Another installment in the ongoing series from Father Al Durrance.
HEALING IS SPELLED L-O-V-E
Christian healing is the process through which Holy Spirit comes to Incarnate Jesus Christ in our flesh, that we might become His presence for those to whom He sends us in the world for which He died.
Healing is more than fixing the body, or the mind, or the soul, or the spirit, or the community, or our relationships. It is all of the above. To the extent that He has not yet completed that task, I need to seek healing from God. I am helpless without His grace. It is the difference between my ability and His will for me.
God’s healing power is the manifestation of His infinite and unconditional love. What a wonder it would be if we could just grasp the depth of that love, and begin to receive it and walk in it. We would find that healing is something that we enter when we first encounter the Risen Christ, and it continues as we pursue the life that He has called us to live with Him.
PRAYER IS THE ESSENTIAL TO KNOWING GOD
We must begin with prayer as a conversation with Him that we might get to know Him and His will for us in His Kingdom. Prayer must be more than the method or technique we use to get God to do what we ask of Him. It is our becoming as little children coming to our Father seeking all that He has for us. Asking what we will in the sure trust that what He will give us is His love, and nothing else.
We take the time to ask and listen to what He is saying to us that we might let Him define His love in our life. That we might seek and receive the healing that He has for us in any given situation at any given time.
That takes practice just as it took practice for us as children to learn to talk with our parents so they could show us their love and what they had for us. We do not learn to pray by reading a book. We learn to pray by praying, just as we learned to talk by talking and listening. As we find our bond with God anchored in His love for us, we find that we are on the sure foundation of Christian healing.
The healing of our spirit begins as we come to know God in part and continue to draw closer to Him as He reveals more of Himself to us in His love. Knowing God is the healing of our spirit, and it opens the way to receive His healing love into the rest of our lives.
DECISION IS ESSENTIAL TO HEALING
The question Jesus asked the man at the pool of Bethzatha must be answered by all of us. “Are you willing to be made whole?” Jn 5:6 It is important that we make a decision about whether or not we are willing to be healed on God’s terms which are not necessarily our own. We have to make the decision to trust God completely.
We need to know two things. What would it cost us to become well and able to function? Do we dare entrust our life to God until we know He loves us, just as we are, warts and all. When we are willing to be healed, and trust God to love us infinitely as well as unconditionally, we are ready to ask, and we are ready to pursue God until we find His healing touch in our lives, or we find out how He intends to use our diseases to prove His love for us. Are we willing to trust Him with our disease, that He might heal us?
MORE THAN A BODY
Healing does not begin when we have exhausted all other resources for the healing of the body. It doesn’t even end when the body is miraculously healed. It ends when we are complete. When the body is not healed, perhaps we need to seek healing of the soul, the inner healing that removes the stress that so often causes the body’s ills.
I recall a young woman who had an issue of blood. Prayer did not bring healing. When she asked the Lord, He said, “Make your confession.” When she made her confession, she was healed before she left the church.
I recall a woman who suffered from narcolepsy. She did not respond to our intercession. When we prayed for healing of her memories and cast out a spirit of anger, she was healed.
Anyone who has heard Jim Glennon, the well known teacher of healing from Australia, knows that unforgiveness lay at the heart of his disease. It was when he determined to forgive those against whom he had unforgiveness that he received his own healing, and has shared that knowledge to set others free around the world.
Often the physical diseases we have are symptoms of something wrong in other areas of our lives.
PERSISTENCE IS ESSENTIAL TO HEALING
As we begin to come into a knowledge of God and His love for us, we do not seek to find our relief and leave His presence. We continue to draw close to Him We continue to ask Him to show us the sources of disease within us that we might bring them to Him for His healing touch.
When I am not healed in my initial quest for healing, I seek God’s direction for my prayers. Agnes Sanford taught that we should begin with a prayer for His guidance as to how to pray, and then we should pray the prayer of faith to release the healing power of His love for ourselves or the one for whom we are praying. If we did not see His hand at work in the person’s life, we seek further direction until we do see His presence manifested.
The blocks to healing seem to be some form of block to the flow of His love. When we pray amiss, we try to open the wrong door, and we need to be set straight. When we fail to forgive, we need to forgive. When we live in our own guilt, we need to confess our sins and receive His forgiveness. When we fail to bring any disease to our Father, we need to dare to trust Him enough to ask in the first place.
The faith requirement is not demanding. It takes only enough to bring us into the presence of His faithfulness. It is important to ask, to invite God to come into our lives where He will not impose without our invitation. It is important to
steadfastly seek His will knowing that He loves us, and seeks to pour His love out for us and into us.
It is important to pray, as Jesus has taught us, not “if it be thy will”, but “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven, nothing more, nothing less, nothing else,” that we might receive His healing love to make us whole, and prepare us for His use as His Body in the world. Christian Healing is the transformation that we seek in God’s will that must continue until He has made us every bit whole.
We will find our healing in a community of people who are devoted to seeking God’s healing power and love. We will find it in a community where we are devoted to seeking His will in prayer and in sharing with one another the touch of His hand in our lives.
When two or three or ten or twenty or a hundred are gathered in His Name, He is there in their midst, the same yesterday, today and forever. He is there reaching out to give to us the love that makes us whole. He is there to reach out through us to touch those who are in need of His healing love.
That is what the Order of St. Luke is about. It is not about meetings and rules. It is about gathering in His Name and prayer for ourselves and one another. It is about letting the church know that Jesus Christ is still healing the sick today that they might walk with Him in wholeness.
We begin with the decision to seek. We study the Scriptures, and we practice prayer until it becomes like breathing in the Kingdom of God. We seek to bring our own hurts to Him, and we seek to bring His love to comfort others who hurt. There is not a single one of us whom God cannot use to work His will when we are willing to make ourselves available to Him.
He does not always use our strength, Paul would point out that it is in our weakness that His strength is perfected. God is able to do miraculous things with a Word. That is how He created the universe. He has elected to use us as His Body in the world. He calls the weak and the needy to be His presence. God does not need our ability. He needs our availability. That is why healing is spelled L-O-V-E.