Sometimes praying for a miracle seems like trying to capture lightning in a bottle. It can feel like a random shot in the dark, but I don’t think it’s supposed to be that way. I think we have to understand faith and what the Bible means when it talks about “the gift of faith.”
I’ve believed in supernatural healing for quite some time, and I’ve prayed for countless people to get healed. Honestly, at least up until this point, most of the people I’ve prayed for have not gotten healed, yet there have been a handful of times where I have seen God bring almost immediate relief to the hurting individual.
I remember one time in particular in 2013. I was with some friends sharing the good news and praying for the sick in front of Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. We were talking with a couple of open-minded, intelligent young adult immigrants from the Middle East named Max and Ahmed. From the garden of Eden to the law of Moses did the death of Christ on the cross, I spent about 30 minutes explaining fully the good news. When we asked if they had any physical elements we could pray for, Max reluctantly admitted he had lost his job in recent months because of the severity of his carpal tunnel syndrome. When he shared that, something clicked inside me. I had a knowing deep within. I understood that this man was about to get healed. It wasn’t enthusiastic or emphatic; it was quite matter fact, it doesn’t mean I am, well, you’re about to get healed. My friends and I prayed twice for the individual. We asked him to do something he would not have been able to do before to test it out, and I remember clearly the sense of bewilderment on his face as he began to snap and clap without any symptoms of pain. My friends and I began to rejoice. Several weeks ago, we had a remarkably similar encounter with a Sri Lankan man in one of the nearby labor camp areas.
In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul is discussing how we have one Holy Spirit but many different ways in which he manifests to help people. When Paul makes his list, he calls each entry a gift. It should come as no surprise to you that the gift of faith immediately precedes gifts of healing and the working of miracles. I want to focus this entry on my experience with the gift of faith. I feel like I have barely begun to explore the surface of the iceberg, and it’s something I want to know more about. Here’s a few things I’ve observed so far in my practice:
The gift of faith is a gift. You don’t make it; you don’t earn it; and you can’t conjure it with an incantation. You cannot turn it on and off with your will, but you can definitely facilitate an environment that is conducive to it.
The gift of faith comes through the Word of God. If you’re not convinced God wants to heal somebody, you probably won’t risk trying to lay hands on them. Also, I believe the craziest, wildest manifestations of God spirit come to those who have the deepest, quietest assurance that God is who his word says he is.
The gift of faith follows the preaching of the gospel. Let me first say that I am not trying to state the gift of faith only occurs when you are out sharing the good news. What I am saying is that in my personal experience, I see a powerful connection between the bold proclamation of God’s redemptive plan and the functioning of the gift of faith.
The gift of faith is easy. Yes, that’s right – I said easy. It’s not something you have to muster up. When you receive it, you know that God is going to move, and there is no doubt in your mind.
The fact is this: God has already decided to heal every person of every malady, sickness, and disease. The heavenly power is just as available as a warehouse with aisle after endless aisle stacked floor to ceiling with brand-new elbows, knees, eyes, and hearts. “Why aren’t more people healed?” you ask. It’s not a problem of supplies; it’s a issue of distribution.
God has already decided to heal every person, but heaven is waiting on the agreement of people in the physical realm to release heavenly resources to the physical realm. It will not happen without human agreement. And that agreement is the essence of faith.
Stay hopeful, my friends.