Series: The Word
Isaiah 53:5 ESV
I once was Director of a Healing Prayer Service for a large church. The most remarkable part of that ministry was that I had the privilege of working with many many gifted pray-ers.
Every week they would come and either stand or sit near the front of the church. People would come to hear a short message about healing and then the rest of the service was silent. Anyone could go up front to ask for prayer.
Each request was heard and the service was over when every person requesting prayer had been prayed for…
It was a great service.
I first heard about it when I was not in a good place in my life.
I’d read about “hitting the wall” in books but I’d never experienced it.
The year I turned fifty I hit the wall big time.
I lost everything. Without warning I lost my marriage of 30 years. I lost my new home (and a great deal of inheritance money that I put up for the down payment). I lost the ministry. I lost my church. I lost all of my friends except people at work.
To this day I’m not even sure what happened.
The only thing I had left was my old car and my job that did not pay enough for me to live on. Within a month God did a miracle and I was promoted at work and I made enough money to buy an old condo.
I remembered what Isaiah wrote about in Isaiah 53:5 when he wrote about what Jesus would go through for us:
“But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities;upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.”
For months after I lost everything I cried and I asked for healing.
It helped me that I knew what Jesus experienced for us (for me).
I kept wondering what Jesus felt. He was betrayed and left alone by his closest followers. Only one disciple (John) was at the crucifixion when He suffered and died. All of the other disciples scattered.
As if that was not enough, He suffered horrific pain and humiliation.
They pierced His body.
He was nailed to the cross and died of asphyxiation.
He was physically, emotionally, and mentally crushed so we could be forgiven.
His punishment set off a chain of events that eventually brought us peace.
Because of his wounds we were (are) healed.
When everything in my life fell apart I felt guilty. I kept asking God to show me what I did wrong. I was sure I had messed up. I prayed for months that God would tell me or show me what I did wrong to deserve all the losses.
God did not answer and I took that to mean that maybe God was unhappy with me.
That’s how I felt when I heard about the Healing Prayer Service. I went every week but I was crying so hard I couldn’t talk to anyone. I couldn’t tell them what I did wrong because I didn’t know what I did wrong.
Gradually, ever so gradually I was able to go up front for prayer, but in the beginning I just said, “please pray for me”.
They did pray.
That service and those prayer warriors carried me.
Ever so gradually I could breathe again.
Then I was able to go for a few hours without crying.
A few hours of not crying turned into a day and a day to a week and a week to a month.
Then one day someone asked me if I would like to pray for others and I became a pray-er at that service.
One day they asked me to be Director.
I understood how people felt who came for prayer. I finally knew a little bit about what being pierced felt like. I had been crushed but Jesus took the punishment for me. Jesus carried the weight and Jesus gave me peace.
By His wounds I was healed.
Gradually I quit wondering and obsessing about what I did wrong.
Then one day I knew what healing felt like.
Spiritual Practice: Healing
Sit with Jesus. Be healed.
In God, Deborah