Tuesday, February 23, 2016

On healing prayer and ministry -

"Sometimes our wounds may be thorns of blessing that we misconstrue?"  }:-

Last night my wife, daughter-in-law and I attended a healing prayer meeting.  We love that believers understand that all the gifts of the Kingdom are present in our time, (because of course, the Kingdom IS indeed present!)  We have personally witnessed physical healings, the immediate kind and the longer term kind, but I must confess it is the beautiful inner healing that comes through forgiveness and repentance that moves me to tears of JOY.  Although I must also confess it was nice to see my wife's TMJ (jaw) issue healed last night!  };-)

My personal issue with the healing ministries is the tendency to make a "show" of something that is so beautiful and intimate between the Lover of our soul and us.  Those who truly practice healing prayer effectively do so in utter humility and the knowledge that it is the Spirit of God that heals.  Which brings me to the subject of this "moosage", that our wounds are too often misconstrued, and in a holy contradiction are actually meant as blessings from our Father who knows best, (not always, but often.)  The Apostle Paul himself referred to the "thorn in my side" that the LORD allowed to remain as a blessing and not a curse.  "My Grace is sufficient for you."  Far too often we are too quick to desire physical healing when God has something of far greater, eternal importance for us, (again, not always, but often).  This is where much prayer (the listening kind in silence and solitude) is of greatest importance.  The ancient fathers and mothers knew this well, and practiced it.  We in this time would do well to seek such wisdom and healing, instead of the "fast food", give it to me now Western solutions to all our perceived needs.

I also personally believe that Jesus's greatest concern is always for "inner healing", healing of the heart and soul.  Medicine has shown that stress manifests itself in humans and all Creation in destructive ways.  Heart disease, cancer, gastro-intestinal, mental illness, etc. all have origins in spiritual and emotional stress.  So, often inner healing (and prayer focused there) will lead to physical healing.  Now it's true we won't often see the miraculous, instantaneous healings of many of the "celebrity healers", but the transformation is no less miraculous and has eternal benefits to the one healed thusly.

Do Patti and I practice healing prayer as part of our "ministry"?  Well yes of course, but probably not in the same way as many others, including the "celebrity healers".  Our lives in Christ and this ministry we choose to call "Anam Cara" (soul care & soul friends) is modeled after the lifestyle Jesus chose for himself when he walked this earth.  The pattern is simple; intimate time spent with our Father in silence and solitude, intimate time with others discussing life and God's Word, and applying it all to daily life, then after this preparation, encouragement and accountability we go out into the world to proclaim the Good News, to heal, and to baptize in the Name of the Holy Trinity, Three in One; Father, Son & Spirit.  Healing often comes simply because we are present as Christ's Love and Light, we don't have to speak special incantations or do anything in particular to witness the Spirit's work in others.

As I often remind other disciples I meet with, it's all about abiding in Christ, (John 15), or as mentor Eugene Peterson puts it, "a long obedience in the same direction" toward our true Home in God, and continually immersed in His "unforced rhythms of Grace".  Indeed, we may also carry wounds and scars from our own experiences of living in this broken world with broken people, (including our own family and loved ones), but the Lover of our soul has promised that He will "work for the good in all things" and bring blessing, growth and transformation out of trials and suffering.  "Fear not.  In this world you will have trouble, but I have overcome the world."

For me in a deeply personal and intimate way, this is the ministry of the "wounded healer" that another beloved mentor, Henri Nouwen, lived and wrote about.  I am grateful and content in this season for I am more often caught up in the Kingdom than in the world.  We are all on this Journey together, though our experiences and ministries may look different along the way, mutual encouragement, support and accountability are our shared blessings as we travel.

anonemoose monk 💔~💜 }:-

#agnessanford #williamvaswig

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