Some people are afraid to pray for healing. They think they cannot know if God wants to heal the person they pray for. Often, they refer to Jesus’ prayer in the garden of Gethsemane before he was arrested. This sounds pious, as if they take Jesus’ words really seriously and absolutely fear God, but we will see it is actually the opposite. Let’s start by reading how Jesus teaches us to pray:
“This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’” ~ Matthew 6,9-13 ~
This is called the Lord’s Prayer and is not a fearful prayer, but a bold prayer. It starts by praising God, which of course is good. God deserves all honor and glory, so we should praise him when we pray, because we depend on him. After praising the Father, the Lord’s Prayer continues with the proclamation that the Kingdom of God should spread and that God’s will must be done on earth. This is very important to understand when we pray.
From Jesus we learn that we should pray for God’s will to be done on earth. With this kind of bold proclamations we should pray for ourselves and others as well. When we understand that we should pray for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven, it will change our view of how we pray. I don’t know if anyone would claim that there is sickness in heaven, but I am sure there is life in its fullness in heaven. Therefore I will not doubt that God wants to heal someone, but I know that I obey Jesus when I pray boldly for someone’s healing.
I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. This is the confidence we have in approaching God: 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 what we asked of him. ~ 1 John 5,13-15 ~
We should pray according to God’s will and in many cases it is not hard to understand what is God’s will in heaven. When we understand that in heaven there is life in its fullness and that this is God’s will, we will pray boldly and in faith for ourselves and the people around us.
But what about Jesus’ prayer in Gethsemane? As we can read in Matthew 26,39 below, Jesus said this at the end of his prayer in which he asked that he should not die for the sins of the world. Jesus knew the sacrifice he was going to make, because it was prescribed in the Scriptures. Therefore he knew how hard it would be and because he was fully human as well, he preferred to not go on the cross. This is not an example about prayer for healing, but for when we face hardships because of following Jesus. I want to write more about persecution another time, but for now I want to say that because of hardships, we will be tempted by Satan to go the easy way. This is when we should humble ourselves and pray that not our will, but God’s will should be done. Just like Jesus:
Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” ~ Matthew 26,39 ~
It might be hard to just start praying with authority for healing. But the idea of praying according to God’s will in heaven can be applied in most areas of our life. To train myself in this way of prayer, I started to bless my food in Jesus’ name, instead of asking in prayer for a blessing over the food. This is according to Jesus’ example and Paul’s instructions to Timothy:
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” ~ Matthew 26,26 ~
For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer. ~ 1 Timothy 4,4-5 ~
Some translations state in Matthew 26,26 that Jesus took the bread and blessed it. When we consider also 1 Timothy 4,4-5, we understand that what we eat is made holy because of the word of God (which is Jesus) and by prayer. So when we thank God for our food and bless it in Jesus’ name, it will be consecrated. I practised this by praying for my food something like this: ‘Father in heaven, You are good. Blessed be your name! Thank you for this food. I bless this food in Jesus’ name so it will strengthen me to do your will. Amen.‘ It is not arrogant to pray exactly in this way, but it is a prayer depending on God’s provision and on the power of the name of Jesus. Besides, it is a prayer according to Jesus’ teaching and a good way to practise to live more and more in obedience to Jesus.
God bless you!