“Do you still pray for healing for your mum?”
The question startled me. It startled me so much that an answer burst from my mouth before I had time to think.
My response startled me even more.
“Not as much as I used to,” I continued. As if an explanation would make that two-letter word more palatable. “Sometimes. But I mostly pray for her symptoms now.” A pause. “Do you think that’s wrong?”
“No,” my friend answered. “I think that’s okay.”
Mulling over the conversation later, I realised it’s not one I would have felt comfortable having with many people. I knew my friend would understand, but it’s still a somewhat shocking admission. I don’t often pray for healing for my chronically ill family member. It sounds wrong. Even evil.
Why? Here are my thoughts.
The reasons we don’t want to admit we’re not praying for healing anymore:
- It sounds like we don’t believe God is powerful enough to heal our Loved One when all seems hopeless.
- It sounds like we don’t care enough about our Loved One’s healing.
- It feels like we’re letting them down, or disappointing others who are praying.
- It seems wrong.
- It sounds very final, like we’ve given up all hope.
3 reasons it’s not okay to stop praying for healing
If we stop because we sincerely don’t believe God cares or is powerful enough to heal at the eleventh hour.
If we stop because we don’t care as much about our Loved One and we don’t take the time to understand their suffering as much as we used to.
If we stop because we’re too lazy to keep praying and our own prayers and lives keep us too occupied to spare the time.
3 reasons it’s okay not to pray for healing anymore
We’re praying for more specific things.
This can include relief from symptoms or a strengthening of faith in certain situations. “Healing” is big picture, and sometimes the minutiae of every day occupy our thoughts. That’s okay, it’s the result of living every day life with someone. It’s good.
We’re praying for even bigger picture things.
We’re busy praying for salvation or a recognition of the nearness of God. We’re asking Jesus to reveal Himself in a very real way to our Loved One – we’re praying for spiritual healing and spiritual growth.
Physical healing lasts the span of a lifetime, a relationship with Jesus lasts for eternity. These are good things to pray for.
We’ve accepted the journey.
This is a tricky one. On one hand, there is always hope for a miracle, and it’s never too late to be healed.
On the other hand, there’s something right and good about accepting that God’s plan for your Loved One might not mean physical healing.
There’s a faith that’s not afraid to be realistic because God’s plans are bigger and longer than ours. There’s a trust and a dependence on God’s goodness that can result in less-fervent praying for healing. This can be good.
So, should I stop praying for healing?
I don’t know. That’s between you and God. What I do know is this:
We go through seasons.
All of life is not the same. There are times where it is good to pray unceasingly for healing and there are times when it is okay not to. Yet when it comes to prayer, no doors are closed for ever. We ought always to be open to praying for healing. We ought always to be willing to do so.
It’s not something we can ‘give up on’, despise, or forsake.
It is good to ask for prayer for other things besides healing.
When others offer to pray for healing for your Loved One, it’s okay to ask whether they could pray for peace in insomnia or trust in the midst of pain.
These requests glorify God just as much (and perhaps more) than plain requests for healing. They are prayers which trust God with minutiae of everyday as well as the big picture.
Prayer is a barometer
What you pray for, how often and why are clues to what our heart is clinging to. Why do you no longer pray for healing? What do you pray for? Is prayer your first port of call or your last?
Prayer is a relationship
How you understand prayer is important. Praying for healing is not an isolated event. It’s part of an on-going relationship with the God of the universe. Does this affect whether you pray for healing? Why or why not?
EDIT: I am currently in a season where I am praying for healing daily. Life ebbs and flows.
//do you pray for physical healing regularly? Do you think it’s okay not to?
PS: Enjoyed the post above? Get the next one delivered straight to you! Sign up for email notifications