You and Your Health: Praying for Healing

hands open in prayer

I’ve been doing it for decades. It all started at Little Flower Catholic Elementary School in Toledo, Ohio. On November 25, 1974, Sister Shannon Schrein, a second-grade teacher, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. On October 19, 1975, I was the eighth-grade teacher and was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. A short time later, Sister Mary Domitilla, a sister who taught fifth grade, was hospitalized with gastrointestinal problems.

Shannon and I jokingly reflected that no one should teach at the school, or they would get a chronic disease! From that coincidental health story, a prayerful one developed.

Now, over three decades later, Shannon and I talk about the challenges of living each day with a chronic disease. A big part of our coping is through prayer.

Eternal Timeline

Since the diagnosis, both Shannon and I have prayed for healing. I did not tell many people at first that I prayed each day to be healed of the devastating effects of multiple sclerosis. I had a feeling that it was not good theology—or faith—to pray for healing so relentlessly. I wondered if one should pray for healing like this. Was I being realistic? I asked Shannon, who has a doctorate in systematic theology, if this prayer of petition was theologically sound. She comforted me with her thoughts: “God heals in so many ways beyond our imagining. Healing happens in all kinds of ways, not just in the miraculous, instantaneous cure of a serious illness.” Shannon reminded me that God’s timeline and our timeline are not the same. Having a disease for 30 years is a drop in the bucket in the overall scheme of eternity.

I have prayed for decades for a cure. About 18 years ago, the first disease-modifying injections for multiple sclerosis came out, which slow its progression. To me, this was an answer to my prayers for healing.

I pray daily that I might walk better, as my legs have weakened over the years. I bumped into a physical-therapist friend—whom I had lost track of—and we met for lunch. She encouraged me to restart my physical-therapy program. To me, this is another answer to prayer.

It Works

I pray each day for healing, using my favorite Scripture passage, John 14:13-14: “And whatever you ask in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it.” I think I wear that verse out.

My friend was having colon surgery, and I placed her name on our sisters’ email hotline. She called me when she was released from the hospital.

“I felt a sense of peace and energy surround me,” my friend said. She knows she will be able to face whatever comes in her health story.

Handy Tips

  • Bring to God your requests for healing.
  • Notice the healings that take place in your life.
  • Expect surprising gifts from your God!

Next Month: Let Go, Let God

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