Day Four
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.
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
And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.
"Who touched me?" Jesus asked.
When they all denied it, Peter said, "Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you."
But Jesus said, "Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me." Luke 8:43 - 46
Reflect On: Luke 8:43 - 48.
Praise God: For placing his Son, Jesus, in the midst of our struggles and hurts.
Offer Thanks: For all the ways you have seen God's power at work in your life.
Confess: Any tendency to mistrust God because of past disappointments.
Ask God: To help you put your faith where it belongs — in him.
Catherine Marshall, best-selling author and widow of Senate Chaplain Peter Marshall, was diagnosed in 1943 with tuberculosis. Doctors from Johns Hopkins told the young mother she would need three to four months of complete bed rest. As the mother of a three-year-old, she couldn't imagine spending so much time in bed. She had no idea that it would be two years before she would be back on her feet again. Catherine spent hours reading Scripture and asking God the hard questions of faith. Not surprisingly, one of her favorites had to do with whether he still healed people.
She had been told as a child that miracles had ceased with the early church. Yet healings had been so plentiful in the Gospels. They seemed like Jesus' favorite kind of miracle, an expression of his love and compassion for the crowds that always surrounded him. If this were so, how could Jesus refrain from healing people for two thousand years? She didn't believe he could or would. So both she and her husband prayed persistently for a miracle. But none came.
Finally, after a time of profound inner struggle, she prayed, telling God he could do whatever he wanted with her. She would accept his will even if it meant remaining an invalid for the rest of her life. God didn't have to explain himself to her, because she trusted him to love and provide for her no matter what happened. Her prayer marked a turning point. The same night, she had an experience that changed her life:
In the middle of that night I was awakened. The room was in total darkness. Instantly sensing something alive, electric in the room, I sat bolt upright in bed. Past all credible belief, suddenly, unaccountably, Christ was there, in Person, standing by the right side of my bed. I could see nothing but a deep, velvety blackness around me, but the bedroom was filled with an intensity of power, as if the Dynamo of the universe were there. Every nerve in my body tingled with it, as with a shock of electricity. I knew that Jesus was smiling at me tenderly, lovingly, whimsically — as though a trifle amused at my too-intense seriousness about myself. His attitude seemed to say, "Relax! There's not a thing wrong here that I can't take care of."1
Soon medical tests confirmed a remarkable improvement in her condition. And within six months, the doctors proclaimed Catherine Marshall completely well.
Her story reminds me of the woman in Scripture who had suffered for twelve years from vaginal bleeding. She spent all her money on physicians who couldn't do a thing for her. But she was healed the instant she touched Christ. I wonder if Catherine Marshall's prayer of faith, relinquishing her need for a miracle and affirming her complete trust in God, was what touched Christ, so much so that it attracted his healing power.
If you have been suffering physically or emotionally, ask for the grace today to put your faith in God rather than in a particular outcome. Tell the Lord you no longer expect him to explain himself to you and that you trust him to love you and provide for you no matter what.
Two of Ann Spangler's most-loved books have been released in paperback: Praying the Names of God and Praying the Names of Jesus.
These books help us understand the biblical context in which these names and titles were revealed, and help us gain a more intimate knowledge of the Father and of the Son.