A Letter Regarding the Christian, Prayer and Healing

Letters and Thoughts

I suspect you still go to hospital when ill rather than relying on prayer? Why?

Dear Friend,

This is what we might call a false dichotomy. Your question seems to imply that it’s an either or situation, that we can only have one or the other. We can either “Go to the hospital” or we can “Rely on Prayer”. The two itself are not mutually exclusive, and, as such, you preclude the possibility of a third option, namely that you still go to the hospital, while relying on prayer.

Let’s put it another way. For argument’s sake, let’s say you are crippled by debt. You go someone you know can help you, parents, siblings, friends, and they offer to help you. You also decide that you are going to see a financial counsellor to help equip you to make better decisions in the future. Why both? Once your immediate need is being satisfied why bother with anything else?

The simple answer? Because we realize help comes in many different forms and fashions. One solution can exist inclusive of the other.

Look at the Parable of the Good Samaritan found in the 10th Chapter of Luke (25-37). There were two outcomes, God could have opened the Heaven’s, reached down and healed the man beaten, bloodied and robbed on the road to Jerusalem, or he could have just sat and watched, letting him die. According to the argument that prayer must stand alone without God moving in any other way but through His direct action those are the only two choices.

Of course, the story reveals a third option. In answer to the prayers and the needs of his people God sends others, sometimes even those who are diametrically opposed to us and our way of life, to help us. Should the Jewish man beaten in the ditch refuse the aid of the Samaritan and die because they come from rivalling people or because God didn’t open the Heavens and carry reach down to touch his wounds? Or should he recognize the miracle comes in the love, care and compassion of those the Lord uses to heal us?

God is a master builder within our lives. He’s not limited to any single tool that He must use in order to help us. How He implements His plan, how He works His will, that is entirely up to him. What we know is there is no set way in which He works. (Job 36:26) Each time He moves, each time He intercedes for us can be different. Those who limit God limit their own possibilities and the power that He has to restore His people.

Prayer was never meant to be the only way in which works. It was meant as a way for His people to talk to Him, to lay their sins, their troubles and their woes at His feet. How He chooses then to act is entirely up to Him. Just because we go to the hospital, just because we turn to human help in our hour of need doesn’t mean God is any less present. It just means we understand the nature of how He seeks to help us.

I hope this helps. All the best in your journey through this world. May you find the answers you are looking for through it.

Cordially yours,

WJTM

SDG

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