Tag Archives: Prayer

Stirred, not Shaken

Random Thoughts

I had been working around the house all morning and really needed to get outside for a little while. I decided to water the lawn, which, with our current drought in California, is probably some kind of major crime. But the lawn had not been watered in months and I needed to get outside, so I figured I would risk the jail time and water anyway.
As I was walking out the door I remembered coming across a page of prayer requests while cleaning the table. I decided it would be a good idea to water and pray at the same time, so I grabbed the paper and headed outside.
I started in at the top of the page. There was line after line about people in desperate need. Some had recently been diagnosed with cancer. Others were entering the final stages of that dreaded disease. For one person it seemed like everyone in the family had lost their jobs. There were two cases of brain tumors: one in an older person and one in a very young child. I prayed for each one. As I did I became keenly aware of how much people around me are quietly suffering. Of course I had those kinds of questions as to why God doesn’t just heal them all. I know the technical answers but I still feel their pain and know that God does too. I was also grateful that God has spared me and my family from that level of suffering.
Then as often happens when I pray, my mind began to wander. I thought that maybe God didn’t test me like that because I couldn’t handle it. My mind suddenly switched to the James Bond movie Beckie and I have recently watched, and the scene where the bartender fixes him a martini, shaken not stirred. As random thoughts go, I was back to the prayer list, that long list of people going through trials and personal tragedies, things that could shake a person’s faith to the core. But that is not God’s purpose. God puts us through trials to stir our faith not to shake it. Stirred, not shaken.

Medical Part One

God is the source of Life, Health and Healing

Skimmer Version–Just the main points for those of you who won’t take the time to read the whole article.

• God is the source of Life, Health and Healing. A simple word study of scripture using Biblegateway.com will show this to be true
• We have adopted a naturalistic world view that sees illness and health in terms of physiology and germs.
• Doctors not God have become the go to solution for health problems
• We must adopt a Christian World View that puts God back in the center.
• Future articles on this subject will give a deeper understanding.

The Full Article

I have been sick for the last couple of weeks. It has been a strange illness consisting of a slight fever and extreme fatigue along with a half dozen of other random symptoms. Last week at church people came up to me and asked two questions in this order. “How are you feeling?” To which I respond, “I am doing better, but I am still extremely tired.” Their next question was always, “Have you been to the doctor?”
I find it funny that as Christians we think that doctors heal us. It is clear from scripture that God gives life health and healing. In the Old Testament persons went to the Temple for various medical examinations. In Deuteronomy the Children of Israel are promised that if they follow God’s Law they will not experience any of the diseases that they had in Egypt. In the Gospels people flocked to Jesus to be healed. Later in the Book of Acts sick people lined the streets in hopes that Peter’s shadow would fall on them and they would be healed.
I understand that these were miraculous healings and were given as evidence that Jesus and the Apostles were messengers of God. These types of healings are the exception and should not necessarily be seen as God’s normal way of dealing with us. But still the basic understanding is that God heals. In James the instruction is that if you are ill call for the elders, confess your sins and they will pray for you and you will be healed.
Of course there were doctors in the Bible and there are many subtle references to medicines, oils, balms and other healing agents, but those are all secondary to God.

What has happened to us? It seems that after the advent of germ theory that we have increasingly viewed illness in purely biological terms. That is not the Biblical view. In the Bible illness or health is primarily a spiritual condition with physical manifestations. In a Christian World View  Germs are not the cause of disease, rather germs are part of a complex set of physical mechanism  which affect health. If we were only physical beings then the physiological chemistry would be the whole story. But we are not just physical beings. We are much more. We are body and spirit, or body, soul and spirit. The physical is only one part.

What has happened is that we have taken on a naturalistic world view. We view medicine in terms of body chemistry and we go to doctors to give us a chemical solution. Doctors have replaced God. We don’t expect God to heal. We have no faith that God can or will heal us. I am as guilty as anyone. I make a superficial prayer that God will heal me. I have faith that God can heal me, but I have no expectation that He actually will. I fully expect my illness to run its natural course as if I live in a naturalistic world, without God’s intervention. Isn’t that the way we approach illness. We take a purely naturalistic view point. Illness is the effect of germs or chemical imbalances. If we take the right types of medications they will kill the germs and we will return to normal health. Or we need some other medications to bring our bodies back into normal balance. We place all of our faith in doctors and medicine.
We have turned everything on its head. The process goes like this. We get some small symptoms of an illness. At first we may see if it gets worse, but more often we run to the drug store to try to get an over the counter medication to head off the illness. Maybe if I take some Echinacea, Airborne or some other remedy. If that doesn’t work then we go to the doctor. He/she will prescribe some drugs and usually in a week or two we are back to normal. If it is a more serious illness we go through extensive treatments. If the treatments fail and the doctors are running out of options, then we call for the Church Elders.
When all else fails—PRAY.
Isn’t that the opposite of what we should do? We should begin with prayer. We should have some expectation of healing, supernatural or natural. We should examine ourselves to see it there is some sin in our lives. We should examine our spiritual state to see if there is something out of balance there that is affecting us physically. These are the things that need to be dealt with first in the same way that Jesus said to the paralytic, “Your sins are forgiven you.” Before He said to him, “Rise up and walk.” Of course sometimes it is as simple as the environment and germs. God designed our bodies to heal themselves. Often we just need to let our bodies do what they were designed to do.
I am not suggesting that we stop going to doctors. I am suggesting that we get our perspective straight. No doctor has ever healed anyone, only God heals. We need to turn to God first. We need to acknowledge Him as the giver of life, health and healing. We need to place our faith in Him. We need to acknowledge doctors for what they are, agents of God, who occasionally assist in God’s healing process. I wonder how your doctor would respond if you told him that. We need to stop attributing god like qualities to doctors and medicines. Doctors do not preform wonders. There are no miracle drugs. Miracles are the realm of God and no one else.
What do you think? If Americans really had faith in God would we stop being so worried about our health? If we saw God as the key to our healing would we be so worried about our healthcare system? I think our obsession with health care is a clear indication that we have turned away from God and have placed our faith elsewhere.