I Am a Rock
I’d like to take another shot at explaining why sometimes our prayers for healing don’t seem to be effective. Years ago, when John Wimber was first learning about healing, God gave him a vision to explain something he didn’t understand. Here is John’s account of that experience taken from his book Power Healing:
“Suddenly in my minds eye, there appeared to be a cloud bank superimposed across the sky. But I had never seen a cloud bank like this one, so I pulled my car over to the side of the road to take a closer look. Then I realized it was not a cloud bank, it was a honeycomb with honey dripping out on to people below. The people were in a variety of postures. Some were reverent; they were weeping and holding their hands out to catch the honey and taste it, even inviting others to take some of their honey. Others acted irritated, wiping the honey off themselves, complaining about the mess. I was awestruck. Not knowing what to think, I prayed, “Lord, what is it?”
He said, “It’s my mercy, John. For some people, it’s a blessing, but for others, it’s a hindrance. There is plenty for everyone. Don’t ever beg me for healing again. The problem isn’t on my end, John. It’s down there.”
I’d like to have you consider an analogy: If, as John was shown, God’s mercy for healing is not lacking, but available in abundance, then we might see it as something like a vast body of water. Now let’s imagine that the human body is like a rock surrounded by this water. In order for a body to be healed, it must absorb the water that surrounds it.
We tend to see the problem as one of God withholding His power and mercy for some reason, but that isn’t what’s actually happening. There is plenty of power available. The problem is that in the same way most rocks aren’t porous enough to absorb water, there are many things about the human condition that can make our body and soul unable to receive what God has freely provided. A sponge has many holes in it which can absorb water, and in order for us to receive healing, we must become porous like a sponge.
I believe it is mostly the attitudes of our hearts and the lies we believe about ourselves and about God that prevent us from receiving His healing power. Most people are unaware of the beliefs they have about God that are false. They’re also unaware of things they believe about themselves that are not true. These false beliefs harden us like a stone and they hinder our receptivity. The trick is to allow the Holy Spirit to expose the lies we believe, ask him to show us the truth, and believe what He tells us. We must ask Jesus to heal the wounds in our souls caused by painful events from our past. We must also forgive those who have wounded us, and forget the offenses we’ve been carrying around. As we do these things, we will absorb God’s abundant healing power, which will allow us to live in health and the knowledge of the truth.
Prayer is not overcoming God’s reluctance. It is laying hold of His willingness.
~ Julian of Norwich