Wednesday, July 20, 2011

People are NOT healed all the time, why we still pray

It is a fact that people are NOT healed, all the time by God; those who argue this is NOT a fact, is in denial. It is indeed a fact that not everyone is healed by God all the time no matter how hard we pray. As Christians, if we claim 100% success rate all the time, we are NOT doing God a favor, rather we are doing Him a disfavor. God NEVER promises unconditionally He will heal everyone in his present life on earth. Many verses can be cited for support of God heals, but none is saying that God promises unconditionally to heal everyone or for anyone all the time. As a minister in healing, we should refrain from stating that there is such an unconditional promise. If God does NOT heal all the time, should we still pray for healing?

It is NOT just healing
But it is also a fact that it is NOT just for healing, that we do NOT get a 100% success rate when we pray. We pray for many things and all sort of things; if you can have 100% success rate over long period of time, or near to it, let me know, maybe you can pray for me! Let me point out that it is therefore, improper to deemphasize praying for the sick any more than praying for other matters (job, life-time partner, money, shelter, and food or deliverance). In other words, the lack of 100% success rate is NOT limited to praying for the sick.

How do we explain, NOT all are healed?
Yes, it is true NOT all are healed when we pray for them; it is because God NEVER promises unconditionally to heal all, in their present lives on earth.

The redemptive works of Jesus Christ on the Cross are of 3-folds, spiritual, physical, works (or purpose). For understanding of this, please read my separate article, “Works of redemption by our Lord”. Basically, under physical, the body is being referred to, and my exposition in the article is that full redemption of the body is NOT intended in our current living on earth.

Full redemption comes after we pass on or when Jesus comes back (rapture following it), when we take on our incorruptible body. After The Fall, it was NEVER intended Man shall live forever in his earthly body; he is destined to die, so that he can take on the incorruptible body. That is why there is NEVER an unconditional promise in Scripture that God heals. You see, if God did give an unconditional promise to heal, then it will be God MUST heal, and if God MUST heal, then Man cannot die, and when Man cannot die, Man cannot take on the incorruptible body that Jesus talked about, and that scripture will NOT come to pass.

That, Adam and Eve would eventually died, did NOT stop God’s caring for them
After Adam and Eve sinned against God in The Fall, as decreed by God, they must die in accordance to the commandments God gave them in Gen 2:16-17.

And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” (Gen 2:16-17)

The death was referring to both spiritual death and physical death. Spiritual death means to be separated from God by being thrown into the lake of burning fire in Hell to remain there, separate from God for eternality. But physical death must happen so that spiritual death can be entered into. That was why Adam and Eve must NOT be allowed to eat of the fruit from the Tree of Life anymore, and so, be put out of the Garden of Eden where the Trees of Life were found. Those wanting to have fuller exposition of The Fall, can read my separate series on “The Fall”.

But that, Adam and Eve would later (a few hundred years later) died (physical death), did NOT stop God from caring for them. Below are some verses indicating God’s care for the first family, after the Fall:

The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. (Gen 3:21).

When Adam and Eve fell, they only made for themselves, leaf covering - Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves (Gen 3:7).

Outside of the Garden, subsequently, Adam lay with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, “With the help of the LORD I have brought forth a man.” Later she gave birth to his brother Abel. (Gen 4:1-2).

After Cain murdered Abel, and Cain was banished, Adam lay with his wife again, and she gave birth to a son and named him Seth, saying, “God has granted me another child in place of Abel, since Cain killed him.” (Gen 3:25) When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth. After Seth was born, Adam lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Adam lived 930 years, and then he died. (Gen 5:3-5)

Thereafter, it was and is still the same
It is the same today, despite we are still going to die physically, God still cares for our physical and emotional well-being. It was prophesied by Isaiah in Isaiah 53, and it came to pass when Jesus walked on the earth as a man, and did that (cared), on behalf of the Father God.

The prophecy: Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. (Isaiah 53:4)

The Fulfillment: When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: “He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases.” (Matt 8:16-17)

Jesus did only, those which the Father God would have done, and that included caring for the physical and emotional well-being of Man, while he (Man) lived: Jesus gave them {the Jews of His time} this answer: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. (John 5:19). “I have testimony weightier than that of John {the Baptist}. For the very work that the Father has given me to finish, and which I am doing, testifies that the Father has sent me. (John 5:36). They did not understand that he {Jesus} was telling them about his Father. So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am the one I claim to be and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me. (John 8:27-28).

Many healing accounts in Scripture
There are many accounts of healing in Scriptures, showing God did care to heal and make people well. Below are just examples from the Book of Matthew alone:

The “are you willing” leper healed: A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” 3 Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cured of his leprosy. (Matt 8:2-3).

Servant of “Centurion of great faith” healed: 5 When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. 6 “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed and in terrible suffering.” 7 Jesus said to him, “I will go and heal him.” 8 The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” 10 When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, “I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. 13 Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! It will be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that very hour. (Matt 8:5-10,13)

Peter’s mother-in-law healed of her fever: When Jesus came into Peter’s house, he saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. 15 He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on him. (Matt 8:14)

Demons cast out and all sick THERE were healed: When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: “He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases.” (Matt 8:16-17).

