Whilst sitting in my car waiting for my son to finish swimming squad, I glanced over and saw a young mum rushing with her two girls into the swimming centre. My gaze concentrated on the fact that this mum had scoliosis and a hip issue and was bent really forward at the waist to the point it looked really awkward to walk, along with a limp. My first thought was “I wonder if she would let me pray for her as she could be healed.”
My second thought was “Jane, don’t be so presumptuous. You have no idea of her situation and even if she wants healing. You need to spend time with her first.”
My mind then immediately went back to two events that stood out for me in regard to praying for others.
Firstly, I was helping at a weekly meal for people who were struggling. I had formed some good friendships with the folk, many who had mental illness or psychiatric issues. I had been able to speak into their lives and also pray for a number of them and had seen a number of them pray for each other. One guy in particular had become very open about his life with me as we realised I knew a number of people from his childhood. On the evening he had been released from hospital after a psychiatric episode resulting in an admission to Intensive Care, I had turned up at the boarding house with a friend and a load of food for him as he was too frail to come to the weekly meal. As I chatted with this guy this evening, he shared with me that God had healed him of at least 5 major physical health issues. I commented that the only thing left for God to heal was his psychiatric illness. This guy went quiet for awhile before speaking. He then shared that he didn’t really want God to heal that as it would mean too many changes for him and he would also lose the disability pension.
I was shocked.
I had never even considered that.
I presumed that this guy, and everyone else, desired to be totally healed and live an amazing life, in my viewpoint.
If my friend was healed of his psychiatric illness, the change to how he lived would be enormous. He would lose his disability pension. He would lose his room at the boarding house. He would need to find a job and earn money. How he viewed himself would change. His identity would change.
Sometimes, this can be too much for someone and they do not want the ‘healing’ that we would love to see them walk in.
The second event that stood out to me was when I was in a conference and the guest speaker identified a person with a very obvious physical disability. The speaker spoke to this person and shared how God wanted to heal this person completely but the choice was this person’s, as the healing would change their whole life and they would lose certain things from their life, and gain other things. This person chose not to be healed of this physical condition.
I was flabbergasted at several things, including how this was addressed in public but also that this person chose not to be healed.
Please don’t become presumptuous in how you view others and the opportunity for healing. We can fall into judging others lifestyle by what we see physically and comparing that to our physical lifestyle.
A key in praying for other people is to always ask what they would like prayer for. What they would like Jesus to do for them. What may seem obvious to you may not be their top priority for an answer to prayer.
A second key in praying for other people is to treat people with kindness and compassion, not an opportunity to ‘fix’ them with Jesus. Everyone is a person. Everyone is someone who deserves respect and kindness and to be treated with compassion.
I’m currently writing a 30 day devotional based on how Jesus ministered to folk according to the Gospel of Mark. As I read Mark’s Gospel, the one thing that stands out over and over again is how Jesus treated everyone with compassion. They were not an object. They were not a physical deformity. Each person was worth stopping for. Each person was significant and deserved to be treated with respect.
What are your thoughts on this issue? Please feel free to comment below.
Prophetic Activations / Exercises to incorporate into your week:
Every week I list 5 prophetic activations/exercises under children/family, group, beginner, intermediate and advanced. The purpose of these exercises is to practice to help us hear God’s voice in a clearer manner. They sharpen our senses to hear and see and sense God and His way of communicating with us. This enables us to grow in our relationship with God and also to impart to others what God tells us for them. Feel free to use as many of these activations each week as you can. The more you practice, the sharper you become at hearing God’s voice. Enjoy! Remember that whenever you give another person a prophetic word or picture etc, please make sure that it is encouraging, edifying (strengthening) and comforting (1 Corinthians 14:3) and that it comes from a place of love.
1. Children / Families Activation: Brainstorm with your family someone whom they know is sick or requires healing. Ask God to show you how to go about praying for them and what God would love you to do. Draw a picture for the person and give it to them.
2. Group Activation: Get into pairs and ask God to reveal to each other’s partner what part of their health God would like to address for their partner. Then check with your partner which area of their health they would like prayer and prophesy for and see if it is the same health issue. Ask God to show you what to pray and prophesy over this area that your partner wishes to receive prayer for. Check for any healing or response.
3. Beginner Activation: Ask God to highlight to you an injured or sick person today. When you notice this person, ask this person if you could pray for them and ask them what they would like prayer for. Then pray for them and prophesy over their illness or injury.
4. Intermediate Activation: Ask God to highlight to you someone in the news who has an illness. Spend time with God asking Him to show you more about this person and their illness and what He would want you to do about it. If there is something God highlights to you that He wants you to do something about, press in further and ask God to show you how, when and what and to open the door for this to occur. Prophesy over the person and their health.
5. Advanced Activation: Ask God to highlight to you a health issue that affects many people in your nation. Spend time hearing God’s heart on this issue and prophesy God’s heart in regard to the healing of this health issue.