Attending a large church several years ago I witnessed a sad event involving a badly disabled young man and a group of young prayer people. I was sitting on the front row between two services as people filed in to hear a special speaker. The young man was being prayed for by several young ministers or possibly friends. It did not appear that he had actually asked for prayer. Unfortunately they forced him to walk up to the altar and back over a period of about 10 minutes. He was exhausted and crying.
They then showed him scriptures, and as he was crying I could see grief over his lack of faith, his frustration, his agonized desire to please his friends and to be healed, and disappointment in God. It was all over his face. But most worrisome is these young ministers apparently did not know the Biblical pattern of the healed man taking his own steps after the word of God has healed him.
Not for one moment do I think these young men meant anything malicious in their actions. We were all young once in the ways of God.
But I reacted and whispered, “oh no he won’t be healed.” A young woman standing next to me was clearly horrified and started praying against my prayers as though it was my :negative confession that prevented him from getting his healing.
But what was happening can only be called “Christian bullying.” The more they pressured this fellow and the more they forced him to walk on bended stumps the more agonized his face. Everyone here was well meaning – so what went wrong?
God insists that His work be done His way. This is the main flaw in churchianity today. The person who is to be healed is the one whose faith must be activated; the young men probably felt their faith was up to the task of healing the cripple. But that is not faith – it is presumption. When I pray for someone to be healed I am fully aware that I have not one medical skill to offer. The only person who does any healing is Jesus. The only person who can receive it is the one for whom you pray, and that person cannot be forced into it any more than Jesus can be forced to answer a prayer.
People often refuse to pray for another person’s healing saying, “But I don’t have enough faith.” True, you don’t, and that is quite right. You don’t have the faith to heal; you can’t in yourself heal anyone. I cannot fail when I pray for you to be healed because I know only Jesus does it. It is not on my back. But neither does 15 minutes of loud scripture reading and vocal pressure do anything either.
We are to use wisdom in praying for all men. Whatever else, this was not the right time, and browbeating this fellow not only did not get him healed, it increased his desperation.
Wisdom, and caution, must precede ministry every time.