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Praying for Others

In Limiting God

By Gayle Raif
Dec. 29, 2015 at 10:58 a.m.


                                                                Praying for Others

I don’t often ask God to supply my/our needs.  He has said He knows what they are and will supply them.  I believe He will do what He says and my experiences have borne out this belief.

I pray for other peoples’ needs, particularly my children’s.  Why?  Because they may not yet believe without a doubt what God says.  When I pray for them, I’m hoping that when God supplies a need they can’t bring about themselves, they will gradually come to believe totally what God says.

There is one thing I can’t do, though, and that is put my hands on the back of my daughter-in-law Liz and pray for healing of her pain that many times is debilitating.  Even though Jesus says we will be able to do what He did, and even more, I haven’t had the courage to try.

Why?  I ask myself.  I think my hesitancy is two-fold.  The first is that if I pray for Liz’s healing and God doesn’t heal it, how will that affect here belief in Him?  The big question is that I don’t know what purpose God has for her pain.  Could it be to reveal Himself as a God of mercy who understands how debilitating pain can interfere with her life, but that He will help her with it?  Or is it to show her that the pain has a greater purpose?  I have no doubt God could have prevented or healed my deafness, but He chose to use it in my life to give me opportunities I would not have had otherwise and to reach people I wouldn’t have been able to if I’d never lost my hearing. 

If I pray aloud for Liz’s healing with my hands on her back, would I feel like I’m taking a stab in the dark?  I don’t know what God’s mind is for her healing.  I don’t want to ask amiss, but without knowledge, how can I ask otherwise?

Without knowing God’s will and intent and I proceed to pray for her healing, how will it affect her concept of God if He chooses not to heal her?  The last thing I want is to turn her from God, but that’s the chance I would be taking.

There is another problem:  me. How would I feel if, after my prayers, God chooses not to heal her? Will I be embarrassed?  Will I feel I didn’t truly believe God would come through with what He promised?  How will Liz see me if, after my pleas before God, He doesn’t heal her?  Would see me as a ditzy old lady?

I could say I wouldn’t pray for her healing if I can be assured I am doing so at God’s urging, or if I can be assured of the outcome.  But if I refuse to pray without those assurances, aren’t I trying to tell God what to do?

If I pray for Liz’s healing and He doesn’t come through, how will that affect my belief in, my relationship with God?  Maybe the key is to understand that a miracle doesn’t always happen instantaneously.  Many of Jesus’s healings didn’t occur until after the person did what Jesus told him to, such as go wash in a pool.

Could it be that by praying for her healing sets up an expectation that only God can fill?  Would that expectation cause her to think about God more, to start each day wondering if this is the day?  In other words, would it turn her thoughts to Him more often?

Would I be setting myself up to be used of God in a different—even mind-blowing—way?  I’ll have to do some more thinking and praying about this.

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