The Fear That Grips You

Fear grips our souls like none other. It keeps us bound to things we would never want to acknowledge — sickness, undesirable relationships, habits, thought patterns, and a host of other undesirables.

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Fear keeps you pinned down to a lie. A lie that says you are good for nothing, you don’t have a future, and that whatever you try will be hopeless. But Jesus said that you’ll know the truth and the truth will set you free (John 8:32).

Once fear has a grip on you and you continue on that track, it ultimately will lead you to the greatest of all fears, the fear of death. Once the fear of death has a grip on you, it will gradually begin to take control of various aspects of your life. ultimately it will get a hold of your health.

The fear of death will make you its slave. For many, it becomes a lifelong bondage of fear. But the Bible says that through His death, Jesus destroyed the one who has the power of death, the Devil.

So now, the Devil has been “destroyed” and his power has been stripped off by Jesus. Now, through the fear of death, the Devil continues to put people into lifelong slavery and bondage (Hebrews 2:14-15).

The fear that grips your heart is much beyond a simple fear that seems to have lots of effect on you. It is a diabolical ploy to hold you in lifelong bondage through nothing but fear. That is the only true power Satan has — the power gained through fear of death — which is a complete lie.

The truth is, Jesus has already won the victory — you are on the winning side.

Your Turn

Join the discussion and add your thoughts. What have you learned?

Please share briefly in the comments section on the website.

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* Book recommendations on various topics I write on are available at my Resources Page.

** For a list of books that I’ve recently read, here is my Reading List.

My Books:

Overcoming Fear When Praying for Healing

When we see people suffering due to sickness or other reasons, it’s good to remember how Jesus was moved with compassion. But as much as we think on those positive examples in Jesus’ life, we tend to struggle with fear. Although we’ve seen God’s work of healing in us and through us, fear is a great hindrance for us to pray for others.

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There are several fears that people most commonly struggle with. Here some ways to handle those fears.

Fear of Failure

One of the greatest fears is that of failure. What if the person is not healed as a result of my prayer? What if, after all my efforts and focus, the person remains the same? Am I simply setting myself up for failure?

It seems this fear is present every time I’ve prayed for a sick person. If the person is not healed, I remember the words of Jesus in John 5, that the Father is always doing His work, and that Jesus is also working. I clearly understand that God the Father is working in this person’s life at this very moment.

If the healing is not done, I believe that God has begun His work on this person’s mind, heart, and body. The work needs to continue and requires more time. I don’t have a clear idea of the time, but that is in God’s hands. Some are healed immediately, others take time, even days or months to heal. Even others may need to wait till the resurrection when they are given a new, glorified body.

Fear of Disappointing the Sick Person

Sometimes I worry about the emotional and mental condition of the sick person. The person is already distressed due to their agony. Maybe for years they have experienced the physical and emotional struggle of their illness. If my prayer does not result in their healing, will that become an additional disappointment for them?

The concern is genuine, and certainly for the benefit of the person who is sick. The common tendency for me is to not promise them much, so that if they are not healed, they won’t feel so bad. But I’ve noticed that by doing that, I reduce the level of their faith. Instead, I want to encourage them to focus on Jesus and what He can and wants to do in their bodies. This increases expectation and faith in Jesus’ healing power.

If they are not healed, I give them encouragement to continue to seek healing through prayer. I don’t ask them to stop taking the medications. That decision should be in consultation with their doctor.

Fear of the Opinion of Onlookers

When praying for the sick, others in the room can be a great asset, or they can become the greatest hinderance as well. We need to know the difference and know the people in the room.

Jesus felt the need to put some people out of the room before he healed some people. But during other times, he healed people while many onlookers were present. Their opinions or their level of faith may be quite different, but that did not deter Jesus and the work he was doing.

Doubters in the room can influence the person receiving healing and can certainly have a negative effect. I was in a hospital ward where a patient’s family and friends were present when I asked the person if they would like prayer. The person answered with a resounding “yes” with a desire to be healed. But the others were hostile and said that sufficient medication is being given under the doctor’s care. They objected to my offer for prayer. I walked away from that bed without praying. I felt at that moment that even if I was allowed to pray, the healing may not have occurred.