Jesus healed all kinds of sicknesses and diseases: Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. (Matt 9:35).

Jesus’ disciples also healed various sicknesses, including expelling demons: He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness. (Matt 10:1). Jesus’ instructions - As you go, preach this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. (Matt 10:7-8).

Although here, there was no direct mention of healings done by the apostles, in Acts 5:16, it was recorded many sick, demonized and demon-possessed people were healed by the apostles.

Jesus healed daughter of a Gentile (we can pray for non-believers to be healed): A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession.” Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.” He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.” The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said. 26 He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.” “Yes, Lord,” she said, “but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus answered, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour. (Matt 15:22-28).

Jesus healed many at one seating, the mute, the crippled, the lame, the blind, etc: Jesus left there and went along the Sea of Galilee. Then he went up on a mountainside and sat down. Great crowds came to him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at his feet; and he healed them. The people were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled made well, the lame walking and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel. (Matt 15:29-31).

This is why I pray for the sick for healing
I reiterate, it is NOT that God MUST heals or God WILL heal; it is God can and does heal. And we should pray for the sick on the following grounds:

1. God cares for the well-being of Man while he (Man) lives on earth
2. God can and does heal. He healed in the past, and currently still heals.
3. Jesus when He walked on the earth, did that, and it was part of His manifesto (see Luke 4:18-19), and as followers of Jesus, we are to do the same.
4. It is a good way to love our neighbours.
5. Generally, healed soldiers of God are better soldiers.
6. It glorifies God when testimony of His healing is shared.
7. It edifies the Church.
8. It is good works, it is bearing fruit, and we are commanded in Scripture to do good works and bear fruit.
9. Divine healing is one of the signs and wonders and miracles that God said will accompany His gospel.
10. Sickness is NOT good.

Of course, all of us would like to see higher success rate out of our ministry of praying for the sick. With a right heart attitude, this is absolutely right, for our love and compassion desire more people be ministered and healed; but ultimately, God decides who He will heal; and people can be, NOT healed, for any one or more reasons. If it is one success out of 7 attempts, I am more than willing, to pray, even if it is one out of 77, I will still pray.

Anthony Chia, high.expressions - Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by evil spirits, and all of them {for that instance} were healed {by the Apostles}. Then the high priest and all his associates, who were members of the party of the Sadducees, were filled with jealousy. They arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail. But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail and brought them out (Acts 5:16-19).

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  1. Hi Anthony,
    I found your site through Liz's site. Do you also frequent CT Chang's site?


  2. Hi Lanie,

    No, I have NOT frequented CT Chang's blog, although I remembered noting that he left comment(s) on Liz's blog.

    I have since visited his blog, went through the most recent couple of days' comments on his blog. I have also now visited your blog.

    Am I right to say that you are a Christian? CT Chang is NOT, perhaps a Buddhist? I do NOT imply anything, just would like to know so that sensitivity can be exercised in communications.

    Are you living in Singapore with your mother?

    For a start, I have NOT met Liz, but we do communicate via emails although I do comment on her blog some of the times. Christianity, especially in more years, has been less "homogenous" than one would like to think. Even different core theologies are being preached, and it is sad. And so, it is also NOT surprising that there can be "clashes". Well, I believe, initially (I hope not, anymore), Liz might have found I was a little "rough" in my moderations of her understanding of the faith. But I also believe that she has come to understand I speak out against incorrect teaching, and not intentioned to hit the person, as such; I believe she soon knew I was genuine in my show of Christ's love for her situation. Even so, I dished out only to the extent that she could take in (these were done through email exchanges); but we all have seen, from her blog, she has grown leaps and bound, in the Christian faith, attended various courses in the faith, helping others, and all.

    We cannot force our faith on another. In any case, what is forced is NOT true love. We truly love God and our neighbors (even if they are NOT Christians), when we are NOT forced; that is why, ultimately, everyone has to make the choice of whether or NOT he/she wants to believe the Gospel.

    Christianity is a walk, and we should grow in understanding and love as we go along. When we understand that we, ourselves, are growing, which means that we, previously, were NOT as mature, we become more tolerant of others.

    For those reading this, CT Chang is diagnosed with kidney cancer, and Lanie’s mother had breast cancer. Their respective blog sites (which you can visit) are: and

    God bless,
    Anthony Chia

  3. I am very impressed by what you have written. Too many people believe that the power of God can be released with a Christian incantation. They believe that it is a formula that heals people. They dream that some are Christian "Harry Potters" who weld magical powers which, coupled with their own "faith," makes people well. They blame those who fail to be healed for their sickness. They have no understanding of God's grace. They think His grace is what they want instead of what they need. Thus, they continue to spew theological absurdities. Thanks again for your blog.

