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Campolo Doesn't Know How Healing Works

I believe in praying for healing, I just don’t understand anything about it. I don’t understand why God chooses to heal some people and not others-especially when those who are not healed seem the more deserving. We read in 2 Corinthians 12:7-9 that St. Paul who healed many others, never had the prayers for his own healing answered.  Except that God gave him the strength and patience to endure his sickness. To quote Mother Teresa, “When I see God, he has a lot of explaining to do!”

In James 5:14 we read that if anyone is ill you should send for the elders of the church to pray over that person and anoint the sick with oil in the name of the Lord. I wish that every church would set aside one evening a week to make that kind of ministry available to seek healing. The elders or deacons in churches should assume responsibility for doing exactly as that verse in James instructs them to do; putting a sign outside the church that publicizes the date and time for the healing services.  I suggest that such a sign announces in bold letters that non-members are especially invited. The church elders need not feel like they have to be like Benny Hinn to have a healing ministry. It’s God who heals and they are only obligated to follow God’s instructions.

A few years ago, while conducting a worship service, I had a sense that I should offer to pray for anyone who had a special need for a prayer of healing. Among the several people who came to the altar and received prayer was a man who was dying of cancer. Three weeks later I received a phone call from his wife, telling me he had passed away.

The woman said:

“When my husband and I walked into that church on Sunday, he was angry with God. He had cancer and he knew he was going to be dead soon, and he hated God for letting it happen. He wanted to see his grandchildren grow up more than anything. At night he would lie in bed and curse God. It was horrible. And the angrier he got toward God, the meaner he was to everyone around him. It was unbearable to be in the same room with him.  His nastiness just kept getting worse and worse and worse. But then you laid hands on him on Sunday morning and you prayed for him.  When he walked out of church I knew something was different. I could feel it. He was a different person. The last three weeks of our lives have been the best three weeks we’ve ever had together. We talked and laughed. We even sang hymns with each other. It was a good, good time.” She paused, then added something really profound. She said, “Tony, he wasn’t cured, but he was healed.”

What a profound insight. Cures for the body are temporal, but the healing of the mind and heart is eternal.

- Tony Campolo