Learning an important lesson when praying for others, and ourselves
Posted in , Aug 10, 2016
I was at a day-long session on healing prayer. I’d been reading through the Gospels lately and it seemed that one of the things Jesus asked his disciples was to heal–as He did. I would like to be a better follower of Jesus so when the notice at church went up, “Seminar on Healing Prayer,” I figured I should go.
Truth to tell, I felt like an imposter. Me, a healer? Me, someone who would pray for others to be healed? Not just long-distance or on my own but in their presence, putting my hands on them and asking God to heal them? How would I do that?
And yet, not only did Jesus heal time and again, making the lame walk and the blind see, performing amazing miracles, but He also sent His disciples out in the world to do the same, and after He died, they performed their own miracles as recorded in the book of Acts.
Me perform miracles? That would be a stretch.
There were about 20 of us at the seminar, and we sat in a circle. Leigh, our leader, supplied a great deal of wisdom. First of all, she made the very obvious point: it is not we who heal. It is God who heals. What Leigh want to help us do–in prayer–is get out of ourselves so that we could indeed help God heal.
“Prayer gives us a chance to surrender ourselves to God’s will,” she said.
That comment hit home. I thought of my prayer time, how often it gets filled up with wants and needs and the occasional outright demand, even when I promise to put myself in a receptive, holy, silent state.
What if I just made my prayer time, surrender time? It would be a little like holding up a white flag in the trenches of my life and waving it, “I give up, God. It’s up to You. Take over.”
I kept holding on to that thought for the rest of the day, the rest of the seminar. We split up and prayed for each other, practicing the tenets of healing prayer.
Surrender prayer was almost easier to do for someone else: “Hey, God, let me get out of the way here. Let me open myself up to be used. Thank You for Your good care. You hear the need here and know the concerns. Let Your will be done.”
It all sounds pretty close to the sublime prayer Jesus made in the Garden of Gethsemane: “Thy will be done.”
I will confess to being a novice in healing prayer. If I can ever be used, I would be grateful. But success here is not about winning accolades or impressing your friends (how often Jesus urged those healed to not tell anyone what He did). It’s about giving up. Surrendering. Losing.
What a way to pray.