Thursday, February 28, 2008

PRAYER - Clarification

On my previous post on prayer:

Danielle said...
Susan, you say-"I am personally against in praying for the sick is using the phrase "If it be your will please heal Mary." God is the is always God's will that we be healed. Satan is the one that comes to kill, steal and destroy not our God and Christ paid for our healing, as well as our sins, on the cross at Calvary."This reminded me of two things in my going to church years. One was that it always seemed to be implied that God's will was not your own. (Your will and not mine be done, his ways are not our ways, etc, etc). I struggled a lot with this in my young adult years, because I was programmed to think that everything that I wanted (my will) was something that God *didn't* want, and therefore, practically everything I perceived to be good was a sin. Secondly, the healing thing- My good friend's husband was diagnosed with a rare disease that made his bones turn to sponge. He had a month to live from this at the time that I found out about it. There were many healing services and prayers being held for him, and when he was not being healed, they said it was because his faith was not that strong. They convinced him, in the last month of his life that the faith he had was not real. That's psychologically a very bad way to die. Hope you don't mind me sharing.
February 28, 2008 10:50 AM


Jennifer said: Susan, I am proud of the discussion that went on about prayer too. Help me understand prayer for healing. I don't know how to pray if I don't ask Him for His Will to be for healing. What can I say if they don't recieve healing, that Satan had more power than Jesus? Can Jesus in His Will not say 'NO'. I completely feel the scripture about By His Stripes we are healed. But isn't that spiritual healing? Let me say right now that I am not arguing with you. I truly would like to understand. I have so many questions that God will answer and meanwhile I would like to know how you feel. Your blog always gives me blessing and makes me think! Jennifer
February 28, 2008 8:20 PM


I also had a private e-mail voicing some of the same thoughts. This is my reply to that e-mail:

Thanks for this e-mail and your thoughts. I was afraid I might be misunderstood on that but I had to say it to be true to myself.

I am FULLY aware that God does not always choose to heal. Just a few minutes ago I got word that a young 36 year old mother in our church has died this morning of cancer. Our entire church prayed last night for a miracle for her, because we knew it would take a miracle. Our church has been in constant prayer for this young woman for about 15 months now. We lost Mickey's younger, and only, sister to a terrible disease that literally, over a few years, took her legs, hands and body parts before her life. . We prayed and we believed.

I just don't personally like that phrase "if it be your will" because I have to believe in my heart it is His WILL to heal, just as it is His WILL that all be saved. It's just that we don't understand the full scope of the reasons why in His judgement it does not occur. That is where our Hope and Faith must then take up. Are we going to get angry or quit believing because our prayer was not answered? I will not, because my God is so much bigger than I can begin to understand.

It would have been so easy for me to not address that but like I said, to be true to my self I had to. I try very hard to be truthful, sometimes to my own hurt, on my blog. I hope you understand my heart. I'm not judging those who chose to use that phrase......I just personally do not like it. I made a real effort to point out it was my personal opinion. Do you think I stated it in a judgemental attitude or way? If so, that was not my intent and I will surely go back on my blog and state that fact.

To Danielle, & the person who e-mailed me, I have to say how terribly sorry I am that someone would say or indicate :

1)"and when he was not being healed, they said it was because his faith was not that strong. They convinced him, in the last month of his life that the faith he had was not real. That's psychologically a very bad way to die. "

or 2) " I had a friend tell me basically that it was God’s will that my Mom didn’t get cancer and die…if only we would have prayed harder…or believed more… or whatever … she wouldn’t have died of cancer. It was as if she was saying God wasn’t in control and Satan was…due to our lack of faith or prayer. "

I do not blame God, and no Jennifer I certainly do not believe satan wins........satan was defeated at the cross of Calvary. I know the faith that Mickey and I were standing and believing in when we lost his sister. I know the faith and prayer and belief that was operating when I lost one of my forever friends, back in 1986, at the young age of 45. I know it was not because of lack of faith. I believe in the sovereignty of God. I believe His ways are higher than our ways. I believe in Romans 8:28 " And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."

It was just my PERSONAL OPINION and I do believe in my heart that it is God's WILL that all be healed and that it is God's WILL that all be saved. I would not pray "Please save Mary, if it be your will" and therefore I chose not to pray "Please heal Mary, if it be your will."

I really am sorry if my comment in any way offened anyone. I think we need to be very careful with our words that we do not step on toes and certainly that we do not step on tender hearts. I realize we all carry our particular hurts, pains and experiences that color and shade our views.

As I further told my e-mail correspondent :

" I know it is a very sensitive subject and like so many things in life we will just have to agree to disagree on this small phrase as we agree wholeheartedly on the fact that God is GOD and that Jesus is LORD!!!.

To Danielle, Jennifer and my e-mail friend I certainly appreciate your views and opinions. I certainly don't think for one minute I have all the answers or am above being wrong.

To any of my others readers: If what I said offened you or caused you personal hurt I am very sorry. I am glad I serve a God who looks at, sees and knows our hearts. I am also glad I serve a God who shows me Grace, time and time again.

post signature


A Captured Reflection said...

I love your heart Susan. Sending a cyber hug. xx

Randi Jo :) said...

