For most of the first 40 years of my life, I had head knowledge about Biblical healing. I knew the stories of Jesus healing people – healing leprosy, an issue of blood, and even blindness.
But I never stopped to wonder does God still heal today, not until I desperately needed healing for my own broken body.
September of 2017 was an exciting month for me; I landed my dream job after many months of unemployment. My former employer had closed suddenly. A few weeks into my new job, I fell in the office, complete wipeout! I jumped up, nervously laughed it off, and assumed the combo of high heels and new terrain was to blame.
But within days, my back started to hurt and a few days later I was dealing with severe back spasms. Both my doctor and I assumed I was dealing with a herniated disc, so I was off to the specialist.
The specialist agreed a disc was the likely answer but ordered an MRI “to confirm.” As the pain intensified with each day, I actually looked forward to the presumptive back surgery in my future!
Then the MRI results came in, just hours after I left the test center – the structure of my spine was fine but a “shadow” in my spinal cord meant this pain was not related to a herniated disc. My orthopedist couldn’t tell me what was going on, only that it wasn’t a tumor and I needed to go straight to the ER. I was admitted for a full week on the neurology floor, and underwent tests, so many tests.
My wait for answers, much less healing, had just begun. Does God still heal today? What about when the doctors don’t even understand the illness?
How to Wait on God
Let’s be honest – waiting is HARD and learning how to wait on God is no exception. Waiting for the weekend is hard. Waiting for a vacation is hard.
But waiting for healing as you wonder does God still heal today … I can’t speak for everyone but for me, it is the hardest thing I have experienced yet. You see, waiting in illness shone a light on some of my worst tendencies.
-I like control and I had no control.
-I like knowing, understanding exactly what is going on, and I knew nothing.
-I like taking action and I could only WAIT.
(For the Enneagram fans, you probably nailed it – I’m 100% Enneagram 6w5.)
Only one thing made the wait for healing bearable – God. While I was waiting ON God, I was also waiting WITH God. Knowing God was right by my side and would never leave me, was a constant crutch I leaned on for strength.
I turned to Him in prayer, as you probably imagine, but also became intimately acquainted with Romans 8:26:
And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. NLT
I often couldn’t form the words to ask God for healing or for temporary relief from the constant excruciating pain. But God already has a plan when His people are hurting like this – the Holy Spirit has it handled, communicating our needs even without words.
I also cannot underestimate the value of the family and friends who walked through this with me, providing strength, kindness, and prayers. Often, more than I like to admit, I was sure that the answer to “does God still heal today?” was no, at least not me; in my darkness, I would stop asking.
But like the friends in Luke 5 lowering the paralyzed man through the roof to put him before Jesus for healing, my friends were bringing me before God and begging for God to heal me. When I couldn’t believe in healing for myself, they believed for me that God still heals today.
God Still Heals
Two months after leaving the hospital, I was medicated but still dealing with a lot of pain and numbness from my waist to my toes. Oh yeah, and still no answers. Still wondering does God still heal today? Will He heal me?
Then I got in to see “the guy” for my problems and the news was bad, the worst news possible. Not only did he diagnose me with a disease some describe as the “more mysterious, more aggressive cousin of MS,” but he wanted me on chemo FOREVER, with the hope, I would not wake up one day paralyzed or blind from another attack.
Whew – my whole future and my future with my family was turned on its head in one meeting.
My doc ordered another set of MRIs before starting the chemo. While waiting for those, I continued down the same path – praying, raging, leaning on friends. Then a very special Sunday came.
A friend was performing with the worship team that Sunday and, at the close of worship, prayed a specific prayer very atypical for our church. It was a prayer for the healing of “infirmity.”
I learned later that she had been burdened with this prayer for days. She had no idea if it was for physical, emotional, or relational problems or for whom it was meant. Her burden lifted over the weekend, until that moment.
She leaned into the prompting of God and prayed big prayers and I KNEW it was for me. I didn’t know what that meant or when it would happen but I felt something shift inside me.
