I have a friend who collects names of people who have asked for prayer.
These names are then posted around our network and each person is prayed for on particular days.
He also travels to a number of holy sites around Europe and offers these names in prayer for healing.
No one has thus far thrown their crutches away but many of the people in the lists have seen some improvement in their condition, or at least have not seen it worsen.
Praying for healing is something practiced frequently in our churches. Hellingly offers individual prayers for healing in our Communion every first Sunday of the month.
At other services we often have lists of people who we pray for, as well as having a book that visitors can write their prayers in.
It is a lovely testimony to God’s power to heal that people come back to offer thanks for some situation or other that has improved.
Praying for healing can take many forms. Some can be a prayer for that innate human ability to heal.
Others can be a belief in an individual’s gift to heal others from some quality within them.
Christian healing however looks to God. As supreme ruler of all an obvious question is if he is so supreme why doesn’t he always heal when asked?
The problem is that God’s purposes can often be hidden from us.
His plans encompass all of eternity and there will always be strands of creation that God is aware of which we are not.
We must simply trust.
He does not adjust the universe only for the visible creation, or on our whim, but rather for the whole of creation which is far bigger than we can conceive!
It is good to explore all these issues and the Diocese of Chichester annually holds a day of teaching with prayers and anointing for healing.
This year it is at Victoria Baptist Church in Eastbourne on Saturday 18th February from 9am through to 4pm.
More information is available via email on email@example.com or by phoning the diocese and asking for details on 01273 421021.
Sometimes what holds a person back from asking for healing is fear that they will not be healed.
My philosophy is more along the lines of, “if you don’t ask, you don’t get!” When I had cancer I certainly asked! An operation and radiotherapy and here I am! I cannot believe that God’s hand was not in my healing and recovery.
I would urge anyone who is ill or in need to reach out to God, or ask another for you.
Who knows? His answer may be a resounding, “Yes!”