This is a follow up to the post about praying for good health.
Last Sunday our church had a “Healing and Wholeness” service. They do this a couple of times a year and the idea is that we believe God wishes, in some cases, to heal us, and, in all cases, to bring us wholeness.
And so I had Sally and one of the Elders pray for me in person.
Talking about being prayed for is weird, mostly because spiritual things aren’t easy to describe in words. In some cases you don’t feel anything when you’re being prayed for. In other cases you will get a sense of peace, or happiness. Sometimes there is a physical sensation of some sort. And at other times more unusual things happen – for example, I’ve seen people fall over, semi-conscious, kinda like shutting down physically so that God can work on the spiritual stuff – forced meditation I guess!
Anyway, in this case not much seemed to happen. Does that mean that nothing has actually happened? No! Not really. I believe that whenever we speak to God something happens – he hears us, understands us, and though we may not see, hear, or feel the effects, we have made a request and had it heard. A bit like sending a letter to Santa – nothing happens when you send the letter, but you will (eventually, if you’re a good boy/girl) get some kind of response!
And on that Sunday certain things started moving. Later, at home, I prayed and had my own little conversation with God. Again, it’s hard to explain how but I felt that God “spoke” to me – not in words as such, but a message arrived in my mind or my spirit or something – and he said that I could “start thinking again”. Certain things, in my head, have kinda been on hold while all this illness and injury has been ongoing. God was telling me that I could take those things off hold.
That was a bit odd as I didn’t feel any dramatic improvement at that point.
However – in the morning, on Monday, I felt like a different person! Really, overnight the pain had gone from being a painful, broken, sort of pain, to being a tired, weary, will-be-better-soon sort of pain. Psychologically I felt MUCH stronger too. It really was a remarkable change – I suddenly felt like me again. Oh, and I was really hungry!! My appetite increased substantially!
Following that I’ve had a steady week – the pain has come and gone a bit, but it’s not felt harsh and difficult, it’s continued to feel like recovery rather than injury. I’ve been laughing, smiling, joking, and enjoying myself.
I’m not about to enter into a discourse on the nature of prayer and answers to prayer here – maybe another time – I just want to record my experience and give thanks for it. I’m happy for people to dismiss this as coincidence, or psychology, or a perfectly normal physical recovery. But I know that something slightly more than that has happened. As William Temple once said: “When I pray, coincidences happen, and when I don’t, they don’t.”