2 Kings 20; Isaiah 38; 2 Chronicles 32
I sat here and wondered for a time why, when Hezekiah reminded God that he had been faithful to serve God and do what pleased Him, did God heal the king suffering from a fatal disease, and give him fifteen more years of life? I kept thinking how often Scripture tells us our best deeds are like filthy rags, that salvation is a gift and can’t be earned so that no one can boast. So why was Hezekiah saved from that death sentence because of works?
I believe he was saved because he went to God, laid it all at the feet of the Great Physician. Scripture says he wept bitterly, but it doesn’t tell us what those tears represented. Were they bitter tears, tears of regret, angry tears, or tears of repentance? It seems to me they were probably tears of surrender (my opinion only), the kind of prayer God still answers today.
However, this is not a recipe for healing. God doesn’t simply heal those who come up with the right attitude, or the right words to pray.
Here’s the thing: if we are faced with a terminal illness or another seemingly impossible situation, and we go to God and pray expecting to be healed, we aren’t really going to God. We are using Him.
But if, when faced with that diagnosis, we go to God, lay our illness or situation, heartache or anxiety at His feet, submit to His will with no strings attached, the outcome of our prayer will be everything He wants it to be!
When we truly put our faith in God, we release all expectations.
That’s why I am convinced the name-it-and-claim-it theology is anti-Christ. God is not our personal genie in a bottle to grant our wishes. How dare we reduce Him to that, and think we are being obedient.
Here’s another thing, and I believe it demonstrates what Paul said in Ephesians 2:8-9:
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.
If you or I or anyone else is saved from sin or disease, we are saved because of God. Period. It’s not about us. It’s about God.
Sadly, after God saved Hezekiah, he became proud. He seems to have thought he had something to do with his healing in light of all the good things he said he had done for God in the past. And he squandered the fifteen years God gave Him.
Then he died.
I guess I feel God would have us consider Who He Is, not just what He can do for us. Do we really trust Him? Do we really have faith in Him? Can we honestly pray, “Not my will, but Thine be done?”
Then it doesn’t matter if we are healed in this lifetime or in death. I believe God wants us to pray for healing:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (Ephesians 4:6)
That includes physical healing. Don’t worry about it. Pray about it. Pray with thanksgiving. Present it to God.
When you present something, you don’t hold back, do you? When you present something you trust the receiver with whatever you’ve given. Can we do that with our illnesses and sin?
So pray for healing for yourself or your loved ones. Pray for the salvation of those God lays on your heart. Do what God nudges you to do, go to the doctor, eat more vegetables, take that 20 mile bike ride, spend time with that person, whatever and wherever God leads.
Then trust Him. Leave your request at His feet. No expectations, just God. Then Paul tells us that after we present our requests to God:
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 4:7)
I honestly believe that’s how we should pray for healing or anything, knowing God hears and answers our prayers. And we can have His peace knowing for sure that He will answer our prayers according to His own good will.