Daily Reform, 1 Kings 17:13-24
About the Reformer
Luther, who had denied the gift of healing for this time, lived to see his friend Melancthon visibly brought from the point of death through his own prayers. Five years later in 1545, the year before he died, when asked what to do for a man who was mentally ill, Luther wrote instructions for a healing service based on the New Testament letter of James, adding, “This is what we do, and what we have been accustomed to do, for a cabinetmaker here was similarly afflicted with madness and we cured him by prayer in Christ’s name.” Like the two great saints before him, Augustine and Aquinas, he seems to have learned in his mellower years to value, rather than to disregard, this gift from God.
—Healing and Christianity by Morton T. Kelsey, Fortress Press, 1995
Pulling It Together
A young pastor of a small, rural church tried something new one Sunday—a service of spiritual healing. He invited people to come forward to be prayed for after the sermon. The sermon, he thought, had been both lively enough and yet subdued. It was lively in terms of what God has done; it was subdued to the extent of not getting folks’ hopes too high. After all, this was not a tent-revival, healing service but instead, a service of spiritual healing in a small town Methodist church.
Many people came forward, wanting different kinds of healing. In fact, most of the people just wanted general prayers and for that, the young pastor was grateful. His God seemed to answer general prayers just fine and the pastor had therefore couched the entire service within his own limited expectations of what God is willing to do.
Then Larry came forward and was surrounded by his family and asked for prayers for healing. From cancer. He had been diagnosed with five small tumors on the brain. The young pastor hesitated and Larry saw it. He then spoke these healing thoughts to the one holding the healing service: It is God who works the healing—not the one who prays. Don’t worry; I will still love the Lord even if he chooses not to heal me. Just pray for me. I believe.
Larry’s praise report two Sundays later was that his films were clear and his doctors astonished. God had known that a young pastor needed healed that Sunday, so he sent the unexpected prophet Larry.
© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reform: Devotions with the Reformers