Faith healing

“Is anyone among you sick?  Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord.  And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up.”  James 5:14-15a

Growing up in a mainstream Protestant church, we didn’t learn about faith healing.  Such practices ended with the apostles and just didn’t happen in our modern world.  At least that’s what the preachers taught us.  

During the same timeframe, television introduced us to faith healers.  Many travelled the country with big tents, going from city to city, preceded by newspaper ads and street signs.  Attendees appeared to be the desperate, lower socio-economic class of people.  Unfortunately, many faith healers proved to be charlatans, preying on their customers’ gullibility.  

Cast all of these conceptions aside.  Any church that teaches faith healing stopped centuries ago are doing their attendees a great disservice.  I’ve heard and read sermons by speakers who decry faith healing and make all kinds of unfounded, distorted, false claims about the practice.  I know it to be real, because of my own and others’ personal experiences.  

Several days ago the daily devotional described when God healed me instantaneously from the flu.  Years ago I knew a lady who had a worrisome and disfiguring growth that popped up next to her nose.  Her church’s elders anointed her with oil, instructed her to cover the growth with her hand, prayed over her, and told her to remove her hand.  Voila!  The growth had disappeared, miraculously and instantly.  Before you discount my story as a fable, you should know that this healing occurred to my mother.  

We are friends with a wonderful lady who received a breast cancer diagnosis–Stage IV, with a prognosis of death within weeks.  She sought a second opinion from one of the nation’s premier cancer centers.  It confirmed the original diagnosis based upon the medical records and decided to rerun the tests to see how much the cancer had grown.  She had been raised in the same denomination as I, so faith healing seemed quite foreign and improbable.  However, in such desperate situations, one prays.  The second set of tests showed no cancer whatsoever!  Miracle or mistake?  The doctors confirmed that both series of tests performed at the two hospitals were indeed from the same patient, with one showing Stage IV cancer and the other showing nothing.  Incidentally, this lady has aged several decades since this experience and has had no recurrence.  

These three examples are just the tip of the iceberg.  I know of some incredible examples far beyond what I have described.  

I suggest that today’s churches teaching faith healing ceased with the apostles don’t experience it for themselves for lack of faith.  After all, why would God heal anyone who doesn’t believe that He can?

Do you believe?

Prayer:  Dear God, forgive us for any unbelief.  May we have the faith to experience all that You intend for us.  Amen.

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