Wednesday night, I witnessed a man get healing…
But let me back up a little.
The first book I read on prayer and healing was The Power of Divine: A Healer’s Guide – Tapping into the Miracle, back in 2006, but after the death of my almost-step-daughter, thinking about the ability to heal anyone was too painful to consider, since I was sure it wouldn’t bring her back. Oh, I believed in miracles, and believed right up until the funeral that it was still possible for her to experience a miracle. But that didn’t happen.
Years later, I slowly got curious again. Occasionally I would go to a meetup, or a class on energy healing, or something of the sort. Of course I’d read the stories in the Bible of Jesus and his disciples healing people, and knew that he told us we would do greater works than those… but I never saw any in my life. My prayers, my family’s prayers, friend’s prayers… seemed to go unanswered. I knew from a personal experience that energy healing worked, so I started learning about that. But this year I finally got drawn back to the healing power of Jesus. In the past few months I’ve discovered a ton of books on Amazon (I even made a list, here), some of which I either purchased or found as pdfs to read. I decided it was time to meet some people who were healing in Jesus’ name, in person, and learn how to do what they do. Reading is great, but just like learning French… you need practice with other people!
I located a small group of people meeting in L.A. on Thursday nights, through meetup.com, and attended a meeting. After attending one more meeting, I decided to go along with the pastor on a little healing outing, and talk to him about my idea for a short documentary film. We met up on Wednesday night at the Universal City metro station (free parking), along with another girl, and intended to drive into North Hollywood, where he thought perhaps there would be a busy area to set up in. We got a little delayed (like, an hour) because his car battery died and we had to wait for a jump. Once that got resolved, we were on our way.
Unfortunately, the streets of NoHo are not jumping after dark. We finally set up the sign and brought out flyers for the Thursday night meeting outside of the NoHo metro station. Not the greatest place because everyone going there is hoping not to miss their train. One man with crutches and a leg brace hurried past…. that would have been a great one to witness. But one young man with facial piercings and shorts (shorts?! it’s cold!!) stopped to read the sign and accept some healing prayer.
“Got any pain, anything we can pray for?”
“Yeah, my knees, they hurt.”
“Do they hurt right now?”
“Yeah, all the time, every day.”
So Pastor Troy held his hand over the man’s knee, and said a prayer for healing lasting not more than 10 seconds. Then he asked how he felt.
“Umm, the same.”
“Let me do it again.”
He prayed once more, and the man bent his knees to judge the pain.
“Yeah, it’s a little better.”
“Let’s do it again!”
Once more, the pastor prayed over his knees, and this time the man replied that they felt much better.
“Now do something you couldn’t do before.”
“Well,” he said as he bent one leg, then the other, “I couldn’t bend them like this, I could only bend them to here.” He demonstrated the difference.
Success! It may not have been healing broken bones, or blindness, but still, pain is pain. And his was gone.
Shortly after, we decided to call it a night and resolved to set up outside of a mall or a hospital while the sun was still out, next time. And maybe next time…. I’ll lend a hand.
You should never lose faith just because a prayer goes unanswered for a while. I’m sure you know this parable: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. 3 And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’
4 “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’”
6 And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7 And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8 I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”
You may need to keep praying for something for a while before you get it. There is also the chance you will never get it. God will not grant you something if it is not in his will. For example, I may ask God to let me win $300 million in the lottery. God may not answer this prayer because that might not be God’s plan for me. I will tell you one thing though. There is a 100x higher chance that God will answer your prayer, if you live a Godly life, which means you need to be free of sin. That is not easy. It means no sex until marriage. Are you prepared to make that kind of sacrifice? You will not get the true blessings that you want until you repent of all your sins. Don’t take my word for it. It’s all over the New Testament. You must repent. Does this mean you will never sin again? Of course not. Nobody is perfect. But there is a huge difference between a person who is living in sin and has no intention of stopping vs a person who lives sin-free for the most part, but occasionally slips and sins. There is a huge difference.
