Recently an acquaintance of mine approached me with something that I never expected from her. I know that she is a Christian and loves horses, but beyond that we never see each other. Our relationship would take a step forward on this particular occasion, however.
It had rained overnight and I wanted to go visit my horse, but I wasn’t anxious to leave the comfort of my home. As a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist who listens to others’ problems on a daily basis, I utilize my time with my horse as my own therapy. I jokingly say that my horse is the therapist who doesn’t charge me to listen to my issues. However, on this day, I was planning to give her a day off. God had other plans.
I acquiesced and went to the barn later in the morning. I was standing in my horse’s stall, brushing the mud off of her from the previous night’s storm. My horse is a girlie girl of sorts who doesn’t like to lie down and roll in the mud; she prefers to stay clean. So if she has mud or dirt on her it’s because she needed to lay down somewhere to rest.
As I finished grooming her and began to clean the stall, I heard a woman’s voice calling out my name. I looked up to see a woman (my acquaintance) from another barn running down the aisle, frantically saying “Thank God, you are here.”
I thought for a moment that something must be wrong with her horse. It’s the first thing horse owners think of before considering that there might actually be something wrong with a human being. If you have a horse you’ll understand what I mean. If you don’t, then please just take my word for it. We know this about ourselves and laugh at it most of the time.
I immediately stopped what I was doing and watched as this woman began to breakdown and cry right in front of me. She said, “You’ve got to help me. I know how much you believe in God, and I need your help.” Next, she proceeded to tell that her husband had recently been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease. She asked me to pray for his healing, saying she had sought me out because she was aware of my faith in God.
Has someone ever made a similar request of you because they recognized your relationship with God? If they have, you know it is a humbling experience to realize that someone has seen God’s light in you. If you haven’t been asked to pray for someone’s healing before, then you may find a request like this daunting.
I can tell you from my own experience that at first it is a bit overwhelming. Generally, we can feel very inadequate and wonder what our first step should be. We may think “I’m not God and I’m not sure how He wants me to handle this or even if He wants me to help. What if I get it wrong”?
I’m here to convey some good news so that you can relax a little. We won’t get it wrong, because only God can heal someone. All we need to do is to allow Him to share His Word, though us, with the person in need. God does not expect us to face this task on our own. He has given us many verses from Scripture that can be offered to a person asking for healing prayer.
Several verses that you can provide immediately come to mind. Jesus once said that He was sending a Helper, the Holy Spirit, who would indwell us and teach us all things (John 14:1 and 14:26). The Holy Spirit, according to Jesus, is our Healer and “It is the Spirit who gives life” (John 6:63). Therefore, we are to “…ask, and it will be given to you” (Luke 11: 9) and “whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them” (Mark 11: 24). We are to “…ask in faith, with no doubting” (James 1:6) because “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him” (1 John 5:14-15).
Next, ask the person requesting healing if you can pray for them right there and then. This can be difficult for some because it may be easier to pray at a later time when you are alone. However, you can practice by asking friends or family if you can pray for them. This will help you to eventually overcome your fear or discomfort in praying openly for others. Remember, prayer can be one of the most loving and healing acts that we can offer to a fellow human being.
Finally, ask the person’s permission to place his or her name on prayer lists or in your established prayer circles. If you don’t have a list of friends or family that you call upon for prayer requests then you may want to consider starting a group within your church or community.
So the next time (or the first time) someone asks you for help in seeking healing, remember you are armed with the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:11). He is with you and will guide through the process.
Susan J. Calloway Knowles is a Licensed Christian Marriage & Family Therapist and former practicing Family Law Attorney. She is also a Christian music Songwriter. Susan’s songs can be found at www.worshipsong.com. Her website is www.susanknowles.com.
Publication date: December 5, 2012