When the room is full of people who believe that healing can occur, and the person being prayed for has faith, the chances are greater. But I have experienced such a variety of situations, and each has been different. One thing that has been most common is that when the person being prayed for is urgently in need of healing with a great desire to be healed, I am almost certain that the person will receive healing.

Fear of Satan/Demons

When praying for healing, am I stepping into the territory of the demonic? Some are clearly afraid of praying for healing for fear of a demonic backlash. In our country, this type of fear is common. Here, the demonic/spiritual realm is quite overt, and commonly accepted by the general public.

Even in Christian communities, this fear is common and can have a detrimental effect on the healing process. Many will not pray or will pray with fear and not faith. Either way, fear wins.

As children of the Kingdom, we can be bold in praying for healing. Will there be trouble for us? There certainly can be an attempted “backlash” from the opposing forces in the spiritual realm, but I believe we don’t need to dwell in fear. There is victory for us in Jesus’ name.

Your Turn

Join the discussion and add your thoughts. What have you learned?

Please share briefly in the comments section on the website.

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  • Book recommendations on various topics I write on are available at my Resources Page.

** For a list of books that I’ve recently read, here is my Reading List.

My Books:

Overcoming Doubts About Healing

Praying for healing can be an awesome and rewarding task. But when we are riddled with doubt, the task becomes one of fear confusion, and failure. The best way to handle doubt is with a little shot of truth. Here are some areas of doubt and ways to combat them when we pray for healing.

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About Self

When Jesus was tempted by the Devil in the wilderness, it was clearly a temptation of self identity. “If you are the son of God…” was the question posed to Jesus. Although Jesus clearly knew His identity, Satan wanted to test him during one of his weakest and most vulnerable times. After fasting for forty days and nights, it is an understatement to say that Jesus was hungry. This was possibly one of the most vulnerable times during his life here on earth.

When praying for healing, we are certainly putting ourselves in a vulnerable situation. During such times, we are most certainly vulnerable before others. Being vulnerable is difficult because of the fear of being judged by others. If we proceed without putting ourselves in a situation of vulnerability, we feel safe.

The greatest difficulty is that we know ourselves and our weaknesses. We forget the fact that God has adopted us and taken us as his own children. It is that position of being His child that qualifies us to do the works of the Father. Our weaknesses are a secondary matter. God is in the process of transforming us into the image of His son Jesus.

About the Past

We know that our past is behind us and forgiven by Jesus. But the memories and the pain continue to impact us. When our memory about the past is revived, doubts arise much beyond what is warranted. We begin to doubt if we are qualified to heal the sick.

The work of grace in our lives specifically dealing with the past is an important factor for our faith for healing. When we begin to doubt about our past, we need to remind ourselves that the grace of God was sufficient to forgive us, heal us and restore us.

It is that grace which allows us access to the throne of God where we can petition God for healing. But more than that, this grace has allowed us to become children of God and thus children of His kingdom. It is because of this that we are qualified to heal the sick in our midst.

When doubts about the past begin to trouble you, handle it skillfully. Use it as leverage to boost your faith and bless others. Remind yourself of the work of God in your life and that same work will bring healing to the person you are about to pray for.

About God

Is God too distant from people’s troubles and pain? This misunderstanding will cause us to doubt God more than anything else. Does God understand or care about my situation?

We forget that in Jesus, God came down and dwelt among us. As you pray for someone, imagine Jesus kneeling next to that person experiencing that same level of pain and agony. Imagine Him with tears of agony over what this person is experiencing.

This is exactly what we need to think about God in this situation. He knows. He understands. He feels the pain along with you. God is not too distant. He is right here.

Your Turn

Join the discussion and add your thoughts. What have you learned?

Please share briefly in the comments.

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**Book recommendations on various topics I write on are available at my Resources Page

My Books:

 

Faith For Healing

Jesus said “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible” (Matthew 17:20 NLT). Faith is indispensable for healing. Jesus clearly expects us to believe that something will happen when we pray.

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This truth has been misapplied by some and has been the reason for confusion for so many. The “hyper-faith” approach has put undue pressure on the person receiving prayer. If the person was not healed, they were told their faith was insufficient. While that may be true, they have failed to acknowledge that there may be many reasons why people do not receive healing.

