Prayer for healing

My one grand story of answered prayer for physical healing occurred when my brother and i prayed for a friend whose shin splints were so bad that he could barely use the stairs. my brother is part of a cessationist church culture but my friend and i were Vineyard attenders.
we laid hands on his shins and asked God to heal them.
he was not better.
we went and watched a movie after that.
the next morning, he said, he got all the way down the stairs before he realized his shins didn't hurt anymore.

if God doesn't do it right away does he not get the credit? when he healed Peter's mother-in-law from her fever she got up right away. some lepers got better right away, some realized tehy were better as they went on their way. some blind guys saw right away, some needed spit and mud on their eyes and saw people walking around like trees. even Jesus took some time for some of his miracles to complete. of course he's healing lepers and blind and deaf people, i'm talking about shin splints. they're related by a thread.

that "healing," if you even gratn that it was one, is the only one i can remember being associated with. even before i was an elder i would pray for God to heal people. i'd lay hands on them or pray from a distance. my wife would be so sick i'd pray with as much faith and earnestness as i could find and nothing happened. the crazy thing is i still pray for people to be healed right then and there. isn't the definition of crazy doing the same thing and expecting a different result? i think Paul gives us a separate category, fools for Christ.

but perhaps i'm praying for the wrong thing. maybe the illness comes by the demonic. i have one of those stories. i was a teen when i read the brief book Pigs in the Parlor. btw, i'm not recommending this book, i'm just saying i read it when i was having this miserable sore throat. so i rebuked the demon that brought on this illness in the name of Jesus. and the sore throat went away, right away. it was a bit traumatizing. did that mean a demon was oprressing me? were my allergies spiritually generated? did i just become a nutty charismatic? was i casting out demons by the power of the devil so i could be deluded? it was so weird for me and i wasn't comfortable with the theology of the book that i never did this again, even though it worked. Jesus encountered enough demonized people, in the synagogue usually.

i have participated in an exorcism. well i think i did. i'm not sure how to distinguish it from mental illness. i'm sure there are mentally ill people who aren't demonized just like people who are physically ill without demonization. anyway, it seemed that this woman reacted to our prayers. she wasn't delivered that day. it was the most freaky thing i've ever done. at one point, when the group was resting and wondering what to do next i started praying for her in tongues and that provoked a, well, demonic, response from her. she seemed to grin and taunt me as i prayed. everyone else figured they'd join in and do the same. all the same, i didn't like the whole thing because she wasn't healed and no one knew what to do. maybe it was a prayer and fasting kind and we didn't fast.

in conclusion, my prayers for healing have been one in a thousand. my prayers for deliverance have been one in a couple. maybe the deliverance prayer is option number 2 in the Kingdom of God offense. (that was an oblique football reference). Lord give us wisdom and may your kingdom come and your will be done.

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