Not to Heal
I was listening to a sermon by Andy Stanley this week. It was about the meaning of hope and faith, but as he spoke, he drifted into the idea of prayer.
One of his points was that while we may ask for healing, our prayers might be answered through a "no" from God. He says that God doesn't promise that he will always grant our prayers when we ask; and that sometimes we may find that God is not "willing" to say yes.
He was especially talking about healing -- that sometimes, even though we ask, God might not be willing to provide healing, even if we ask for it.
That bothered me. I think that God is always willing for us to be whole and healed. We would always be willing for our children to be healthy; I think that God is always willing for us to be healthy and whole, too. To think otherwise, I believe, sells God short.
When we are not healthy; when we don't receive healing when we ask for it, we can be pretty quick to say that God is saying "no" and that it might be that God is just not willing for us to be rid of the illness we are fighting.
I think that God loves us. I also think that God will never be unwilling for us to be healed. I believe that God can intervene; he can miraculously heal us, but that he only does that very rarely. God's will is for us to be healed, but he has set the world in motion, and he choose to not intervene very often through miraculous means.
I do think, though, that saying that those who pray, and yet are not healed of their illness, are sick because God is not willing for them to be well, would be placing God in a very unloving position.