The items below are factors that are important for healing to occur. Sometimes only one or several of these factors are active. But God in His mercy provides healing in spite of our low or lack of faith.

Faith of the one who prays

Jesus told the disciples that if they had faith even as small as a mustard seed, they could see the miraculous happen. This is clear that the people who pray need to believe that something will happen as a result of their prayer.

When the disciples took a paralyzed man and let him down by ropes through an opening in the roof so Jesus could heal him, there is no indication about the faith of the man being prayed for. But the people who took him and Jesus certainly had faith and believed that something will happen.

Faith of the one who receives prayer

When two blind men came to Jesus to be healed, Jesus asked them, “Do you believe I can make you see?” “Yes, Lord,” they told him, “we do” (Matthew 9:28 NLT). Then Jesus touched their eyes and said “It shall be done according to your faith.”

The above conversation implies a direct link between the faith of the two men and their healing. When the one who receives prayer has faith within them, I have observed that the healing happens quicker and is more complete. But when the person does not have faith, the chances for healing are much less.

But this does not imply that everyone who is not healed does not have faith. There are many factors that can be a hindrance to healing, including God’s desire to wait or not heal for some other unknown reason.

Faith of others in the room

When people in the room who are mere observers lack faith, this may also have an impact on healing. In Matthew 9:24-25, Jesus went to the home of the synagogue ruler because his daughter had just died. But when he went there, he told the mourners to step outside. Once they were outside, he took the girl by her hand and she rose up.

The people he removed from the home were probably professional “mourners” who were hired to mourn for the dead. They just laughed at the thought of someone coming to raise the dead, especially when Jesus said that she is only sleeping.

There were times when Jesus could not do any miracles because of their lack of faith. It is clear that he performed some healings, but it was severely limited. Mark says: “And because of their unbelief, he couldn’t do any miracles among them except to place his hands on a few sick people and heal them” (Mark 6:5 NLT).

It is hard to imagine that such an impact is possible in Jesus’ ministry, but since he was operating with the same parameters that are available to us, this was his reality. The lack of faith of those in the room may have a direct effect on the possibility for healing.

Faith present in the environment

During times of prayer for healing, I have observed a greater flow of healing when there is an environment of faith. This is best seen where people are open and expectant of God’s work. If the people have an expectation that God will hear our prayer, and that He is about to do something, there will be more results.

Of course, we have the knowledge that God heals people and that all things are possible with God. But in this situation, the hearts of the people are open, and in their minds, there is an expectation that God is about to do something. Or at least, there is a question in the minds of the people: What is God about to do here? I see this as the presence of faith in the environment.

As we look at the various factors above, know that each has an impact on the healing process. But ultimately, this is not a formula. Healing is a work of God and He is the one who acts on our behalf. Our task is to be faithful to pray for healing and believe that God is faithful to work.

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In the following weeks, I hope to present more posts with this theme of healing, and the various dimensions for healing. Please look for the weekly posts on this topic. On the website barnabas.in, you can click on the “healing” category on the right hand column, and all of my posts on healing will show up as a list.

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Your Turn

Join the discussion and add your thoughts. What have you learned?

Please share briefly in the comments.

———-

**Book recommendations on various topics I write on are available at my Resources Page

My Books:

 

Embrace the Kingdom for Healing

Healing is one of the ways God’s Kingdom breaks into our lives. We know that God’s power is unlimited and that all things are possible with God. But in this imperfect world with imperfect people like us, there are numerous things that hinder the work of God. Yet still, there are factors much beyond our understanding that stand in the way of healing. We don’t have answers for why some people are not healed, but God surely has a plan for each of our lives.

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I’m on a quest to explore the various dimensions of healing that help and hinder the process. Please join me as I unpack each of these dimensions one by one.

When Jesus did miraculous works like healing, he said he did these things because the Kingdom of God has come. The miraculous works of Jesus were the direct result of God’s kingdom taking root here on earth.

  • As a framework

When we pray, why do we expect to see healing? What is the foundation behind the move of God that brings healing? Jesus said the works he does is evidence that the Kingdom of God has come into our midst. It is a direct confrontation between two kingdoms. The kingdom evil has taken advantage of people’s fallen nature and has led them into more sin as their life progresses. Their sin opened the door for Satan’s intervention into their lives. Sickness has become a common phenomenon as the kingdom of evil takes control.

