A little while ago a statement made by a speaker made me think. He said that often, when we pray for the sick, we should pray from position, not in petition. While I think that there is room for both, it did make me wonder how often I am pleading with God for something that He wants to give anyway and whether I should understand more fully the authority that I have when I come in Jesus’ Name.
This morning I was reading the story of how Jesus cursed the fig tree and his response to the disciples’ amazement at how it withered. (Matt. 21:18-22). He said that if they (and I guess that includes us, now) speak to a mountain and tell it to be cast into the sea and do not doubt, then it will happen. Then He equates that with prayer when He says that if they believe they will receive whatever they ask for in prayer.
It made me wonder if I should not be listening harder to God when I pray with my patients and, instead of pleading with Him to heal, rather be asking, “Lord, how do You want to heal this man? Do you want me to touch him? To take authority over his sickness and command it to go? To pray a blessing over the medicines and ask that they have divine power to heal?” etc. It seems that this is the way that Jesus operated. His assumption was that the Father wanted to heal and His question was then “How?” Perhaps He was trying to explain this when He reiterated time and again, “I can do nothing except what I see the Father doing.” or “I say only what I hear the Father saying.”
And in response, He commanded demons to come out, He made mud by spitting on the ground and then put it on a man’s eyes, He put His fingers in another man’s ears, He spoke forgiveness to a paralysed man, He spoke a command to be healed, He groaned deeply, He boomed out an order to a dead man to come forth, He reached out His hand and touched a leper….. He acted in so many different ways as the Father led. Did Jesus equate this with healing prayer? Is this the dynamic that He wants us to follow?
I now have a picture of Jesus in constant communication with His Father and asking, as He is approached by a deaf, person, a blind person or a distressed Centurion whose servant is ill, “Father, how do you want Me to bring healing?” and then, with the authority of His Father, acting in the Father’s stead.
I am trying this approach as I visit in the hospital. I find it really hard – the hardest part being to keep in communication with God while communicating with the person and to hear what the Father is saying in that situation, . I am not sure I would have the courage of my convictions to do something bizarre, like spit on the ground and make some mud, but I am trusting that the Lord will honour my baby steps and treat me gently as I learn. I’ll let you know how it goes and would love to hear your experience in this area of praying out of position, rather than petition.