Monday, April 19, 2010

Wasted Effort?

Praying for a Sick Christians is a Waste of Time
This statement is rather blunt. Many people will be able to point to times when it was not true, but it points to a truth that all Christians need to understand.

When a Christian friend gets sick, the usual response is ask God to heal them. A good Christian will send out emails and phone many of their friends to get as many Christians as possible praying for their sick friend. This love and compassion is admirable, but it is mostly a waste of time, because it fails to understand the cause of sickness and what Jesus has accomplished.

The reason that praying for sick Christians is a waste of effort is that Jesus has already done everything had to be done for salvation (healing). There is nothing more that God can do except increase our faith and knowledge of his love.

The Christian who asks God to heal a sick friend does not understand God’s character. Pleading only makes sense, if we could change his mind. Our approach to prayer and healing assumes that he is stingy, but might heal the person, if enough people ask him. This is nonsense. God is good. He so badly want us whole that he allowed his only son to die a cruel death. He is not holding back his healing, waiting to see if we are desperate enough to beg him to change his mind.

We need less praying, and more understanding of how Jesus died on the cross to defeat sickness. When a Christian gets sick there are two possible reasons. I will discuss those tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

Richard, I struggle with this concept. What is the purpose of prayer for the needy, weak and sick Christians then? We discussed this one night in our home-group and I think I used your exact words saying if we pray for fellow Christians who are sick, does that mean we are asking God to change his mind? The responses were in the affirmative. If God knew us before we were conceived, and knows the road we are going to travel, why do we think we can ask him to change that path? This leads into another crucial subject for Christians - how do we pray without mocking God? Very challenging topic I must say.

By the way .... If what you are saying is true, what can possibly be the basis of the faith-healing ministries around the world?

Ron McK said...

Sorry for the delay in replying,because this is an important question.

Praying to change God’s mind is generally a waste of time. But prayer is not a waste of time, because prayer is mostly about authority.

When God created the world he gave dominion over the earth to mankind (see Psalm 115:16). Despite mankind stuffing things up, God he keeps his word, so he will not act on earth without getting permission from a human who has legitimate authority on earth. Prayer is finding out God’s will and giving him authority to do it. Prayer is about giving the Holy Spirit permission to do God’s will on earth.

Since the cross, Satan has been a trespasser with no legitimate on earth. Prayer is about standing together with other Christians to resist the enemy and force him to flee (James 4:7).

In this context, healing ministries make a lot of sense. See the links in the post tomorrow.

This is an important topic. I will attempt to do a more detail post on the issue in a couple of weeks time.