How to pray for those who have little or no faith for healing by Pastor Don
I asked Pastor Don a question last Friday. The gist of the question is that someone I know has been diagnosed with beginning Parkinson’s disease. Their spouse is so negative, has no faith for God healing the person, and speaks very emphatically about how there is no cure for this disease, just hoping that it doesn’t become too advanced too soon. I had spoken with them about God being a healer, which was shot down. The couple do not attend a faith-based church and, since their kids have grown up, they don’t even attend Catholic Mass. I asked Pastor Don what to say to them and how to pray for them. I suspect some of you might have similar situations, so I thought I would share his answer.
Pastor Don said it is hardest to minister to a person who has no faith or negative faith. When they are in this position of no or negative faith, when you express positive statements of faith they can get angry or feel condemned. Sometimes it is hard to measure what our own response should be.
The first goal when anyone gets sick is to realize the spiritual law of agreement has to come into effect. We have to locate where the person is in their faith, what they can believe for, and then come into agreement with what they can believe. Many try to get the person to take a position of faith, not realizing it isn’t what they think or say from their head, but from their heart that dominates them. If they aren’t in heart agreement, their head belief may dominate their heart. They need to get to a point where they can get, like the father of the mute boy, “Lord I believe, help my unbelief.”
You need to ascertain what their heart’s desire is. What can they believe for? Do they express hope or disappointment? Are they really believing in faith, or do they say they believe in faith, but really don’t believe in faith in their heart? Do they really want to be healed? (Not everyone who comes to the healing line really wants to be healed. Some like the attention their sickness gives them). Do they, like some elderly people, think they have to get sick to die? Do they think God cannot do anything?
This is a bit of a harsh statement, but by the time a person has a sickness, it is a little to late to learn faith. It is kind of like learning how to drive a car when we are too old to hold a license. Some figure they will come to God in faith when they have gone through everything else in their lives. Or they will come to God when there is an emergency that causes them to need God. That is an exercise in daring, for how do we know when the last minute to come to God is in a person’s life? Do we say, in 15 minutes they will have a complete change of heart? The only way that can happen is if there is a manifest agreement between you and the Holy Spirit that overrides what you believed. God can do it, for nothing is impossible with God, but God does not do it all the time.
Faith comes from God. No matter where a person’s faith is, God can overcome their lack of faith if He chooses. But if you study how Jesus worked with people you will see that he located their faith and rewarded faith. Think of the Centurion who had such faith that Jesus never saw such great faith. Because of that faith, the Centurion’s servant was healed. Or the woman with the issue of blood who in her heart knew that, if she just touched the hem of Jesus’ garment, she would be healed.
Pastor Don said when you try to minister to relatives that have not been trained in faith, they can come back with rejection if you push too hard. To keep the lines of relationship open you may have to step back a step and pick them up where they are. If they believe that God can get the glory when their life ends, agree with them there. If they won’t agree with that, and if they do not bring Jesus to their heart, then draw back from faith for healing of sickness, and pray for faith for salvation, for salvation deals with their eternal life.
Job’s glory was that he did not blame God for what happened in his life, he realized that God was not the enemy.
In a moment of life and death, locate the person and agree with where they are at. There is no way to try and preach healing if they believe that God wants them to suffer for their faith. That belief will create their reality. Jesus accepts you where you are. There is no sin in dying and going to Heaven. God promised us that we can live until we are satisfied. But there is no need to get sick before you choose to die and go to Heaven. (Heather’s note, think of Moses).
Paul wanted to be with the Lord, but chose to stay around on the earth for the sake of the believers.
We want people to know the truth, that God loves them. Also that we love them. Perhaps all they can agree with is that they will have the happiest life possible while going through Parkinson’s. If you try to push a person beyond what they can believe for, it may put them into a position where they will curse God or get angry at God, and they will be held accountable for that attitude. We have a ministry of reconciliation, to help people reconcile with God.
This is a hard teaching for me for I love this person very much, but there is truth in what Pastor Don is teaching. I am eager for all to find the joy and healing that I know God can provide, but at times you have to patiently walk with a person where they are at, and gradually help them to expand their concept of God. Sometimes I get too pushy.
Pastor Don concluded by saying, “We can’t get people to where their faith won’t go.” And then we prayed for these people.
Have a blessed night. Tomorrow we drive my son to college, I don’t know how often I will get to the computer over the next few days, but I will try to check in.
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