OK, something personal. I have a rare disease. I will not go into what the disease is, but it does cause continual pain. I have been asked why I have never prayed to be healed? So, one night I went to my bed and thought, “Gosh, everyone is questioning me why I have never prayed for healing. Am I wrong?” I realized I was talking to God at that moment. I sat there and had a conversation with Him in my head. I don’t think He got any words in during our talk. He was a great listener.
Our conversation went like this.
“Lord, people are giving me grief about not asking you to cure me. I don’t see what the big deal is. Why do I need to do this? I mean really. Am I wrong? Does it show I have no faith? I agree Lord, it is between You and me, not them. We all will have trials and I am OK with this trial You have allowed me to tackle. So instead of You giving me a cure, can You give me strength? Can You give me Grace?”
Then it was not a year later that someone, somewhere, came up with, “well, have you prayed about it?” So again, I had a conversation with God.
“Lord? I know you have given me the strength to continue my days, but can you not give me the words to say when people ask me why I haven’t taken my illness to you? I mean, is there a verse or something written that I can quote? … OK Lord, I know I can’t remember quotes for longer than two seconds, so forget I asked for a quote. Well, You are right, maybe I should say that you blessed me with this illness so that I can learn compassion, empathy, and understand love. And yes, Lord, You gave me a voice to share about this illness and that it is not all gloom and pain. OK. I feel better now. Oh, thank you Lord for keeping my mouth closed and not telling them all the answers that popped in my mind that were not so pretty.”
OK, to let you into a little secret, one of the reasons I do not want to pray – “Heal me, please”. We all will have illness pop up in our lifetime. I have yet to meet someone who has never been sick. We all have trials, and I never met anyone where things went according to plan or all roses. So selfishly, I am OK with this illness. It is not gross, it is not common, and it can make things horrible for me. Like other trials and illnesses, I am accepting this one, because it has ‘given’ to me. Given? “Given” not “been given”. There is a difference. Yes, I have grown stronger in my faith. Remember compassion and empathy? It has given me those too. Know that another little something I have prayed for – is that the Lord does not let this disease progress further than I could handle. Yep, I have had a talk one night with Him.
“Lord, I think I cannot handle this getting worse. With Your help I can tackle the pain, but I really do not think I can handle the loss of some body functions. Lord, the grossness will be too much, please protect me from that. I mean, Lord, I gagged changing my kids’ diapers, how will I make it through if I lose my bowels or bladder? You know me, and You know my weakness, please spare me grossness.”
Other prayers or conversations I have are the short and sweet ones. “Lord? I don’t think I can take too much more of this; can you help me sleep through it?” Or, “Lord, ease this for me, can I have just an hour of no pain, well just reduce it to half? Yep, that works, half. That’s all I ask.” Then there is the prayers of, “Wow, Lord, this was a good day, I didn’t even think about asking You to consider my body, what a blessing You have given me!” Those are my favorites.
So please do not judge someone for not praying for healing of their-selves/bodies. From what I have studied it is OK to pray for ourselves and for healing; but is it not better for you to not judge that person for not? Is it not better for you to pray for them? That is what one of the things Christian prayer should be about — others. Instead of making them feel like you are questioning their faith, which you are, pray for them. Do not let them know you are praying for them. Remember that a person that brags that they are praying is a person who is praying in vanity.
“And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues … , that they may be seen of men, …enter into thy closet…” St. Matthew 6:5,6