I’ve often written about those I have met in India who came to salvation because they discovered, when no one else could help them, that “the Christian God is a healing God.” God uses physical healing to show He can heal spiritually as well (Matthew 9:5; Mark 2:9; Luke 5:23). I recently read the testimonies of 5 men who went on a Southern Baptist Church sponsored mission trip to India which included the areas we visit. They made it very clear they wouldn’t pray for healing except for the deaf to hear the gospel. The reason they gave was that if some people were healed, crowds would start bringing people from everywhere and that would hinder their preaching the gospel.
In the first case, one of the men and his interpreter saw a man with whom they could speak. However, he was deaf. The man prayed for him with his interpreter translating the message, asking God to restore the deaf man’s hearing so he could hear the gospel. The man reflected that he could hear and they shared him the gospel with him. He rejected it and started to walk away. As he did, his hearing was completely taken away again.
The second case involved one of the men and his interpreter spotting a woman sitting by the side of the street. The interpreter told him there is no use talking to her because she is deaf and dumb, cannot hear nor speak. The man then said they would pray for her anyway. He asked God to give her the ability to hear the gospel and she started making signs that she could hear. After they shared the gospel with her, she suddenly started excitingly speaking. Her husband heard her and ran over to the place where she was. The first words he ever heard his wife say was “I want Jesus in my life!” He started shouting and jumping and calling people and running around while a crowd gathered around the woman. She was filled with joy as a result of having received Christ and, in addition, being able to speak and hear.
The third and last case involved another man as he was on his way to catch the ride back to the airport. He and his interpreter then spotted an older lady lying on the ground and he asked his interpreter about talking to her. His interpreter told him there was no use since she cannot hear. The man then said “Well, let’s see what God says about it.” The man then got down very close to her, putting his hand on her head and prayed, asking God to restore her hearing so that she could hear the gospel. After hearing what the interpreter said, she received Christ and started kissing the missionary’s hands and feet. He then asked her if there was anything he could pray for her about. She said “Yes, I am paralyzed and I cannot walk. Would you pray for the Lord to heal my paralysis?” He was a little reluctant because he did not want to draw a crowd. However, he did pray for her that God would heal her from her paralysis after they were gone, providing she would use her legs to preach the gospel to her own people. They finished and he and the interpreter started toward the car. They got about 50 feet away and heard someone calling loudly. He looked back and the lady was not only standing up but walking toward him as well. He said she was walking as well as he was. Somehow, this didn’t register with him until the five men were on the plane.
As they later talked about all they had seen, they started crying. This is something for a bunch of guys about 50-60 years old! This all started when they realized what God was doing in the lives of the people in India. Again, they made it clear that they considered prayer of pivotal importance for the success of the trip, both from the church and from individuals. (May 30, 2016 Doylestown, PA)
Mark 2:9-12 Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? 10 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the man, 11 “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” 12 He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”
Matthew 15:29-31 Jesus left there and went along the Sea of Galilee. Then he went up on a mountainside and sat down. 30 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. 31 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.
PRAISE GOD for His greatness and power, for His love and mercy, for reaching down to those who can’t reach up to Him, for His forgiveness and restoration and for the privilege of knowing and serving Him!!!