Acts 19:12 “When handkerchiefs or aprons that had merely touched his skin were placed on sick people, they were healed of their diseases, and evil spirits were expelled.”
When someone you love is in the hospital it is a very stressful time. The patient just wants to go home but they must wait to be released. The family spends hours upon hours sitting around, waiting. Waiting for the doctor to come in, waiting for the test results or just waiting to spend time with the loved one. The financial burdens of hospital stays only adds to the stress and sometimes the cost even seems out of reach for many families.
We had the privilege of visiting hospitals in several countries and I use the term privileged as a tongue in cheek statement. The hospitals in Kenya and Nepal certainly have made me appreciate our medical system more and more. Open windows in the patient wards, disposable rubber gloves hanging up to dry, boxes of used castes waiting to be reused, and lots of tubing or needles laying around unwrapped. One of my prayers every mission trip is for our team members never to be sick enough or injured enough to have to visit such a hospital. We also buy traveler’s insurance that allows for medical evacuations for the teams in any extreme situation. Praise the Lord, we have never used it.
The local people in countries like Kenya and Nepal do not get many options when it comes to their illnesses. If they are sick, they will have to visit one of local hospitals or clinics. Their families of the patient will provide a lot of the care themselves because some of the hospitals do not provide food, or bedside care or cleaning services in the area for the families. There are many shortages of doctors and nurses that force the family to do a lot of the care themselves. The problems are more pronounced once you leave the larger cities and move out into the rural areas. Situations like these may help to explain why the life expectancy can be much shorter in countries like Kenya and Nepal.
In Jesus’ day, we do not hear any mentions of medical facilities. We do hear about doctors, in fact the gospel writer Luke was a doctor before he was a disciple. He is also believed to be one of Paul’s traveling partners during his missions. We do hear lots about Jesus healing the sick throughout his ministry time as well as performing many other miracles. I love the verse in Acts that I put at the top of this post that tells us that any piece of cloth that touched Jesus’ skin could be used to health the sick. Jesus did not even need to be present for His healing power to work. The gospels also shows us another example of this in the story of the women who touched the hem of Jesus’ robe and was healed of her bleeding problems. This is such good news for us even today. Jesus’ power can still be used to heal us in times of sickness. Through prayers and laying on of hands, we can still ask for the power of Jesus to heal our sick family, friends or ourselves. It is so amazing that God’s healing power is still at work here on earth. Sometimes the healing may not be in a way we expected or in our requested time frame but He is faithful none the less. Death may even be the ultimate healing that needs to take place.
James 5:14 “Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord.”
The next time you are dealing with an illness in yourself or your family, remember Jesus is the great healer. There are many wonderful prayers that we can pray for healing. Many such prayers can be found on Christian websites. I found a beautiful example on www.lords-prayer-words.com:
Prayer for Healing
Lord Jesus, you are the master of life and death. Everything I have is yours, and I love you very deeply. Just one touch from you restores the sick, heals the broken, and transforms the darkness.
Only you can do this
So I ask that you would be with (name) right now
May they sense your presence
May they feel your power
May they know your love
May their body be overwhelmed
With light and truth
With healing and wellness
Just as it was in the beginning
As you first intended us to be
May they be restored
I ask for your healing on their body right now
Thank you Lord that you hear my prayer
That you have overcome the world
That you hold all of heaven and earth in your loving hands
And that you have given us the promise of eternity
In our hearts forever
May the Lord Bless you and keep.
Matthew 28:19 “Therefore, GO and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”