Several days later I had my MRIs and the lesion in my spine – the one multiple neurologists told me would never heal, would always leave at least a scar – WAS GONE.
My neuro-specialist brought me in immediately, baffled by the results. He kept showing me different views of my “sick” scans from the fall and my newly healed scans, saying things like “this shouldn’t happen” and “I can’t explain it!”
He went on to label me his “Wonder Woman” because he wondered what happened.
Well, I knew and told him – Jesus! I had the answer to a question I didn’t even realize I was asking; God really does heal today!
What is a Good Prayer for Healing?
There is no right or wrong way to pray for healing. We can always cry out to our merciful God. But there is a good prayer for healing that has served me well over the years when I feel most burdened:
- I start with thanks because even at my worst, I was surrounded by blessings like family and friends.
- I ask God for forgiveness where I’m struggling to follow Him.
- Then I ask for what I want/need, like physical healing.
- Before closing, it’s time for the hardest part – surrender to His will, even if it is different than what I am asking to receive. Oh, how that surrendered part hurts sometimes!
A good prayer for healing might look like this:
“Lord, even as I struggle today, I’m so grateful for my children and my husband and the life we have together. Thank you for them and all the other blessings in my life. I know I struggle with my anger, snapping at them even though I love them. Help me rise above, releasing that anger.
Also Lord, please, please heal my spine! Take away this lesion they say won’t go away. But if it is Your will that I stay in this condition, show me how to accept that and to serve you regardless. In Your name, Amen.”
Why Does God Heal Some and Not Others?
I witnessed the answer to does God still heal today, but sometimes He does not heal everyone. Over the last 3 years, this has been a huge struggle for me at times. In fact, two of my dearest friends have not yet received their healing; one fighting chronic debilitating disease and the other facing a terminal cancer diagnosis.
The experience of some not being healed is not just happening around us today – Paul tells us in 2 Cor 12 that he repeatedly begged for healing that never came. Paul, who experienced other miracles, never received the miracle of healing this side of heaven.
Healed or unhealed, our purpose is the same regardless – to bring glory and honor to God. Some of us get to do that by proclaiming healing, as examples of His power and that God still heals today.
Others get to honor God by proclaiming perseverance in faith, as examples of His comfort and sustaining power. We are part of His bigger story both ways!
Likewise, healed or unhealed, God’s hope for us is the same regardless – to walk in relationship with Him, following the model set by Jesus. Some of us get to do that, drawn to Him in awe of the powerful work done in our bodies that have been healed.
Others get to do that by leaning into Him continually in reliance because we can’t rely on unhealed bodies. God is doing a powerful work in us both ways!
A friend who has walked her own health journey, one that came without answers, recently blew my socks off with her take on unanswered prayers for healing. She said, “Won’t God do it [celebrating partial healing], and if He CAN do it, shouldn’t we trust Him when he doesn’t?”
Man, that grabbed me! Probably because it really gets to the root of my biggest worries when I first got sick – TRUST.
Trusting my family would love me through it.
Trusting that my friends would walk with me through it. And especially trusting that God is big enough that what feels monumental to me, feels utter out of control for me, can still serve His purposes.
Please know that I’m not underestimating how discouraging it is to continue to walk in faith without healing. While my spinal cord was completely healed, I still live with nerves damaged by my illness. The rest of my life will almost certainly include pain and medications.
So while I did receive the healing that medical science said would never happen and believe that God still heals today, I’m still walking out a life of faith in perseverance, leaning on God and into His plan despite it.
Does God Still Heal Today?
Does God still heal today? Yes, absolutely. But does God heal all who ask? Sadly no. We are all God’s beloved children and His healing or lack of healing doesn’t change that. What we can ask ourselves is:
What is God teaching me in this experience? And how can I bring glory to Him as I move through it? As long as you stay focused on those questions, God is doing powerful and important work in you, whether you experience physical healing or not.
Would love to hear about your experience with God’s healing power in the comments!