In the same way that one can observe
the effects of counselling, painkillers or antidepressants . . .
prayer is measurable. No one knows them as well, as deeply, as
closely, as personally as their God. This is a time to capitalise on
that relationship; to draw help, strength, courage, wholeness and
health from it . . . The act of seeking makes the relationship
Dr Robert Buckman
We who love the Lord know that prayer
is the life-blood of our relationship with the Lord. Dr Robert
Buckman, who wrote this fascinating testimony to the power of
prayer, specialises in caring for the dying, but is not a man of
prayer himself. He is by no means the only “secular” source to
affirm its efficacy.2
When griefs and pressures piled in on every side, Paul never missed
an opportunity to ask others to pray for him.3 May the Lord help us
to get into the habit of doing so too.
When ultrasound scans showed that baby Yelena had a seriously
enlarged heart, the Church in Shetland started praying. By the time
the family reached Aberdeen for an emergency operation, to the
mystification of the medical staff, the baby’s heart had returned to
The fact that God intervenes in such ways to heal some people,
however, can itself be a cause of grief for those who remain
unhealed despite enormous faith. There is a fine line between
pressing in by faith, and knowing when to pray for the grace to
accept matters taking their natural course. There are no simple
answers here, let alone any “formulae”. God does some things
supernaturally, either as a token of His love, or because of the
specific plans He has for us.
Take hold of appropriate Scripture verses and pray for the Lord’s
healing touch to come on all that is out of line with His will.
There will always be blessing as we do so, provided we do not tell
God what to do, or roll the blame for any lack of physical
improvement back onto the person concerned – especially if promising
early signs do not progress into the complete healing we were
Reflect and Pray
Prayer is not only a spontaneous response to difficulty but also as
a strategy that requires both thought and planning.
Every time we meet together with brothers and sisters in the Lord,
we share matters that are worthy of prayer.
It is so often when we turn from “coffee and chat” to “coffee and
prayer” that God releases His insight and His power.
May the Lord give us the vision and the courage to move beyond
sharing information and say “Let’s pray together.”
Spirit of Prayer,
harness us to bear real fruit before Your throne,
and to bring You great joy in the process.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Burden bearing in the Spirit
The world scoffs at a man weeping for his neighbour’s sins as if
for his own, or even more than for his own, for it seems contrary to
nature. But the love which brings this about is not of this world.
Angela of Foligno
Many of the Biblical writers used the Hebrew language to play on
words – and I was tempted to spell the title of this book “Veil” of
Tears. We are familiar with the concept of walking through “the
valley of the shadow of death” – but is grief not like a veil that
separates us from so much that we love and prize?
Read More .
2 The British Medical Journal also published findings that show
remote, retroactive, intercessory prayer leading to shorter stays in
hospital and briefer duration of fever for patients with bloodstream
infections. Encouragingly, it concludes that prayer should be
considered for use in clinical practice. With the experience we
mentioned earlier of Ros, who was prayed free from her spasms, we
echo these findings wholeheartedly!
"The Effects of remote, retroactive,
intercessory prayer on outcomes in patients with bloodstream
infection: randomised controlled trial."
3 E.g. 2 Thessalonians 3:1-2, cf Colossians 4:3-4. Hebrews 13:18-19.
cf 1 Thessalonians 1:11
4 Tens of thousands prayed all over the world for David Watson, the
beloved and greatly used evangelist, when he was diagnosed with
liver cancer. David enjoyed a period of grace when strength
returned, a time he used to write Fear No Evil, the moving
account of what turned out to be his final year. Ultimately,
however, this proved to be "time given back" rather than the full
healing so many were hoping for. Sadly. some "blamed" him for his
apparent lack of faith.
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