How to Access God’s Healing Power
In my ministry life, I have seen some amazing things. I have seen God heal people. I have been present when extraordinary things have happened. I have seen things I simply don’t understand. I have seen the effect of what God does in people’s lives. I have come to realize that God can work in us and move in us, and it is extraordinary what God can do.
When the topic of healing arises, most of us think about healing in terms of the physical, don’t we? We think about curing illness or disease, or we think of people who are dying or injured or crippled. We think of those because we read in the scriptures that Jesus constantly healed, and we think of those things in terms of healing. And we should think of those things.
The reality is healing is much more significant. We understate what it is when all we do is think about healing from just the physical perspective. Today’s society values mental health and emotional health more than it maybe has ever before, and some injuries have been done to us, things that have been done to us that hurt us and that cripple us.
We are crippled in the way we feel and the way we relate. There are mistakes and things we have done to ourselves, and then there are things that hurt us. There are also circumstances where we don’t have control. There are also chemical imbalances and other things that have happened to us that affect our emotional state and state of well-being.
Healing is a much broader topic than just the physical.
Healing can happen because of the divine intervention of God. I have been present where God has chosen to heal someone. It is unexpected. We have prayed, but it was God who healed the person.
There is also healing that God does through science and medicine. In the Book of Genesis, chapter 1, verse 28, God said:
Go therefore, and be fruitful, multiply and subdue the earth.
The idea was to develop ourselves as human beings and conquer and grow in understanding. We are still fulfilling that Scripture today. As technology and understanding increase, we continue to do what God commanded at the very beginning, and we continue to improve.
I was born with a cleft lip, meaning my lip wasn’t joined. It wasn’t until some months after I was born that I had surgery, and the effect of it on my life was incredible. The impact on my life was such that I used to play this movie in my mind for many years, that I was a disappointment because of how I was born. I used to have this image that I played over and over in my mind about when I was born and when they gave me to mum in the delivery room. I would have played this movie in my mind when I was younger a million times. In this movie, in my mind, when they lifted me up and gave me to mum, and she saw me for the first time, she was disappointed and sad. So in a sense, I felt that was my name, disappointment, that was my name, sadness.
My father was someone who was into things that were good and perfect. When I was young, I used to play this movie in my mind all the time, and when dad saw me, he thought I had failed in life. Throughout my young life as a boy in grade school or primary school, my father would say things to me like, “Son, you are not like your four brothers. Look at you. Your teeth are crooked. Look at the way you are.” And I would go and look in the mirror and see it every day. How many people know that school can be a cruel place? With all the teasing, school was not a pleasant place for me, and so I lived with the thought that I was a disappointment, that I had failed, and that my life would come to nothing.
After a while, you begin to interpret things in your life that aren’t there.
In my early twenties, I met Rosemary, we got married, and I started work, but I failed in every job I did. Do you know why? Because I am a disappointment. I am a failure.
Do you want to know something? For various reasons, I’ve met millions of people who are just like me. You just can’t see the scars. It is because of what someone did to them, and they couldn’t stop what was happening. It was something that someone said to them. It was a way that people treated them. It was a rejection that occurred. Then you begin to pile up all these things that maybe are true and maybe aren’t, but it affects you either way.
When we had been married about two years, Rosemary came to me and said, “We don’t have a future. We can’t keep going like this because everything you touch, you just destroy, and you are destroying us.” My biggest phrase when Rosemary met me was, “I will survive. I will get by.” I must have said it millions of times. When I met Rosemary, I changed it to, “We will survive. We will get by.” But Rosemary had never seen herself like that, and one day she said to me, “We have no future. We can’t go on like this. You are broken.” And I was.
Do you know how you play movies in your mind or envisage yourself in specific ways, or is it just me?
Rosemary said, “Why don’t we go back to that very day when it all began on the day you were born.” Going back there was easy because I had played the movie in my mind millions of times. But do you want to know something? It was all in my mind. But as soon as she said, “Let’s go back there,” I was there, and I started to weep because it was such a place of hurt, as that was where my mum was disappointed in me. Do you know? But his time, I could see Jesus in the delivery room, and He said, “You are going to be alright.”
This picture might have been in my imagination, but after the prayer, a sense of the hurt being healed just came over me. The pain just dissipated so quickly. Within hours, I remember Rosemary saying, “something’s different.” When I began to look at all the movies of my life, I had been playing; my dad hadn’t ever told me he was disappointed in me. On the contrary, he told me consistently that he loved me, and he used to say to me, “Son, you are not into sports like your brothers. God has given you different gifts.” But I never heard that. My mum always loved me from the moment she saw me, but I didn’t hear that.
For twenty-five years, I limped. I was so damaged. It affected me as a dad. It affected every job I did. Yet that day, when the power of God came upon me as Rosemary prayed, it changed everything. I was never the same because of what happened on that day. I have come to believe that healing is absolutely real.
I meet people and read the stories of people who were just like me, but because of different things that have happened, maybe things they did, things that were out of their control, things that were said to them, and the stories impact upon them deeper and deeper.
People often resist healing for several reasons.
Some people have an attitude that suffering is good. You’ve probably heard the words, “I’ll offer it up to all the souls in purgatory.” As if suffering is good and makes you holy. There is no doubt the Scripture and the tradition of the Church tell us that God does use suffering. But some people just claim it for their own when healing is available in their lives.
Some people say they can’t ask God because God would not answer them. On the other hand, they believe He might answer me, Bruce, and ask me to pray because they believe God hears my prayers but not theirs.
God answers my prayers when I pray because I have seen so much. I believe. How is faith built? Faith is built like fine sand in layers. I have seen God do so many incredible things that I can’t explain, and maybe because, in a sense, I am such a damaged goods healed by God and restored by God, it has given me the ability to believe that God can do the impossible.
Some people resist healing because they believe God is real but don’t want to appear crazy. Some Catholic and Christian people say God may have done that once, but he doesn’t do it now. Jesus did it, but you are not Jesus.
Others say their prayers won’t change God’s mind. I have talked to people who believe that God has a mindset and He doesn’t change His mind. There are many examples in the Scriptures of how God changes his mind when people put their needs before Him. God seeks for us to come before Him.
The secret of healing is to believe in the one who heals. It is Jesus who heals and seeks to heal. I know I don’t have enough faith. ‘Lord, increase my faith!’
Everything comes back to an increased surrender to Jesus.
“Jesus, it is you. Help me to believe in you. Help me to have more of you.”
We are frail, and we need Jesus in our life. The prayer is, “Jesus, I want you.”
Maybe God puts struggles in our life because He is ultimately drawing us to Him. God has got the big picture for us. God wants to work in people’s lives, and He didn’t design us to limp. He didn’t create us to be less. God wants to heal and restore us so we can be in Heaven with Him.