far the people I’ve talked to (or read about or listened to) about healing say that sometimes it takes a while for healing to take place, but to not stop praying. Or rather, giving thanks for healing, as once you’ve asked for it, it’s happened. Which, I admit, still confuses me when there are still physical signs of the thing that needs healed. I can’t see behind the scenes, so I don’t know the details of why certain things take longer to heal than others. Maybe sometime I’ll figure it out. 🙂
I think, although we’ve all been given gifts and placed in certain positions and locations… we can definitely veer from God’s plan. Or will or whatever you would call it… veer from our calling…. I mean how am I to know that I shouldn’t have pursued a career in art? I’m a good artist. Some people choose to ignore their talents and do other things. Maybe they return to their passions, maybe they don’t. But if God’s plan was for them to make use of the talents he gave to them… don’t you think He would try harder to keep them on that path and not turn to another occupation? You can definitely make decisions and go another way in life… I think God is a tad mysterious but it seems he’ll let things happen that may not always have the best outcomes. I do believe we shouldn’t pray for harmful things, but I think we don’t have a lot of faith if when we pray we tell ourselves “well, if it doesn’t happen that just means it’s for my own good, God doesn’t want me to have that.”
Again, nobody is free from sin. I challenge you to find one person in the world who lives free of sin. And not just in that moment right after they repent and ta-daaaa! No, I mean like years and years of NO SIN. Not possible. And no sex until marriage? Yeah if I was a 12 year old girl in ancient Israel…. I know nobody can seem to agree on this one, but it’s not really all that clear in the Bible, actually. A few of the words we’ve translated have had different meanings over the years (and fornication only popped up in 1303) and there’s debate over what some words originally meant. Porneia seems to have meant prostitution. Not just prostitution, but sacred or cult prostitution in idolatry. As for the virgin daughters, it was important that they knew the father of the woman’s children, so of course the easiest way of making sure it was her husband’s child is to keep her a virgin. A man violating a virgin was basically violating the property rights of her father. But find me a verse about prohibited sex between adults…. I’ve been looking. And what constitutes a marriage? Do you think Adam and Eve waited for a priest, or the government to issue them a piece of paper? Anyway, there are many, many debates about this one online. And I hardly think it’s the least of our worries. Your sexual behaviour definitely reflects the state of your mind, but rather than trying to control the result of that, why not focus on your inner state and work out from there? Sigh. Some days I think Christians are so mixed up. You could be Audrey Hepburn, dedicating her last days to UNICEF but if you’re living with your partner (even if it’s for a decade) oh God forbid, you’re going to hell. But you could be Adolf Hitler, killing everyone he doesn’t like the look of, but hey, if you saved yourself for marriage, you’re good.
How would Adolf Hitler escape God’s wrath? He murdered people. Who claimed that if Hitler’s sex life was pure, that this would get him off the hook for murdering people? I didn’t suggest that and I don’t know any Christian that would suggest that. Murder is one of the worst sins there is. It is a violation of one of the Ten Commandments. It is a far worse sin than living with your partner. What would lead you to believe that I (or any Christian) think that living with your partner is worse than murdering someone?
This is an interesting page on the 10 Commandments
It also mentions the lust verse. Now…. do you really think he meant to chop off your hand? I think that’s a clue to delve deeper into those verses….
And I was just giving an extreme example of how some Christians behave. I’ve met plenty, and have been one, who judge very harshly based on that ONE thing. There are sins, many sins that can really hurt other people. But we seem to just want to live by a set of rules. We don’t often address a person’s real spiritual development…. changes have to be made from within, not from without. And we’re always just judging what we can see. We can’t see into a person. I remember years ago when I was having financial difficulty and decided to move in with my boyfriend. I called my parents to ask what they thought. My dad said something about God being concerned with intention and not action. That’s not exact. I can’t remember now. So I moved in. And I’m sure a lot of people thought we were having sex. But we weren’t. But I’m sure people judged, and that closed me off to a lot of people because they didn’t seem concerned about me and my needs and my life. Just that I follow some rule.
Oh yeah, and what about that verse in the Bible….
New International Version
Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.
I mean, I probably don’t interpret it the same as you, but…. some people may say that means it’s worse than murder.
Speaking of the body being a temple…. I feel like that probably applies to what we wear, what we eat, etc…. but how many Christians do you know that eat crap food? How is that honouring their temple? Wouldn’t it be a sin to treat a temple that way?
