‘A man with leprosy came to him’ Mark 1.40
One of the assumptions about healing held by many people is that if God knows everything about us, where we are and what we are going through, he will touch us if he wants to. Of course, there is some truth in this; he does indeed know all about us and theoretically could touch us at any time. However, from what we see in the ministry of Jesus, it appears that he tended to respond to those who came to him for prayer.
In this story, the leper approached Jesus to ask for healing. Perhaps there were other sick people standing by, possibly even other lepers who were equally in need, yet it was this man’s decision to ask that seemed to serve as a catalyst for his healing.
If this is true, how can we come to Jesus and ask? There are two main ways we can take this step.
The first is to bring our needs to him when we pray, and there are inspiring stories of those who testify to receiving God’s touch simply because they talked to him about them. A second way is to share our needs with others, and allow them to minister God’s love and grace to us. There is something about this that is much riskier, in that we have to trust others with our needs and this can be a very difficult step at times. The joy of this, however, is the encouragement to believe that when we speak to others, it is as if we were speaking directly to Jesus; and when we receive their touch, it is as if it is the hands of Jesus being placed upon us.
If we could catch this excitement as we receive prayer from other people, it would lift our expectancy to a whole new level. Rather than feeling we are just asking for prayer once again, we should try to catch a sense of what could happen as we go to meet with Jesus and receive his touch. Surely this would cause us to ask for healing in a new and more expectant way?
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission