Not only does God speak, but listens as well …

 – a reflection by Rev. John Wilson, sent to our email list –

One of the ministries that I cherish has been a rediscovery and a new appreciation of the healing power of God through prayer. Our monthly Service for Healing has produced dramatic and undeniable results. Persons have been set free from debilitating conditions and found new life through these services and through our prayers.

I readily admit, much to my embarrassment, that if twenty years ago anyone would have said that I, John Wilson, would have awakened to and embraced the power of God to work healing miracles in and through us, I would have laughed out loud! I have always believed that Jesus can and did heal people 2000 years ago; but not today. In my mind and with my scientific training, I would have said that that just wasn’t the way the world works today. The age of miracles had passed, or so I thought.

How wrong I was! Jesus is alive, and God/Jesus/the Holy Spirit heals people today….IF we provide the raw material of faith that connects us to that healing power and allows God to work in and through us.

Jill and I both read “The Healing Light” by Agnes Sanford. That book opened our eyes to new dimensions of prayer. We began to see some of the mistakes we had been making in our prayers – mistakes that almost guaranteed that our prayers for healing would be ineffective. We had so much to learn about prayer; or rather, we had so much to unlearn. Thank God that we were led in this new direction.

Agnes Sanford tells this about a medical condition she had. “My daily prayers for healing removed temporarily the aching and weariness due to the condition. But I found upon examination that it had not corrected the condition… My own prayers having been insufficient, I requested help from a distant prayer group and from my friends at church.With this additional help, I began to perceive as I prayed for healing a drawing-up sensation and a distinct vibration and warmth in the lower abdomen.”

A year later she went to the doctor, who was amazed that she had been completely healed! “You’re 100% better,” he said. “What have you been doing?”

“I tried to tell him,” she said, “but he resisted. He had seen the results of a daily prayer for health assisted by the prayers of others. But he could not understand. If I had given up on finding that my own prayers were not enough, this gentle and gradual healing would not have been finished.”

Let me underscore what she says. Her own prayers were not enough! She needed the assistance of the prayers of others. That’s why we have a prayer chain. When we join this church we say in our Covenant that “we will uphold this church by our prayers.”

Let me add one more note: it took a year for the healing. She writes, “Many a healing is not finished simply because the one who prays does not hold his or her faith long enough, and in most cases I find that it is not necessary to maintain faith, because the healing takes place gradually.

Gosh, again I’m embarrassed to say that I used to think that one prayer was enough, and if nothing happened, I would give up, saying to myself that it didn’t work, or my prayer wasn’t answered, or it wasn’t God’s will. How wrong and naive I was to expect instant results every time.