I found this too…
1 John 3:21-24 “Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him. And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.”
I think that is an excellent page that you provided the link to. I think that is the kind of stuff you should be reading. You should not be reading things that try to dilute God’s word and make excuses for sin.
With regard to Jesus’ comment about chopping off your hand, I agree with you that he was trying to make a point. He didn’t literally mean to chop off your hand. But he was trying to explain how seriously people should try to avoid sin because it is not worth taking a chance of losing your salvation. You would be better off losing a body part than losing eternal salvation. He is not saying that we need to lose a body part but he is saying that we need to live a Godly life.
With regard to you living with your boyfriend, I don’t think there is anything wrong with it as long as you weren’t having sex. I understand the arguments about perception but I disagree. I think there are situations such as yours where living with the person is the only practical thing to do.
With regard to sexual sin being a sin against the body, I think that makes sense. They weren’t saying that it is worse than murder. But they were saying that it is really bad and it is bad in a different way. I think they were saying that you can’t really compare the two because they are totally different but they are both really bad and you should not take sexual sin lightly.
I agree with you that abusing our bodies is sinful. God gave each of us a body and we are supposed to take care of it. A person that is 100 pounds overweight (not due to a medical issue), is definitely sinning against their body. They are using food as an idol.
By the way, as you said, Christianity is not simply about following rules. Jesus actually rebuked those who were outwardly religious but whose lives were devoid of true righteousness. In other words, simply going to church every Sunday does not make you a righteous person. But by the same token, a righteous person will probably be at church more times than not. I mean there is no great excuse to not be there. Plenty of churches have Sunday night service, so if Sunday morning is inconvenient, there is always Sunday night. And if you can’t make it Sunday night, most churches have a Wednesday night service. If a person really loves God and thinks everything they have is because of God, you would certainly expect that person to want to go and worship God. We all get busy and we may miss some weeks but I would certainly expect a truly faithful believer to make an effort to make some time for God. I personally need to get to church more and I think the fact that I only go once or twice a month shows that my spiritual walk can improve a lot.
I’m not reading things that dilute God’s word, I’m trying to find more accurate translations and interpretations that are less jumbled up with the last 2000 years of interpretation by people who may not have had pure motives. Or if they did, they were just mistaken. It’s not in it’s original language, we have different cultural understandings of things, and I think it’s really dangerous to stick stubbornly to something without even questioning it. Even God said to question things, and I bet he’s happier with someone who is really seeking him than someone who just follows the herd because they said they’re right.
And I still think sexual sin means sex without love, or sex with a temple prostitute, or adultery. Maybe a few others, but I think those are the main ones. I don’t think it’s a good idea to do it without being in a stable relationship (because what if you have a kid?), but seriously…. how badly are we screwing up our kids by encouraging them to get married really young? Seriously. I have divorced friends already because they had to be married to sleep together. And then they have kids, and…. well that’s terrible. So they either drive themselves insane throughout their traditional childbearing years by avoiding relationships, or they rush into marriage because their hormones have taken over…. I don’t know. I’m pretty sure it screwed me up a bit.
Not just overweight people. People who drink Coke. People who eat gummy worms. People who eat cows injected with hormones and fed GMO feed. People who eat things with absolutely no food products listed in the ingredients. That.
I can’t stand church anymore. I quit going a few years ago. I went again when I was in Ghana because I felt like I’d be really lame if I didn’t join my friend, and at least give it another try…. see if it was better than what I was used to. I wanted to scream. I haven’t gone again. I do attend this Thursday night Christian healing meetup group when I can, here in L.A. But it’s got a better feeling than Sunday services. They all feel like a show to me. With a program that you can’t veer from. A band performs. A pastor has his sermon. And I hate when it’s about money. There’s no interaction with the “audience” (because that’s what we are)… we just sit quietly… and then feel like we did our duty for the week…. you should check out this book:
Pagan Christianity?: Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices
I read it on the recommendation of a woman in the church I grew up in. I read it after I stopped going to church. But it turns out what was bugging me wasn’t imagined. I really believe it was God, or the Holy Spirit, trying to get a real relationship with me and let go of man’s version of Christianity….