  4. Hi Prentis,

    Thank you for your kind words. Your own blog entries are admirable too.

    It is my prayer that more pastors and ministers of the Word who are strongly and correctly grounded in the Word, contribute to the body of understandings on the Christian faith on the internet, to balance out erroneous teachings by others. Although, at times, it is difficult to prove the fallacy of a certain teaching, at least, alternative views, and hopefully correct views, are apparent to those searching for understanding of the faith on the net; at least, our articles or entries could serve to alert them that a certain view they read, might NOT be the only view or correct view, and they may go on to clarify matters with their more mature Christian friends or with pastors of established churches.

    The situation has, on the one hand, improved over the recent years, with such as the encyclopedias of the internet, being more careful with their entries, on the other, more and more heretic and even apostate doctrines and theologies have found their way onto the internet because of the ease of blogging, and showcasing of videos, and freedom of expression.

    The teaching of grace on the internet, in a large part, has been too lop-sided, tilted too much, on it being all God's part, as if it is God owing us, like you said it, "what they want", instead of "what they need". The way grace was pictured by the "overly grace" preachers on the internet, is that it is almost entirely as Christians are saved to just bask in grace. I have written an article, "Grace of God means this, too!" (link: ), which I recommend Christians to read it. Prentis, you might like to read it, as it is also related to answers to praying, and praying for the sick.

    For those reading this, Prentis is a pastor of a church in the States. You can read his blog entries here:

    Prentis, once again, thank you for your kind words, and the allowing of my recent comments to be shown in your blog site.

    God bless
    Anthony Chia

  5. Hi Anthony,

    Thanks for your honest response. Yes, I am a Christian (for about 6 years now)-- raised as a Catholic and have known Christ in Year 2006, after a series of rebelliousness and I cannot say that I am fully the person God wants me to be. And yes, CT Chang is a Buddhist. I just thought you are one of those insensitive "Christians" posting on CT Chang's blog... hiding behind anonymity--I felt compelled to correct those insensitive Christians not only for CT Chang's sake, but for the sake of that fellow brother (Christian) and all other readers of CT Chang's blog who are predominantly Buddhist.

    I am also agains any kind of extreme teaching-- e.g. abuse of teaching about Grace (e.g. healing of the sick and prosperity Gospel), as I am against anyone over using verses from the Old Testament without linking it back to the New Testament, against lifting verses out of context and attacking people with very powerful messages without getting to know them enough. I hope you understand where I am coming from. I have been praying for CT Chang for a quite a while now. I hope you can email me at so you can understand better where I am coming from.... there are some sensitive subjects that I thought we should discuss offline (via email).

    Again, thanks for your honest response.
    My personal statement of faith is here:

    (though I used "we" in most of these statements, its more of my personal statements, which my mother kind of taken as her own (she accepted Christ last Feb 2010 and was baptised last May 2011-- all in God's Grace and timing).

    Lanie Francisco

  6. to any Christian, wishing to stand in the gap for any cancer. Please pray before even attempting to stand in the gap-- cause you also ran the risk of becoming a stumbling block. Cancer patients are very sensitive people and their health has deteriorated to a point that even a slight provocation can mean not only physical death but also eternal death for them. So, please be extra careful..

    and here is the story of my mother's conversion and baptism, which is the basis of my blog entry on "Are you standing in the gap or a stumbling block?" because I once I thought I was standing in the gap but was actually becoming a stumbling block. It was a painful realization..

  7. I also believe that praying for the sick and praying for one's own healing is Good, specially if the intent is to seek God's will (if He wills for you to get healed so that He can be glorified and that the body of Christ will be edified). I am also not subscribing to the thought that a Christian should be free from diseases and wealthy to impress on everyone that he/she is blessed or impress on anyone that she/he is more spiritual just because her health/wealth is at tops. That God's will will prevail and healing or not, we still have to see God's grace in the middle of your circumstances.. like being in the eye of the storm (peaceful and calm- regardless of what the chaos around you).

    This is the reason why it is wrong to impress on cancer patients that their diseases are caused by pride and wickedness (though it is possible)... because it is a form of condemnation. The other point is even if we are Christians we are not immune to the consequences of the physical law being broken by humanity in general and by the individual specifically...even Job was not immune to diseases in fact God, allowed that he lost his health (and wealth) - that was the true test of humanity and faith. The Bible was also quite honest that Job did'nt react to his circumstances in a 100% Christian way--- his humanity was also written for us to see-- he grumbled -- he complained-- he questioned God-- in the end Job was compelled to accept that he was indeed self- righteous (maybe even prideful)-- but note that his acknowledgement that he is indeed self-righteous/prideful was a conversation between him and God. it was'nt between him and his friends. The friends did what they have to do under the circumstances, but still it fell short. Note, that those who intervened in Job's case are his friends.. in CT Chang's case, some Christians who are intervening are not his friends but was hiding in anonymity.... I think this is fundamentally wrong! utterly disrespectful!

    Lanie Francisco


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