When do we stop praying healing for someone? When is enough enough? What are we meant to pray when someone is so sick and about to die?
I don’t know if you have ever been in this situation and faced with this dilemma. I have. I am a critical care trained nurse so I have nursed numerous patients over the years who were critically ill and have prayed for them but they still died. I have also seen miraculous healings.
I nursed an 18 year old motorcycle rider in the Intensive Care Unit whom was deemed brain dead by two different specialists and so the decision was made to turn off life support. The family knew I was a Christian so pleaded with me not to. I prayed and found myself caught in the middle – the middle between medical science and the physical facts of a body with no life and God’s Kingdom of miraculous healing. What could I do? I had to follow medical orders and turn the ventilator off that was keeping this young man alive by breathing for him. This young man kept breathing and a fortnight later was awake and up and about. Six months later I saw this young man and his mother in the street – I was totally gobsmacked at what God could do. This also reinforced my belief that people in a coma can hear everything said around them. His church had introduced a new song after he was in a coma. His mum sung it over and over to him whilst he was in the coma. When he woke up, he started singing the song.
Just after this, one of my closest friends and prayer partner was in a coma for six months and then died. She was an amazing christian young woman giving her life to serve others. Despite all of our prayers, she wasn’t healed here on earth.
Ten years later, my mum died quickly after being diagnosed with an extremely rare cancer. Our prayers for complete healing on earth didn’t work again.
A couple of years ago, a young girl died quickly despite all of our prayers yet again. Why didn’t God heal her here on earth?
We were asked to pray for a lady who had died. She had asked her daughter to ask our team to pray for her to be resurrected if she died (I have never thought to ask my family to do that, but it is worth considering!!). We went into the morgue and prayed for well over an hour. No apparent difference.
Can God really heal? Could God heal if He wanted to? Why didn’t he heal my mum, my close friend and this young girl? Why didn’t He raise this lady back to life because He can?
I don’t know the answer to all of these questions, but I do know that God is good all the time. I also know that I couldn’t let the times of ‘perceived’ failure on God’s part of not healing my close friend, my mum and the young child influence me to give up in regard to believing that God heals people and allow bitterness to seep in.
I do also know the following:
- God is good all the time and in ultimate control but He lets us choose and gives us freedom.
- We don’t know the full story.
- When we pray, we need to ask God what He would have us pray for that person, not what our desire is.
- When we pray for people, we need to respect what they want us to pray and pray that ie do they want to be healed here on earth or are they ready for heaven?
- The people being prayed for sometimes have a choice whether they want to come back to earth or stay in heaven with God. We need to respect their choice. The young girl’s parents saw her being given the choice in a vision and this girl chose heaven. When praying for the lady in the morgue, we got to the point when we suddenly realised that she was in heaven and how exciting that would be and that we needed to release her.
- Just about everyone I have seen on their deathbed has been able to peaceful go almost immediately after close family released them to go.
- I don’t think we appreciate how amazing heaven is going to be, along with complete healing, no tears and no pain. If we captured a glimpse of heaven and being in heaven and what that truly is like, then I believe that would change the way we prayed on earth. Are we praying for healing for that person for our sake of not wanting to ‘lose’ them here on earth?
- In relation to prying for deceased people, Surprisa Sithole from South Africa shared with me after I asked him what the secret was to raising people from the dead (as he had prayed for nearly 100 people that had been raised from the dead). He said, that the person has to want to come back. If they don’t, then you release them.
- No matter what, keep praying for total healing and praying for how God shows you, respecting the person’s wishes. Total healing can mean healing here on earth or total healing in heaven.
- It is okay to question God and to get angry at Him. Just keep your relationship open with Him, sharing your feelings with Him about what has happened. Seriously consider what question you want to ask God. Is it “Why God?” or “What do you want me to know about this situation and what do you want to develop in me and help me with and show me about yourself?”
- There is no one formula for praying for healing. Don’t reduce God to a formula ie if I pray these words, then they will be healed, resurrected etc. God is so much bigger than that and is about relationship.
- Focus on what you know about God and what is true about God, not what you don’t know.
Prophetic Activations / Exercises to incorporate into your week:
The purpose of these exercises is to help us hear God’s voice in a clearer manner. They sharpen our senses to hear and recognise God’s voice 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)
1. Children / Families Activation: Imagine you are all at the beach. Ask God to show you something special about the scene and where Jesus is and why. Share what God has shown you.
2. Group Activation: Have people pair up. Give everyone a minute to ask God if their partner was at the beach, where would they be and why. After a minute, share with your partner.
3. Beginner Activation: Imagine yourself on top of a cliff overlooking a beach. Picture the scene. Where would you like to be in this scene? Ask God to show you where He is and what He is calling you to do? Spend some time with God asking Him some questions about it.
4. Intermediate Activation: Imagine a beach scene. Use all your senses to really get into the scene – the smell of the sea, the feel of the sand, the sound of the waves, the glistening of the sun across the water, etc. Then picture yourself in the scene. Ask God to meet you in this scene and show you something new, something that you haven’t yet discovered about yourself. Spend some time exploring with God. Feel free to ask Him lots of questions and listen to His answers.
5. Advanced Activation: Imagine a beach scene. Ask God to show you a boat on the sea. Explore this picture with God. Ask God to highlight various aspects of it eg the size, type, any people on it, where He is in relation to it, colour, objects around it etc. Ask God to then show you how that boat relates to your life.
Hi Jane – it’s great to read your blog on this issue. There are many factors to consider in relation to healing, some of which you have mentioned. The New Testament tells us Jesus healed “healed all who came to him … and “Jesus healed them all”. Whilst it isn’t always our experience to have the same measure of “success” the example in scripture is to align ourselves with Jesus example and New Testament instruction to lay hands on the sick and they will recover. When this doesn’t happen, people frequently look for other “reasons” why this hasn’t happened… Whilst this is humanly understandable, I have seen too many people healed at the last hour, and on death’s door, to not pray in accordance with God’s heart for people to be healed and the bible’s clear instructions to expect healing. When this doesn’t happen, I choose not to take offence, I choose to live with mystery, rather than believe that it may not have been God’s will to heal, so my own position is to pray with God’s heart and authority to see the sick healed. Blessings, Carolyn
Thanks Carolyn for sharing your experience and thoughts.