What Prayer IS – Healing

I don’t like visiting the doctor, but really, who does? Being forced into a strange place to be questioned and poked and prodded by a stranger when I’m already not feeling well is not my idea of a good time. I would rather wrap myself up in a sickly cocoon until the terribleness passes and I’m able to move on with my life. For years I visited doctor after doctor in hopes they would be able to diagnose and cure my wide-spread pain to no avail. Each one would diagnose a problem directly related to their specialty, my head hurt because of one thing, my ribs hurt because of another, my joints hurt for an entirely different reason, etc. It wasn’t until I began looking at my body as one whole unit that I began seeing results.

In Mark 2, we read a story about a paralytic man who was brought to Jesus by some rather industrious friends who weren’t afraid of getting their hands dirty. Those are some really good friends! In this packed house, surrounded by onlookers, Jesus told the man two very important things 1. he was forgiven and 2. he was healed physically. We see this throughout the Gospels – Jesus wasn’t going to just treat a symptom, he was going to the root of the issue.

We most often think of healing as something physical that takes place, but I want to expand that definition today. Let’s think of healing in a holistic mindset: physical, emotional, spiritual, mental, and relational healing {tweet this}.

So often we think that prayers for healing are the ones where limbs are restored to full strength, pain is gone, and diagnoses are reversed. But what if that’s too limiting a view? What if, in our focus on the physical needs, we’ve forgotten something even more important: the needs of the whole person?

For years I asked people to join me in praying for physical healing but it never happened. In fact, things just got worse. I thought that God wasn’t listening; I believed he was willing to heal everyone other than me. What I didn’t see at the time was that God was healing me in other ways: he was healing me spiritually, breaking down the walls I had built around my heart that longed to keep him out. He was chipping away at my emotional wounds and the hardness of heart I thought I needed in order to survive. He was healing me mentally, changing some of the things I thought about myself and others and removing certain fears and worries that kept me stuck.

If you feel like he’s silent to your prayers for physical healing, I’m sorry. I know just how tough and hopeless that space can be. But I want to encourage you to not lose hope – God is in the business of healing. We always expect his ways to look like our ways, when his ways are different and better (Isaiah 55:8-9). Look around your life and see the healing power of the Lord. Have any relationships been restored? Has your soul begun to prosper? Are you emotionally lighter than you were before? Have you experienced freedom? And if you still can’t see that any healing has taken place, your restored relationship with Him is a great place to start – that one’s impossible to beat!


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  1. This was a great post Sarah! Thank you so much for sharing it. I loved how you spoke about viewing your body as one whole unit. I have been practicing yoga for many years and it has taught me a lot about unity, about unifying body, mind, and spirit. I have seen vast improvements in all of these areas through prayer. I am sorry your struggles with physical pain in your body. I hope you are better now. I also have struggled with physical illness most of my life but I am better now because of yoga, meditation, prayer, essential oils, and clean eating. Thank you again for this great post. I love your work and it inspires me and helps me grow. Keep up the great work!

    Liked by 1 person

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