Debbie Salter Goodwin
Praying for Healing
No prayer is more desperate than a prayer for healing, whether for yourself or for someone you love. I’ve prayed for healing for our Lisa from the first diagnosis through all the complicated, life threatening and life altering diagnoses that followed. But no prayer gave me more peace than the one I share with you here. It’s where I start any prayer for healing because it helps me start at the right place.
You probably missed it when you read the very familiar story of Mary and Martha sending word to Jesus that their brother was dying. Except that’s not exactly how they worded it. The message came to Jesus this way:
Lord, the one you love is sick. John 11:3
You know what they expected because you’ve expected it, too. They expected Jesus to drop everything and come to Bethany and heal Lazarus before death took his last breath. After all, they had witnessed other healings of people who had not forged the relationship with Jesus they had.
For Mary and Martha, this was an instruction, not a prayer.
But what if it becomes a prayer? What if we connect to the unlimited love Jesus has for the one who struggles whether it is cancer or depression or chronic pain or the ravages of a stroke. What if we trust Jesus so much with the one we love, that we are willing to put whatever has compromised health in Jesus’ complete control without our expectations.
If we believe that out of Jesus’ unlimited love, he will do what will make the most important difference; do we really need to instruct him?
Don’t misunderstand the point here. Praying this prayer first doesn’t mean you don’t pray for healing as well. But what I have learned through sleepless nights and long hospital vigils where many scary outcomes waited with possibilities I didn’t want to face is this: If I don’t believe that Jesus has more love than I have for the one I love, my prayer for healing is more desperate, fearful, unsettling, and sometimes just plain empty.
Lord the one you love is sick.
It’s the prayer I pray when I don’t know how to fill in the blanks. Healing for how many years? Healing from what medical process or which doctor? I frustrate myself in the middle of my prayer because if I have to direct the specifics, I find myself hopelessly ignorant.
So I wrap myself in this prayer. I pray it not to get Jesus’ attention, but so that I know he has mine. I use it to make sure I am grounded in the love and resourcefulness of the Healer of all healers. It leads me to a trust I can’t find in any other prayer for healing I have ever prayed.
When I prayed this prayer for Lisa, I saw Jesus begin to do a healing of her spirit I didn’t know to pray for. I began to cooperate with the work Jesus was doing rather than go rogue and pray my own self-directed and very fearful prayers. That doesn’t mean I was at peace with every new thing that happened. Nor did it minimize any part of my grief when she died. But there was peace in my heart knowing that I had prayed for Jesus to do whatever would free her from her many limitations.
That prayer healed me, too.
Prayer Prompts for the Week_____________________________________
Wednesday Who do you need to pray this prayer for? Pray it many times today.
Thursday What might Jesus’ love heal in the person you pray for? Pray for
that healing first.
Friday Jesus always used physical healing to do a spiritual work. Pray this
prayer for anyone who needs spiritual healing. Let Jesus direct your next step or prayer.
Saturday What fear do you have as you pray for healing? Use this prayer to
address that fear.
Sunday What about you? Are you tired, fearful, or confused? Today, pray
this prayer for yourself, changing the last word to describe the brokenness you bring to Jesus. Lord, the one you love is _______.
Monday Are you beginning to experience the power and release of this
prayer? Keep praying it until Jesus directs a different prayer.
Tuesday What have you learned about a prayer for healing by starting with
his one? Pray with new peace and trust.