Sunday, September 2, 2012

Healing, Ornery Style

I like praying for healing. Especially when it works. Thursday I got to pray for a co-worker who has some kind of chronic pain. She checked back with me about an hour later and it was about fifty percent less. Another co-worker (I do work in a faith-based agency after all) commented that my prayers were "more effective" than hers, because she hadn't seen the same results praying for healing for the same situation. (Co-worker number 2 wasn't really being fair to herself, actually. The two of them pray together regularly and that is a greatly sustaining force in both their lives.) But what she said about effectiveness made me think. Could it be that in my crazy ongoing attempts to see God's kingdom come through healing, I have stumbled upon something that works, something that could work even better if put into the hands of that multitude who are holier and closer to God than I ever could be? Well if so, the attempt to transmit it should be made. So here goes. This my take-it-or-leave-it subjective and ornery guide to praying for physical healing.

 1) Be aware of the Holy Spirit moving through you. How you do this is your business. Just thinking about the Spirit sometimes is enough, A spoken invitation might be your thing. I think it just as valid to invite the Spirit as to make yourself specially aware that he's always with you. Really there's not much functional difference. Ultimately the goal is to be a conduit for his power to flow through. Yes, you're going to have to feel something. I get a sort of tingly feeling. Some people feel heat. (Did I mention this is subjective?)
2) With the permission of the one being prayed for, lay your hand on or near the part of the body with the problem.
3) Tell the body part to get better, tell the pain to go away, something like that. Believe that God has actually given you the authority to heal. That means it's your job to call it. Use the imperative mood -- tell the thing to happen. Keep it simple, though. As soon as you start discussing medical conditions with God, you are praying for healing in a way that Jesus never did. And try not to experiment with catchphrases that you've heard. "Come into alignment", and "I plead the blood." are near useless as far as I'm concerned.
4) Wait. Relax your hand. Expect, feel God's power flowing through your hand. This is something I've picked up recently. I used to imagine that I was a wizard or a Lord (see the 1st Thomas Covenant Trilogy) directing fire from my hand at something and burning it up. This is pretty well the opposite operation to ministering God's power. Funny thing about the wizard thing is that my hand tenses up and it seems to choke off the flow of God's power. On the occasion I mentioned, when I relaxed, I actually felt the tingling move down my arm and it seemed to enter the body of my co-worker.
5) You can't pray forever. (It's just not feasible) so if you have no, or incomplete results, you have to conclude with something. I usually ask God to remain in the location where the problem is and complete the healing.

Lots more could be said.  But this is stuff that (I think) I've learned.

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