"My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your sight; keep them in the midst of your heart. For they are LIFE to those who find them, and HEALTH to all their whole body."
- Proverbs 4:20-22 NASB
Years ago, I sustained a severe shoulder injury in my aerobics exercise class. When the pain became intolerable, I saw my doctor, who prescribed some strong medication for me. For the next ten years, absolutely nothing gave me relief from the relentless pain in my shoulder, and I began to resign myself to the fact that I would eventually have to undergo shoulder replacement surgery. When I wholeheartedly dedicated my life to the Lord, and began studying His Word, I started developing a confidence in God's willingness to heal me. As I read through the Gospels, I couldn't help but notice that a major part of Jesus' ministry was devoted to healing people of their physical ailments. I compiled a list of healing promises from the Bible, and I began praying and standing on them daily for my healing. It wasn't long before God led me to some supplements that were so effective for me, that I've been completely pain free for almost 20 years now.
If you find it hard to believe that Jesus is still in the business of healing today, you're not alone. A lot of believers share your view, and until this experience, I was one of them. While I admit that I still struggle with doubt sometimes, I can't deny the fact that since I began praying in faith for healing for myself and others, I have witnessed some incredible recoveries that have God's signature all over them. There's no question in my mind that the healing of my injured shoulder was a miracle. Medical tests showed that the damage to my joint was so severe that nothing short of major surgery would repair it. I certainly had prayed for healing during those ten years of agonizing pain, and I had others praying for me, too. But it wasn't until I began devoting myself to God and His Word that I received my healing. The Bible says that when we "attend" to God's Word, it is "life" to us, and "health" to our whole body. (Proverbs 4:20-22 KJV) The original Hebrew word for "health" here can be translated as "medicine." I believe this means that when we give our attention to the Word of God--studying it, believing it, meditating on it, and doing what it says--it can benefit our bodies, as well as our spirits and souls. If I told my doctors that my severely injured shoulder was healed with supplements, they would never believe it. And neither do I. I believe that, just as God used a simple ointment of figs to heal King Hezekiah of a fatal illness after he prayed for healing (2 Kings 20:1-7), He used ordinary supplements to heal me of a damaged joint after I began praying and standing on His Word. The credit belongs to God, not to the remedy.
I've discovered that when I pray for healing, it's wise for me not to do so with a specific remedy or pathway of healing in mind. Even if I've had the same ailment more than once, the Lord doesn't always lead me to the same solution each time. You'll recall that in the Gospels, Jesus often used various ways to heal people, even if they suffered from the same exact affliction. One reason for this may be that God doesn't want us putting our faith in a formula or a method, any more than He wants us putting our faith in a medicine or a doctor--as good and as necessary as they often are. He wants our faith to be in Him alone, and He wants us to seek Him first.
I want you to know that I still have some health issues that I'm dealing with. But nowadays, I don't just resign myself to living with health problems. I regularly seek God and persist in prayer for healing and wholeness, based on His promises. I don't lose heart as quickly as I used to, because the Bible says that it's through "faith AND patience" that we inherit the promises of God. (Hebrews 6:12) Sometimes my prayers for healing are answered right away, and other times, I've had to stand in faith for healing for weeks, months, or even years. But it's always been well worth the wait. If you are in need of healing today, don't despair. Put your faith in the Lord, and attend to His Word, trusting that one day you'll be able to declare-"O Lord my God, I called to You for help and You healed me"! (Psalm 30:2 NIV)
Prayer: Lord, teach me how to "attend" to Your Word, and to pray Your perfect will concerning my health and healing needs. Remind me to give attention to the practical side of my health issues, as well as the spiritual. Show me when I should see a doctor, and give him supernatural wisdom and skill. Thank You for continually revealing Yourself to me as the Lord, my Healer! (Exodus 15:26)
- J. M. Farro