by Robert Brow (www.brow.on.ca) Kingston, Ontario February 2008

 God has designed this world so that no one lives for ever. So when someone dies in a ripe old age, our faith is not shaken. When a young man is killed in battle or drinking and driving , we do not blame the Lord but we feel for the family and know that they will mourn for many months and years.
What shakes our faith is when we pray believing it is God's will that the person will be healed, and it does not happen.
In some cases we can see a reason why prayer for healing is not answered. Paul had a terrible affliction (possibly an eye disease).  "To keep me from being too elated, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me, to keep me from being too elated.  Three times I appealed to the Lord about this, that it would leave me, but he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of the Messiah may dwell in me" (2 Corinthians 12:7-8).

Two years ago I was flattened by a stroke which has left me handicapped in various directions. Many have joined me prayer that I will be free for a more "normal" life. But I have time to pray and write for my website, as I am doing now. I can't drive or speak clearly but I can answer e-mail (browr@sympatico.ca).
But what can we say when a couple have a badly handicapped child? They and their family pray for healing, but there is no progress. The strange thing is that when you talk to the couple personally, they will often explain that the child is a gift from God and a great blessing to them.
I heard recently how church members all joined in prayer for the healing of a mother. After several weeks she died and left her widowed husband and three small children. There seemed to be no reason for this, and many wondered whether God cares and answers prayer for healing.

Every month we offer dozens of spoken and unspoken prayers for healing. There may be a sudden fear of a heart attack, inoperable cancer, or some serious condition in one of our children. Usually we hardly notice when our body gets back to normal. The plain fact is that God is healing us every day of our lives. It is only when prayer is not answered as we expect that our faith is shaken.

When prayer is not answered faith says "Father I do not understand. The fact is I am deeply disappointed, but I know you love me and the person I was praying for. I know you have a purpose in this, and I admit I may not see your plan in this life."
And when death occurs we are assured that fullness of life is full of love and joy on the other side.
Robert Brow


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