The Christian Healing Ministry @WBC

What we understand the Christian Healing ministry to be:

Christian healing is Jesus Christ meeting a person at their place of need bringing deliverance.

We believe God heals today.

We believe God commands his church to pray that individuals, communities and nations would experience his healing.

Chritian healing is not faith healing, which relies on the extent of an individual's faith to be healed.

It is not Spiritual healing, which relies on spiritual forces to bring a healing.

Christian healing is broader and deeper than a simple cure of a condition, although this may form a part of our praying. Christian healing is set in the context of a fallen, broken world which often frustrates and delays the healing work of Jesus and accentuates suffering and decay.

The Christian healing ministry @ WBC seeks to hold these truths in tension whilst, motivated by the compassionate heart of God, it offers to bring people into the presence of Jesus that they may know his healing.

Why there can be an all powerful God of Love and a world that suffers:

We believe that there was a beginning and in that beginning there was God - and God is love.

We believe God created all things, and that includes you & I; and the creation was very good. God in love freely chose to create humans who, created in his image, are free to choose to love or not to love. Authentic freedom means real choices and real choices can be wrong choices;wrong choices can lead to accidents,accidents that can lead to suffering and the frustration of God's loving purposes.

Humans were created in the image of God, but not with the fullness of God. Life in mortal bodies was to be a process of growth and development, a character forming, walking with God in full cooperation with his will. And then, full of years, there was to be a passing a moving fully into the presence of God with a new physical form. God's desire will always be for humans to know his Shalom which is wholeness of character, strength of body, serenity of being, harmony in living, and absence of disease.

When wrong choices were made in rebellion against God's will the relationship of cooperation with God broke down. Prompted by a destructive evil, humanity began to drift away from the presence and purpose of God. The goodness of creation was marred & humans were skewed in their development and desires as the currents of human rebellion carried them further from God's preserving goodness.

Health began to break down decay and disease impaired life, the peaceable passing became the hideous experience of death; the created, destroyed- it was no longer good.

What the God of love did to reverse the suffering:

God does not change, he still desires humanity to know the blessing of his shalom; he still seeks to work cooperatively with people.

In history God gathered a people who would return to live in accordance with his purposes. Freeing them he gave them a good pattern of life to follow.

Obedience to this pattern led to an experience of his shalom, disobedience resulted in disease and death. Sadly these people repeatedly strayed from his will.

Yet from this people would come the anointed one, the God-man, Jesus, who would overthrow the destructive power at work in creation.

The reign of darkness was reversed by God through the atoning work of the cross. Part of the reversal would see the shalom of God increasingly restored for those who would faithfully cooperate with him. We see healing as part of that restorative process of cooperation.

On the cross Jesus defeated the elemental forces and the power of Sin & Death. This victory was affirmed in his bodily resurrection. Today we can receive the fruit of the atonement as the Holy Spirit comes to apply the victory of Christ to our lives.

Healing is made possible through the appropriation of Christ's victory; as we cooperate with God's purposes & do not hinder the Holy Spirit in her work.

Signs of the impending reversal of darkness came in Jesus' time on earth when diseases were healed, demons were cast out and good news of another, better way of living, was proclaimed.

Why we pray for healing in a suffering world:

Healing was central to the ministry of Jesus. It was a sign of God's kingdom in which broken lives received healing and transforming. Jesus shared this ministry with his disciples, sending them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal. (Luke 9.2).

What Jesus began he commissioned his inspired church to continue in word and deed. Part of that work is to offer Christian healing. Prayers for inner wholeness via confession, forgiveness and reconciliation are important stages along the way to full realisation of God's Shalom as is the need for healthy lifestyles; good patterns of work rest play & worship.

What we pray for:

We pray that people will find strength to live with their illness.

We pray that those who suffer may overcome the fear of death in knowing that it is a defeated but real power.

We pray that those who suffer may have opened to them the hope of resurrection life and so cast their anxieties on the Lord.

We pray that those in the medical profession may make wise, timely and compassionate interventions to aid patient care.

We pray that people will be open to cooperate fully with the purposes of God which means the full reconciliation and restoration of relationship between each person and their creator.

In prayer we seek to bring people into an awareness/acceptance of the mystery of God's grace. Some are restored to wholeness, others come to terms with loss, others find meaning in suffering.

The journey towards wholeness often takes time and requires persistent trusting faith. Stages of prayer along the way to wholeness can include confession, forgiveness and reconciliation with past hurts, the cutting of generational curses and a reorientation of attitudes to life. These are combined with healthy lifestyles; good patterns of work, rest, play & worship.

We do not begin our prayer with the disease or condition that is presented to us rather our prayer is focused on God our heavenly Father. We come to him in the name of Jesus and ask that he meet with the one who suffers through the presence of the Holy Spirit.

In prayer we seek to bring people into an awareness/acceptance of the mystery of God's grace.

Intelligent prayer requires that we ask what it is that the person actually wants. Our times of prayer may include the laying on of hands and/or the anointing of oil, both signs of God's presence and our compassion.

We pray that the Spirit of the living God might enter you, body, mind and spirit and heal you of all that harms you.

Some respond to an encounter with God's healing presence immediately others find a gradual change comes over them. On occasions there are tears of relief or sorrow or a warming sensation is experienced. Often it is good just to be deeply heard.

In all these ways and others it is God who meets with those who seek him for healing and he who works to bring liberation.

Your next step

In addition to individual consultations, healing prayer is offered during our monthly Sunday morning communion service (1st Sundays) and we may also hold healing services.

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Woodstock Baptist Church