A few years ago I was in the hospital with my family. Someone there was dying. There wasn’t a positive prognosis. The doctors said there wasn’t anything they could do. We waited on a miracle. Ever been there?
We pleaded for a miracle. We read the Scriptures and believed. There were many people praying and encouraging us. I categorized the prayers into three different types:
- The Wishy-Washy Prayer: It went something like this, “Lord, we pray for healing but we understand if there isn’t.”
- The Authority Prayer: “Lord we believe your word and expect that there will be a 100% complete healing.”
- The “Even-If” Prayer: “Lord, we believe your Word and expect there will be healing. But even if there isn’t, we will still trust you.”
I think I started out in the Wishy-Washy mode. Then, as I listened to many people and dove deep into Scripture, I began praying the “Even-If” prayer. I felt like that was a good “cover my bases” type of praying. But in that crucible, I met people who had an aroma I had never known. They seemed to really believe what they were praying. They prayed with authority. They expected results. They spoke of supernatural healing like it was normal. There was power there I hadn’t been around before. It was hopeful. I was hopeful. I began learning how to pray that way. I began flexing those muscles. And then something happened.
My prayers weren’t answered. The muscles I was flexing felt fake. My faith took a huge hit. And then a well-meaning person – in the hospital room – told me that the reason my prayers weren’t answered – the reason healing didn’t happen – was because of my lack of faith. Here’s what I heard: Death could have been prevented if it weren’t for me. Death was my fault. That was 14 years ago. I’m just recovering from that nuclear bomb.
It took a lot of prayer, time and counseling to get healing in this area. For years I thought my prayers depended on me. And truthfully, I think that’s partially why my prayer life is so weak. What I’m learning today is that answers don’t depend on me. Love doesn’t put the pressure on me to come through.
I don’t love my daughter if she loves me back. I just do. I don’t answer her requests based on her attitude or worthiness. She’s currently 17 years old. If I answered her requests based on her attitude or worthiness, I don’t know if she would get any answers! I do not respond to her based on how I feel about her. I respond and answer her requests based on what I believe is best for her. As much as humanly possible, I respond to her out of a heart of love, compassion, and kindness. That’s how the Father works too. It took me over a decade for this truth to sink in.
My company Media Fusion recently had the privilege to help produce a live event for Max Lucado to promote his new book, Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe. We used a format whereby people could ask questions on Facebook and Twitter and Max would answer. One question was from Linda Sutton on Facebook.
The Question on Healing
Max’s answer: It’s not on you that God decides how He answers prayer. Max said, “Everything hinges upon the character of God and the goodness of God.” It’s not about how good I am, how many verses I’ve read, how much I give, or how long I pray. It’s got nothing to do with it. Nothing. Watch this snippet and maybe you’ll receive a bit of healing yourself
3-Minutes to Healing
Don’t take a 14-year detour from understanding that answers to prayer have little to do with our faith and more to do with the Father. I know the verses we quote about having faith and moving mountains. Mustard seed stuff. Roger that. Got it. But this spicy meatball from Max helped set me straight:
Faith is not that God will do what you want. It’s the belief that God will do what is right. @maxlucadoClick to tweet
We trust Him. We pray. We ask. Then we submit and trust. Maybe the “Even-If” prayer is the right kind of prayer after all.
- Find out more about the event at maxlucado.com/coffeewithmax
- Watch the entire event
- Catch the snippets of the best moments and share your favorites
- Share your favorite moments @maxlucado, on Max’s Facebook page and using #coffeewithmax
- Purchase the book at Faith Gateway and use the coupon code: COFFEE50 for 50% off