I recently shared a video testimony at my church. When I watched it for the first time, I was shocked by how disabled I looked! I never feel that ‘disabled’. I find plenty of enjoyment and, after many years, fulfillment. Something not shown on the video was my insomnia. Often when I’m unable to sleep, I try to use the time to pray.. my mind wanders or I run out of stuff to say after about ten minutes, but I find I can spend hours pondering theological questions. Maybe this is my way of praying!
I never feel that ‘disabled’. I find plenty of enjoyment and, after many years, fulfillment.
Take, for example, miraculous healings and the authority of Jesus.
On one occasion Jesus was equipping His 12 disciples to go out into the towns and villages ahead of Him. We read in Luke that when Jesus was commissioning them, He gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases.
However, when Jesus ascended into heaven and spoke to them again (the great commission), He said 'all authority in heaven and on the earth has been given to me, go therefore and make disciples of all nations'. I guess from this we can assume that we possess delegated authority to share the gospel. Does this also mean we have the healing powers given to the disciples?
I was troubled by this. I am a full time wheelchair user with a speech impediment, despite many Christians claiming authority over my disability and invoking the name of Jesus. This has left me confused and reluctant to receive any prayer in public.
Does this also mean we have the healing powers given to the disciples?
I was troubled by this.
Again in Luke, Jesus sent out 72 of His followers. When they returned they expressed amazement that the demons obeyed them, and Jesus confirmed that in fact He had given them spiritual authority. I don’t know why Christians in the first century were so prolific at healing while we rarely see it. I could put together a theological answer as to why spiritual healings don’t seem to be as universal now. But I can still get disillusioned.
When you are praying with someone for their healing, I believe you do have the authority of Jesus - but you are not Jesus. You have no idea if God will heal them or not. So, you must consider the feelings of the person you’re praying for, especially if it doesn’t ‘work’. We mustn’t shout at mentally ill people, even if we think we’re casting out demons. Nor should we be commanding wheelchair users to have more faith and stand up.
You have no idea if God will heal them or not. So, you must consider the feelings of the person you’re praying for, especially if it doesn’t ‘work’.
We also mustn’t assume that we know what somebody would like prayer for, or even if they would like prayer at all. We mustn’t inflict our spiritual authority onto people who may not want it.
I believe God has blessed us with powerful divine gifts, and I encourage you to use them boldly and generously - but with compassion.
Genevieve shares openly and honestly about their experience in the church.
When my dear friend and mentor died I was in graduate school training to be a clinical psychologist. Before her death my Christian friends freely...