Every Sunday morning, about three songs into worship, just before we receive Communion, I stand before my friends at church and invite them to experience the healing grace of our Lord Jesus.
I usually have a list in my hand, filled with words of knowledge from our ministry team. As they pray for the service each Sunday morning, they take time to listen to the invitation of the Holy Spirit to speak to specific physical and emotional needs of people attending our worship service.
I often find myself saying something to the effect of, “When Jesus died on the cross, He made a way for your sins to be forgiven and your body to be healed.” And every Sunday I watch in awe as people respond to the call for ministry and receive the healing Jesus purchased for them. I’ve seen it over a hundred times and it is beautiful every time.
But, this Sunday was different. This Sunday I was the one in need. A few years back, I became aware of a painful spot in my left shoulder while I was lifting weights. I didn’t give it much thought, changed my workout routine so as not to aggravate it, and moved on. Recently that “catch” in my shoulder has resurfaced. I felt it in the gym, I felt it wrestling with my sons, I felt it laying down to sleep, I even felt its sharp reminder when I would cross my arms.
The usual battery of fear began to run through my mind as I considered living a lifetime struggling with shoulder pain. I found myself contemplating the possibility of shoulder surgery to heal the damage. And then I remembered Sunday morning. Every Sunday morning I invite people to experience God’s healing. Why not accept my own invitation?
So last Sunday, I was the first one to the healing line! I went to the first person in the line, explained the situation and received prayer for healing. It was a simple and sincere prayer. I didn’t feel anything or hear anything while being prayed for, but at the end of the prayer I started testing my shoulder and I was pain free!
It amazes me how I am still amazed by answered prayers. I truly expected my shoulder to be healed and then I was stunned when it was. Then, I began to wonder if it was really going to last. We often program ourselves for disappointment in such a way that we have trouble receiving good gifts from God. I still find myself being careful with my left shoulder, expecting a sharp pain when I move in a certain way. But, the pain is gone! And it’s not coming back!
I know many of you have been whispering fragile prayers and holding on to fading hope. Hope for healing. Hope for freedom. Hope for reconciliation.
God answers prayers, my friends. Psalm 103 tells us He forgives, heals, redeems, crowns, and satisfies. I encourage you to stretch out and ask God to bring healing to your situation. I encourage you to let a friend pray with you at church this Sunday.
And don’t be too surprised when God answers your prayer.
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