THE CASE FOR FAITH.
By The Rev. Nigel Mumford+
Some people struggle with the issue of faith.
We hope in faith in unseen witness.
Is it “faith healing” or is our faith in God to heal?
Hopefully the latter.
Is the onus (responsibility) for faith in God’s healing on the supplicant (the sick person) or on the prayer team?
The supplicant may have a perfect faith or no faith at all.
Supplicants may not be able to pray because: 1) they don’t know how; 2) they are too sick or in a coma! 3) they are not “there” in their own faith walk.
Then the prayer team needs to “take on” the faith for the supplicant. We never say to a sick person, “If you had enough faith, get up and walk.”
That is religious abuse! Sadly, I have met supplicants who have been on the receiving end of such abusive theology.
Three examples of the faith of individuals leap from the pages of the Bible for me:
First is the faith of the four friends of the paralytic who had so much faith, they ripped open a roof to get him to Jesus.
Jesus then looked at the lads who did this saying,”By your faith your friend is healed.” Their paralyzed friend got up in
full view of everyone and walked — cured!
Second is the faith of the woman who had been bleeding for twelve years. She personally had so much faith, she pushed
through the crowd to touch Jesus’ robe. She was cured!
Third is the faith of the centurion, a Roman soldier in charge of a hundred men. His servant was sick. He asked Jesus
to heal him right there and then. He had the faith to believe that Jesus didn’t have to go see the servant. He just believed.
We know the outcome. His servant was healed that very hour!
Being a former “half-centurion” myself, in charge of fifty Royal Marine recruits as a drill instructor, I can really relate to his testimony.
May I underline that even if the supplicant has no faith, God can do whatever He likes, especially through the faith of the prayer team!
Mark 2:5-11,12 NIV
When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” So he said to the man,
“I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all.
Mark 5:25-29 The Message
A woman who had suffered a condition of hemorrhaging for twelve years — a long succession of physicians had treated her,
and treated her badly, taking all her money and leaving her worse off than before — had heard about Jesus.
She slipped in from behind and touched his robe. She was thinking to herself, “If I can put a finger on his robe, I can get well.”
The moment she did it, the flow of blood dried up. She could feel the change and knew her plague was over and done with.
Matthew 8:8 NIV
The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word and my servant shall be healed.”
Matthew 8:13 NIV
Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that very moment.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
Hebrews 11:1 NIV
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
See 1 Cor 12:9 NIV
I encourage you to pray for the gift of faith.
Do good works
And for the sake of God
Love one another.
Fr. Nigel Mumford+