Why Do My Prayers for Healing Never Work?

by Lisa DeRosa
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by J. Thomas

I definitely do NOT have the gift of healing. Whenever my wife is sick with a cold, she asks me to pray for her. Actually, when she feels like a cold is coming on, we pray preventive prayers that she would not get sick. Inevitably, she gets sick, and we pray for a speedy recovery. The result – extra two weeks of runny noses and achy muscles. Then, we pray for complete healing, and the cold gets worse, passes back and forth in our household and before you know it, she’s sick again. I pray in faith and invoke the name of Jehovah Raffa, God the Healer. I pray with persistence, with fervency, and based on Scripture and activated by love and Holy Spirit, but I do not feel confirmation in my heart that my prayers had any positive impact. This has happened time and time again for 17 years over dozens of colds, flu-like diseases, and a handful of mystery ailments. I’ve now come to the conclusion that healing is not one of my spiritual gifts. I have others, but for the gift of healing prayers, God has chosen to use another part of the body.

If you read the title of this post and hoped to find answers to praying more effectively for healing, I am sorry to disappoint you. It’s more a question I ask out of frustration. I have some acceptance that I can’t have every spiritual gifting, but I’m really disappointed. I want my prayers for healing to be effective. That’s my hope and goal, and no matter how hard I try, I do not feel a win. Maybe 2 or 3 times, I can claim in faith, but that is a hugely losing record. I can’t answer the question above, but I can share with you how I’ve moved to deeper acceptance and knowledge of the Healer. A perspective that has transformed my relationship with Him, myself, and others.

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photo by Oleg Illarionov on unsplash.com

Through the prophet Joel, God says, “I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten.”

Over the last 7 months, I have been experiencing a different type of healing directly from the Healer. Healing from emotional wounds, and specifically, childhood emotional wounds. There is supernatural healing going on in my life. Let me explain. I think the first 20 years of my life was about being inflicted with a host of emotional wounds and forming maladaptive ways of dealing with the resulting pain. I’ve self-diagnosed myself with Childhood Emotional Neglect (CEN), where my parents raised me, gave me food and shelter, kept me safe and even helped pay for college. For some reason, my emotional needs were not met. When it came to meeting emotional needs like feeling loved, valued, and important, there was a cultural, generational, and language gap. I think about how I never expressed to my parents how I felt sad because I didn’t know the word for “sad” in Korean. I grew up in emotional survival mode and got my validation needs met by performing well academically and coping with my loneliness with fantasies of meeting a wife at age 14. I taught myself how to ride a bike in fourth grade. And it wasn’t even until college that I learned that I should brush my teeth in the morning AND at night before going to bed. Those are the humorous symptoms of my CEN, but my family system wounded me with false core beliefs about myself and what’s lower than very low self-esteem? Right, NO self-esteem.

Over the next 20 years of my life, the negative fruit of these emotional wounds came up, and I had to deal with them and pay the consequences. As I worked on issues in therapy and with God, I might have worked through and received healing from two, maybe three, of my core emotional wounds. Three in 20 years is not bad at all as the deep work of self-reflection, reliving childhood trauma, and forming a new mindset is a life-long process.

But here’s the thing, over the last 7 months, I’ve gone through maybe 7 major healing moments resolving a lot of the emotional baggage and receiving an outpouring of God’s perfect parenting – the way he intended before family sin patterns worked its way down for generations. To go to a medical doctor, there is no reportable physical healing. I still catch colds, my body aches, and my right leg is still longer than my left. In the unseen depths in my psyche, there are emotional bullets being extracted, atrophied muscles of self-care getting stronger, and the wounds from beating myself up are on the mend. And even more, the habit of beating myself up is abating one day at a time.

The reason I can testify that these have been miraculous healings is from understanding the way our bodies and God works. With proper medical treatment and rest, our bodies really heal on their own. Common colds work their way through our systems and the most we can hope is to manage the symptoms. Broken bones heal on their own when the bone is set properly. Even emotional wounds have a natural way of healing when we form healthy relationships as adults. The Healer works through natural means and regular people like my therapist, friends, 12-step sponsor, and pastors. The Healer works through the proper administration of medication from professionals.

So where’s the miracle? I see the miracle in two ways. First, when the healing that takes place that might normally take 40 years takes place over seven months – that is the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit. Second, that I can claim in faith that it was the Lord Almighty that did the work in me, that faith is a gift from God. I rarely claim a victory because I don’t want to jinx it. But as for me and my household, I am claiming that the past emotional wounds have been healed. Of course, there is more to come. In the meantime, I am watching God as he restores the wasted years.

Through the prophet Joel, God says, “I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten.”

Feature photo above by Brett Jordan on unsplash.com

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