An Answered Prayer

by T. L. Wiens

When my friend Deb found out she had a brain tumour, the reaction of the church was to pray. Many felt a strong leading to pray for healing.

I’ll never forget the night Deb went home to be with the Lord. I had moved away and didn’t know what was happening until a few days later. But I spent that night driven to pray for Deb and her husband and son.

After Deb’s death, there was a sense of failure on the part of many who felt she should have been healed. Why had we been called to pray for healing that never came?

I was back visiting about a month after Deb’s death when I met her husband coming out of the church. His eyes were red and I knew he’d been crying. However,what I saw in his face was not the pain I expected but joy.

“I know we prayed for healing,” he said. “I thought it was Deb who needed that healing but it was me.”

And then I understood. She was ready to go home but he was angry with God. He needed healing. God had laid it upon our hearts to pray for healing and we assumed it was Deb that needed this touch. Had we searched out God’s will more closely, I think we would have seen His desire in the situation instead of our own.

I think of this often when people start praying for healing or the miraculous. Should we ask? Yes but don’t expect the answer to always look the way we think is the best. We need to search God’s will in the situation. I look at it in the same way as when Jesus answered questions—the answers are sometimes not what we expect but they do reveal the character of God.