I also love your heart! and I am so so so thankful you shared the previous post on prayer - and this one too.

Keep posting these types that challenge us! You quoted, "as iron sharpens iron" --- and we know that the only want to really sharpen is with friction! To get hot, to have tension. It's a good thing to have these discussions.

You have a good spirit in you and have a good heart that loves God and doesn't want to offend - and I think everybody can recognize that in you. I am upset I haven't done a better job at following your blog - I will now though! Have an awesome Friday!

thehirschgang said...

Hi- I found your blog through a friends, and saw this post on prayer.
Perhaps it would be helpful to define "healing". As a christian, true, complete healing comes in the full presence of Christ- in heaven, at home.
Also, God's will for healing goes far beyond the physical. He will cause much harm to the physical in order to reach the heart. Take Job, for instance, who, by the end of it all, says- now I SEE!
God's ultimate desire is that we would TREASURE HIM beyond even our own comfort, or the best for others, or anything else, because HE IS THE BEST. He wants us to want HIM, so whatever the cost for us to embrace HIM verses His gifts, like healing.
There is so much that our finite human minds cannot wrap around- maybe we're looking at God too much from a human perspective and need to ask His Spirit to teach us from His word, renewing our minds and causing us to truly see Him as He is. That would completely revolutionize our thinking on all things, including how we pray for healing.

j said...

Oh Susan, if I had known you had been questioned about your statement, that you had been "confronted", I would have probably kept my questions to myself. I AM NOT OFFENDED BY YOUR OPINIONS!!!! I see you as someone more mature in their Christian walk than I am and it is my desire TO LEARN from you.
There are women in my life that I choose for spiritual mentors and you, my Fine Woman of God, are one of them. That is why I read your blog. I get a blessing from you everytime I come here, even if it is only because I know you so sincerly serve the Lord!!

I needed to understand your thoughts behind God's will in healing. My heart is so broken right now for Erin (the 14 yr old girl that I have requested people remember in prayer on my site) and I feel like God is trying to show me something of His nature through this ordeal. THAT is why I asked, not in disagreement but in HUNGER for the things of God.
You are entitled to express yourself any way that you want to on your site. It seems that you have learned how vulnerable we are as bloggers, laying our hearts open for people to give an opinion on. If I have hurt YOU, in any way, with my questions or my words, I apologize. I would not crush your spirit or make you hold back on any of the truths that the Lord has placed in your heart.

Be at peace, I just know you are the type to feel this very deeply. I think if we are walking in His will, we are going to cause a spark at times. In all things give thanks, so praise God that you have made people think and examine how they feel about His healing power. I love you, my Sister in Christ. Jennifer

Annie said...

I love what you said too Susan. I have to believe that it is God's will to heal. That's what His word says and I have to believe that. I have to.

... said...

i hope your clarification helped others. it's sad to think anyone would be judged not having enough faith. and i agree with you... God's will would always be to heal.

Nadine said...

You have such a sweet spirit and heart Susan. I don't believe you could offend anyone...and never have I been offended.

Dawn said...

This has been a very valuable discussion. We will never understand God - if we did, he would not be God!

Lisa said...

this is very interesting what's happening with this discussion.
had to check back.
we have to trust God always.
God specifically uses joy or crisis in our lives in order to bring us to HIM!

Anonymous said...

Thank you. I will post more later

~~Deby said...

Such a gracious post to hard answers. Susan you are appreciated and someday we will have the answers and even then I don't think our questions will matter as we will be worshipping our Saviour.

Tina said...

Susan, I think you did a wonderful job of explaining yourself and with grace and humility.

I suppose we must conclude then that God does not always do what He wills to do.(if it is His will that everyone be healed or saved) I have been very confused about this very thing many times.

My Bible study teacher and seminary professor has said that God doesn't do anything He doesn't want to, but that doesn't seem to fit with the Scripture about Him not willing that anyone should perish. (because we know that many will and have perished and God is completely capable of opening their eyes at any time) One of those things I suppose you just can't ever wrap your mind around and I think I have come to the conclusion we are not supposed to try.

Jenny said...

I've been halfway reading your posts about prayer. Not because I don't agree with what you're saying, but because my mind is not focusing on being still right now :)
However, I did read every word of this one, and I agree with you, Susan. I pray "God heal (whoever)" and believe that He does heal and can heal. I also lean into God's sovereignty, and if He chooses not to heal that person on this earth, He is still God. I will still worship Him. He alone is in control.
My heart just hurts for those who have heard that their loved ones are sick, or are not healed, because of lack of faith. How unscriptural! And how much damage is done to that person in the name of Christianity.
Susan, I think you've tackled this subject with dignity and with respect. Great job, sister!!

Mary@notbefore7 said...


I am just finally catching up after a crazy week of moving and have truly enjoyed hearing your thoughts on the topic of prayer. I appreciate your honesty and was not offended at all. Thank you for continuing to challange the way we think and push us to Him.

Barbara said...

One of the most awful things that can ever be said to someone is that they did not pray hard enough or have enough faith. That is a lie of Satan. God is the one who is in control. This always grieves me to hear.