In one of the villages, Jesus met a man with an advanced case of leprosy. When the man saw Jesus, he bowed with his face to the ground, begging to be healed. “Lord,” he said, “if you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean.”
Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” And instantly the leprosy disappeared. (NLT)
Some of us who have been involved in church healing ministries came across books and speakers who urged certain formulae on us. If you want someone to be healed, you need to do this rather than that, you need to use these words and not those words. That sort of thing made it very hard to focus on the person and on the promptings of the Spirit. We might be too busy trying to remember what came next in the faith formula!
One such teaching doing the rounds was that we must never use the phrase “if it be your will” in a prayer for healing. Such a phrase meant we didn’t truly believe it was God’s will to heal and therefore God would decline to heal.
Fortunately for us, Jesus hadn’t read those books or heard those gurus. So when the leper asked to be healed and used those questionable words, Jesus didn’t send him away and tell him to get his facts straight. He healed the leper without querying the way he asked for healing. Which reminds us that it is not our faith or our techniques that open up the possibilities of God’s power.
Jesus responds to little faith or a lot of faith. He responds to hesitancy and boldness, to confusion and clarity. For sure, healing ministry or any ministry can benefit from wise input and helpful processes. We are not to be careless or thoughtless. But in the end, God is not dictated to by our methods or expertise. Or lack of it. Our faith is not expressed in some formula, but in sheer helpless dependence.