Tuesday, July 11, 2017

10 Reasons I Pray for the Sick

Chicago

At Redeemer, God has locked us into 1 Peter 2:24, on Healing and the Atonement. This coming Sunday I will begin to preach a series on inner, emotional healing. Then, I will pray for someone who would like prayer for healing. Then, I will invite my church family (all of us) to pray for any who would like prayers for healing, whether emotional or physical. Our people are being equipped to pray for the sick!

Why pray for the sick? Here are ten reasons.

1. We pray for the sick because Jesus prayed for the sick.

2. We pray for the sick because we love people.

3. We pray for the sick because in Normal Church that's what is done. (See, e.g., the book of Acts.)

4. We pray for the sick because God commands us to heal the sick.

5. We pray for the sick because we have testimonies of the sick being healed. (This encourages us, creating faith and expectation.)

6. We pray for the sick because we are people of faith, not sight.

7. We pray for the sick because our concept of God, while incomplete, is vast. (We believe God is omnibenevolent, omniscient, and omnipotent. Hence, by using logic, God loves us, knows if we are sick, and has more than enough power to heal people.)

8. We pray for the sick because we do not believe sickness is a sign of God's working all things together for good. (No sickness in eternity, right? Yes, we live in a fallen creation. So, sickness exists. God can redeem our sickness. But I have problems with the idea that God is the causal agent of sickness. At least at Redeemer I'm not telling people, "Yay, you have cancer! God is working all things together for good in you!" That, to me, is so non-Hebraic. Luke 4:40 does not read: "At sunset, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of diseases, and laying his hands on some but not others because he wanted those others to stay sick, he healed some of them." The theological position that comprehensive healing (a Hebraic idea) is in the atonement helps here. See Bruce Reichenbach's contribution in The Nature of the Atonement: Four Views.)

9. We pray for the sick because we love seeing God glorified.

10. We pray for the sick because medicine, as wonderful as it is, is unable to cure everything.

Note: All this is out of my comfort zone. I am becoming comfortable with that, since everything Jesus is and does is out of my comfort zone.

Another note: My two books are...

Praying: Reflections on 40 Years of Solitary Conversations with God

Leading the Presence-Driven Church (Coming sometime in 2017)