May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through
and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept
blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one
who calls you is faithful and he will do it (1 Thess. 5:23-24).
Prayer is a conduit through which the power of God
flows. Prayer brings the power of heaven into the circumstances
of earth. God has designed prayer to be the avenue by
which the power promised in Scripture becomes available to
If we take God at His Word, then nothing on earth is beyond
the reach of His astounding power. "Ah, Sovereign
Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great
power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you"
Am I overusing the word power? My writer's instincts tell
me I am. But there is no other word to take its place. Power is
the essence of prayer. James 5:16 states: "The prayer of a righteous
man is powerful and effective." Prayer is not a benign,
feel-good, stress-relieving exercise. Prayer releases the power
of God to change the circumstances of earth.
In this book, we will consider specifically the power of
prayer to bring healing. As we examine what the Word of God
tells us about this topic, keep in mind that prayer is not convincing
God or even bringing your need to His attention. He
knows what you will need before you need it; He yearns to
supply your need and is awakening in you the inclination to
seek Him and His provision. Prayer is simply opening your
life to receive what He has to give.
Ole Hallesby, one of Norway's leading Christian teachers,
wrote, "To pray is nothing more involved than to let Jesus
into our needs. To pray is to give Jesus permission to employ
His powers in the alleviation of our distress To pray is
nothing more involved than to open the door, giving Jesus access
to our needs and permitting Him to exercise His own
power in dealing with them." And E. Stanley Jones writes inAbundant Living, "Prayer is . the opening of a channel from
your emptiness to God's fullness."
Whatever form of healing you need, God is able to do it. God
cares about every aspect of your being. He created you to be a
multidimensional creature, one layer interacting with and affecting
another layer. In 1 Thessalonians 5:23, Paul prays that "your
whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless." John writes to his
friend Gaius, "Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper
and be in good health, just as your soul prospers" (3 John 2
NASB). "In all respects," he says. And he uses the word prosper, a
Greek word that means "to be led down a good path" or "succeed."
Every part of you-your spirit, your soul, and your
body-matter to God. He created all of you.
Your Creator does not disregard any part of you. You may
begin these days with one agenda for healing, only to discover
that the need extends to another level. You may begin with a
felt need for healing a relationship, only to discover that first
you need a healing in your memories.
My friend Anna wanted prayer because she had done all
she could do to repair her failing marriage. Her husband
seemed oblivious to the fact that she was miserable. She felt
continually angry with him, and that anger seemed to grow
with each new offense. And the offenses seemed to come daily.
As we prayed regularly together, I asked Anna to concentrate
on taking her focus off of what her husband did to hurt
her and instead to observe what these hurtful incidents made
her feel-other than angry. She found that as she monitored
her emotional responses, a pattern emerged. At the bottom of
most of her hurt feelings was a sense of having failed. She
knew that her mother had regularly communicated to her that
nothing she did was ever good enough. In subtle ways her
mother caused Anna to feel as if her decisions were wrong and
her actions never measured up to her mother's expectations.
Anna began to realize that she read into her husband's
words what she was used to hearing from her mother. This realization
led her to deeper inner healing as she came to a
compassionate understanding of her mother. Anna also recognized
that she believed that she was a failure and expected to
hear it from others. Her need for healing in a relationship was
the impetus for a deeper healing.
So be open to how the Spirit directs your thoughts, and
trust Him. Know that He can and will guide you into all truth.
"The lamp of the Lord searches the spirit of a man; it searches
out his inmost being" (Prov. 20:27). "You will know the
truth, and the truth will set you free" (John 8:32).
Are you willing right now to open your entire life to His
healing presence? Even knowing that His power may interrupt
cherished sin-patterns or challenge comfortable beliefs? Do
you want all of Him more than you want any other thing? You
can have as much of Him that you make room for.
As you begin this healing journey, what is motivating you to seek
the Healer? List your symptoms as you perceive them right now.
Do you have any anxiety about putting yourself in the hands of
the Healer and holding nothing back? Are there areas of your life
that you would like to keep off-limits from Him? Remember, you
can be fearlessly honest. He knows your heart inside and out.
Write out today's date, and give a brief description of the circumstances
of your life right now. This will be a reference point
for you for years to come.
Lord, I am opening myself fully to You. I release all of my
needs to You. I invite You to search out the hidden toxins in my
soul. I want to cooperate with You in the healing You will
bring. Let the rushing, mighty wind of Your Spirit blow
through my life. Even now I thank You for the mighty and
powerful work of healing You have already begun and will
complete. I claim it now as my own. Amen.
Hear His Heart
"Being confident of this, that he who began a good
work in you will carry it on to completion until the
day of Christ Jesus" (Phil. 1:6).
Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched
the man. "I am willing," he said. "Be clean! (Mark 1:41).
God is full of compassion. The word compassion actually
means "to suffer with" (com. "with"; pati, "to suffer,
bear"). To say that God has compassion on you means that
your pain, your need, touches His heart as if it were His own.
Are there people in your life whom you love so deeply and
with whom you are so intimately connected that their pain
hurts you more than your own? Truthfully, I have more difficulty
recovering from my children's hurts than from my own.
Their pain is more painful to me than it is to them sometimes.
But hurting with them and for them is usually all I can do. My
compassion for them does not heal them. So it is wonderful to
know that God also has compassion on them.
God's compassion compels Him to exercise His power on
our behalf. The Lord defines His compassion this way: "Can a
mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion
on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not
forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my
hands" (Isa. 49:15-16).
In this word-picture. Isaiah is setting up a highly unlikely,
almost impossible scenario: Could a mother forget her nursing
child? He used the same device in a later chapter: "'Though
the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my
unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of
peace be removed,' says the Lord, who has compassion on
you" (54:10). Here's the logic: As impossible as this scenario
is, what God is proclaiming is even more impossible. Even if a
mother could forget her nursing child, God says that He
would never, never forget you.
Why is it so impossible for a mother to forget her nursing
child? When a nursing baby cries, the mother's body is suddenly
flooded with what the baby needs. It is an amazing
physiological phenomenon that the cry of need releases the
supply. When a woman's body is full of the baby's provision,
the mother is in pain until the baby nurses-takes what she has
ready to give. The cry of hunger is met with an answering cry
of compassion. She cannot forget her nursing child because
her body reminds her.
Like the nursing mother, God is completely sufficient to
provide what you need, and He has the supreme power to deliver
Even more wonderful than that, your pain echoes in His
heart. And He is so full of provision that He aches for you to
receive it from Him. He knows about the need before you do,
and the supply is ready and waiting for you. He hears your cry
before it escapes your lips-while it is still an inarticulate
groaning to which you have not attached words. Never at any
moment is your pain or your need silent before Him. Even
when you are not consciously thinking of it or feeling it, He
sees it and knows it. As the psalmist wrote, "All my longings
lie open before you, O Lord; my sighing is not hidden from
you" (Ps. 38:9).
It is not the cry of the lips but the cry of the heart that
God hears. "Before they call I will answer; while they are still
speaking I will hear" (Isa. 65:24).
Describe compassion as you have felt it for another person. Often
an element in human compassion is the sense of helplessness.
Was that part of your experience? Describe how that felt.
Write a statement about the confidence you have in God, even if
you cannot define what you need.
Lord Almighty-El Shaddai-I believe that You Yourself are
the answer to my heart's cry. I need You because You are full
and overflowing with the power to heal me. I am coming to You
now, receiving Your compassion. Let your power flow over me, through me, in me. Amen.
Hear His Heart
"Let your face shine on your servant; save me in your
unfailing love" (Ps. 31:16).
A Platform for His Power
All things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the
world or life or death or the present or the future-all are yours, and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God (1 Cor. 3:21-23).
To know firsthand God's compassion, to receive into
your experience His life-giving power, all you need to do is
turn your need toward Him. Let your need for healing-whether
it be a need for emotional healing, healing of memories,
healing of a relationship, or physical healing-be the platform
for His power.
Do you doubt that He could be full of compassion for
you? Have you believed that you are not valuable enough to
Him that He should long to care for your needs? Do you rehearse
your failures and your shortcomings and convince
yourself that He could not possibly yearn over you and ache to
give you every good thing? Do you see Him as maintaining
distance between Himself and you-as if He holds Himself
aloof and shuns you?
Look at the end of God's very own definition of His compassion:
"See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands"
(Isa. 49:16). Just as His people write on their hands "The
Lord's" as a sign of their belonging to and reverence for Him
(44:5), so God Himself carves on His hands His belonging and
eternal attentiveness to His people.
What else does an engraving or carving on God's palms
remind you of? Yes, the nail-scarred hands of Jesus. Do you
see? The stakes that were meant for your hands pierced His instead.
The whip that was meant for your back fell on His
instead. The scorn meant for you He took. The unimaginably
savage death you deserved He bore for you. All for you! All
for you! His compassion for you is no sentimental, imaginary
feeling. It caused Him to step into your place and let your
punishment be inflicted upon Him (see Isa. 52:13-53:12).
My dear friend, would He pay the full price for you and
then withhold from you any good thing? The remedy to every
pain or grief or difficulty that comes into your life was provided
for in His death and resurrection. Does He not want you
to have everything He paid so high a price to obtain? Paul assures
us that "He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him
up for us all-how will he not also, along with him, graciously
give us all things?" (Rom. 8:32).
Imagine that someone purchased an appliance for you and
also paid for a warranty to take care of any repairs. Imagine
that at some point the appliance breaks down and is in need of
repair. You don't know about the warranty, so you forgo the
use of your appliance because you can't afford the repair.
Then imagine the giver's despair when she discovers that you
have not accessed the provision she had already paid for.
Think of her sorrow at knowing that you have scraped by
when she had already paid the price that would guarantee you
exactly what you needed.
God, too, has paid for your healing. He has paid for your
wholeness. He wants you to have the fullness of everything
that is already yours in Him. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 3:21
that "all things are yours." Why? Because you belong to
Christ, and Christ belongs to God. You belong to Christ because
He has purchased you. Now everything He has is yours,
and He has everything because He is God's.
He is so determined that you should have everything He
paid for that He put His life in you as a guarantee (Eph.
1:13-14). His love for you is so intense that it compels Him to
come near. He desires intimacy with you to such an extent that
He has made His home with you (John 14:23). He is not a faraway,
arms-length, distant deity. Turn to Him, and you will
find rest for your soul.
Take to heart the words of Major Ian Thomas:
If you are to know the fulness of life in Christ, you are to appropriate
the efficacy of what He is Relate everything, moment by moment as it arises, to the adequacy of what He is
in you, and assume that His adequacy will be operative
Simply expose by faith every situation as it arises, to the all-sufficiency
of the One who indwells you by His life. Can any
situation possibly arise, in any circumstances, for which He is
not adequate? Any pressure, promise, problem, responsibility
or temptation for which the Lord Jesus Himself is not adequate? If He be truly God, there cannot be a single one!
Do you think there is anything-any problem, any hurt, any
illness-for which Christ is inadequate? Is He lacking anything?
In his tender poem to love, Solomon has the bride declare to her
bridegroom, "My beloved is mine, and I am his" (Song 2:16
NASB). As the bride of Christ, you belong to Jesus, and Jesus
belongs to you.