8-19-16 - The Next Healing

in this week’s story, we see not only that Jesus could heal infirmity with a word of faith; we see him establish that healing is an activity worthy of the Sabbath, God’s holy day. Healing is what God does.

“And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen long years, be set free from this bondage on the sabbath day?” When he said this, all his opponents were put to shame; and the entire crowd was rejoicing at all the wonderful things that he was doing.

It’s great that the crowd rejoiced at what Jesus was doing. I imagine he wanted even more for them to start doing what he was doing, to believe in the power of God released into the world. He wanted them – and us – to see healing as a principle sign of the reign of God unleashed.

And maybe if we saw such immediate outcomes to our prayers, we would do a lot more praying. Of course, the reverse might also be true: If we engaged more often in healing prayer, we might see many more immediate outcomes. Happily, God’s life is a both/and kind of place. We are invited to pray at all times and in all places. And I can testify that the more we approach infirmity with prayer, the more often and quickly we see healing.

If I fall or get hurt, I immediately invoke the presence of Jesus to be with me, to heal me. When I burn or ding myself, I invite God to release healing power and love in my body, thanking all the cells for their healing work – and I often see things heal faster without scarring. When I practice my faith on relatively small things, it’s stronger when I need to pray for bigger, scarier things, when I invite God to release peace and power into a huge complex of anxiety or illness.

So it is today, in any and every place where the Spirit of God is present through the Body of Christ – meaning, us, who are Christ’s hands and feet and eyes and ears and voice of love in the world now. We have been given tremendous power through our access to God in the Spirit. So when we encounter someone who is afflicted in body, mind or spirit, we don’t have to think, “I’m not the right person.” We can just go, “Oh yeah, I know the right person. And he’ll show up anytime I invoke his name. Come, Lord Jesus.” That is the ancient prayer, “Maranatha.” Come, Lord Jesus.

Today, keep inviting God to release healing love and power in you, where you’re hurting. And keep praising. And add a third thing: ask God to show you today someone for whom you are to pray, for whom you are to invite Jesus to release healing graces. It might be a person close to you, or someone you see on the news. You don’t have to offer to pray with them, though that’s always great. You can simply say, “Come Lord Jesus – here’s someone who needs you. Be here. Release your power and love in him, in her.”

God is with us seven days a week, 24 hours a day, at all times and in all places. God cannot be contained or constrained. The more we pray, the more God’s life breaks out and restores the world. Every day.

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