A couple asked me that as we were sitting
at the end of the busy Llandudno pier in Wales.
A lot of thoughts raced through my mind as I debated whether to let them.
One of our goals during our stay in Llandudno, Wales (pronounced Clan-did’ no) was to walk out to the end of the pier. It’s something you feel like you must do, like the one in Santa Monica, California. Because it’s there.
The weather was inviting for the walk, another non-English one with clear sky so get out and do something! A bus tour guide said we were being treated to two weeks of the best weather Wales and Ireland ever see! The promenade and pier were bustling with tourists and their dogs coming and going. It was such a hoot to observe how the masters resembled their dogs!
With my bad left hip, I had to push myself to keep going to the end and along the way rested a few times.
One stop was at the Grand Hotel, about in the middle of the pier, which was the site of renowned Prime Minister Maggie Thatcher’s first speech. From afar the hotel looked like its name, but up close it was pretty rundown and worn out. Our hyped plan to enjoy a hot chocolate in a grand setting turned out to be a rather plain room with cafeteria and tables.
While resting up for the long walk back on a bench at the end of the pier, I looked for somebody to take a picture of Mary and me to prove we made it. I asked a friendly couple who approached. We chatted for a while. I mentioned that I’d better get going because of my bad hip.
That’s when the man startled me by asking if he and the lady with him could pray for me. They said that they had asked God who they might serve and figured it was me since I had initiated conversation with them.
My first reaction, worried that they might cause some kind of public scene, with my wife and me right in the middle of it, was no way! I didn’t want any wails in Wales with us involved!
Then my theological mind kicked in that the Bible says if anyone is sick, call for the elders of the Church to be anointed with oil (James 5:14). That’s what the Bible clearly instructs a Christian to do in order to be healed.
The couple said they were Christians for three years. I did not believe the man was an elder, certainly not in age but also not in spiritual office. He was at most in the late 20’s or early 30’s, and would not typically be ordained as “a novice” to such a spiritual office lest vain glory kick in (1 Timothy 3:6).
But James also says in that section about being healed that we should pray for one another. Paul mentions in Romans 12 about some having a special gift of healing. A “thought” said what if this couple has it and God is ready to heal you in spite of your unbelief, though you profess to believe in healing!
So, over all my objections I quietly said “OK.” How can somebody wash feet unless somebody sticks their feet out? What if the crippled man had refused Peter when he said “Silver and gold have I none but what I’ve got I give you” (Acts 3:6).
A prayer I’ll Never Forget
Oh the prayer of quiet, believing faith that he prayed for me so unobtrusively that it didn’t seem like other tourists noticed.
He prayed in great detail, like the Bible says to break up prayers like beating incense fine.
He prayed expecting God to answer and to answer completely. There was no doubt he prayed in faith! The problem was whether I could match him.
As he prayed, my mind kept arguing that this wasn’t the Bible way to expect healing, but I couldn’t help being inspired by his prayer on my belief and hoping against hope that God would grant all that he asked.
When he finished praying, the couple thanked us for letting them serve us and then quickly and quietly walked away and vanished.
I sat there wondering if I was better but not feeling any different. But on the way back, I was in way less pain and went the distance without needing any breaks. But back at the hotel after the long hike out and back, I began reaping what I sowed and it was obvious I was still the same hip guy.
But the prayer changed me. It convicted me that I should have long ago asked for healing according to God’s instructions in James 5:14. I believe in healing! A hip replacement is major overhaul rather than merely repairing a broken bone with a splint. I plan to be anointed soon.
And though I know that a mature Christian must always leave it up to God our Healer to choose when and how best to heal, because we need to grow in patience and other character traits and maybe we need to learn some empathy for others who suffer, and none of us are going to live forever in the flesh, God says “according to your faith be it unto you” and He wants to find faith on the earth when Jesus returns.
The God Who forgives all our sins says He heals all our diseases (Psalm 103:3). Why not believe Him on both fronts!
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