The coming of God’s kingdom has been a threat to the kingdom of evil. Where evil has taken over and brought sickness, God comes and brings deliverance from the works of the evil one. Thus the kingdom of God has become the force that pushes back the kingdom of evil.

  • As source of authority

As a child of God’s kingdom, we possess the authority needed to push back the powers of evil. Although that authority is not of our own power, we have been empowered by God to do the works of God. As a representative of the Kingdom, we have been authorized for this special task. The Kingdom of God is a source of authority for us.

  • As Empowerment

Although we have the authority given by God because of the Kingdom, we also have been given power to do God’s work on this earth. The power backs up the authority. The authority is valid because of the power is there in the background.

For example, a police officer in uniform may just need to put his hand out or blow his whistle to get the traffic to stop. Because of the authority vested in him, people will obey and stop their vehicles. But when there is a violation, then the uses the “power” available to him either in a weapon or a larger backup force. But under normal conditions, his authority is sufficient as the power is already there in the background.

Thus a proper understanding of the Kingdom of God and operating within that framework will help us in the process of healing. Embrace the Kingdom, and pray for healing.

I hope to present more posts with this theme of healing, and the various dimensions for healing. Please look for the weekly posts on this topic. On the website barnabas.in, you can click on the “healing” category on the right hand column, where all of my posts on healing will show up.

Your Turn

Join the discussion and add your advice. What have you learned?

Please share briefly in the comments.

———-

**Book recommendations on various topics I write on are available at my Resources Page

My Books:

 

My Agony and My Writing

Seventeen years of chronic back pain coupled with lots of emotional issues plunged me into an impossible situation. It seemed like a future without hope. Each MRI report showed further deterioration of my disks. Even daily tasks were a painful process. I finally asked my doctor: “Will I eventually be crippled for life?” He struggled to slip out of that question.

Flight Writing

The Impossible Happened

After about two years of emotional healing coupled with a miraculous touch from God, my back was completely healed. I was able to resume all my previous physical activities just as before.

Working Through Mental Agony

The two-year process of healing involved lots of journaling. Issues from my childhood through adult years were expressed in the journaling process. Lots of reading (specifically a book on back pain), lots of agonizing, and lots of prayer went into the writing of those journals.

The Facebook Push

After my back was healed, I posted a photo of me playing basketball on Facebook. Through posts, messages, and emails, people began asking about the healing. That led me to write out my story in detail and I posted it on my “dormant” blog. This was the kind of push that I needed to get me on the writing path.

An Ongoing Quest for Freedom

My healing was really a quest for freedom. It wasn’t a freedom from others and their words and actions. But it was a freedom from my own victim mentality and emotional quagmire.

The process of healing and quest for freedom continues even now. My blog is an ongoing expression of that quest. Although I write on a lot of topics, most of my posts are written from this perspective of living free.

Living Your Potential

I believe that only when you move toward freedom can you live your potential. Otherwise you will be stagnant and dragged around by all the emotional hang-ups.

An Invitation for You

Do you have a strong urge to please everyone, do everything, and be everywhere? I want to help you live with freedom and focus. Join me in the Journey as we process life and how to live it with freedom and focus.

When you subscribe to receive updates from my blog, you will also get a free copy of my book Living Your Potential.

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When There Is No One Else But God

We were in the mountains of Sikkim, near a town called Namchi. My wife, daughter, and I visited this area for the first time. It was after being healed of chronic back pain that I had for 17 years. With every step, I thanked God for healing and restoration. I could never imagine climbing and walking like this before. The hills and mountains around Namchi were quite steep, and every step was amazing to me. In fact, one of the villages we visited required a climb of more than 260 steps (pictured below).

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The mountains were beautiful and I enjoyed every minute as all my prior expectations were blown away. Before my healing, I was never be able to move my body as I used to. One by one, each MRI revealed that my back was falling apart. I could barely stand, sit, or lie down without excruciating pain.

I finally asked the doctor, “Does this mean that my back will eventually collapse and I’ll finally be crippled? The doctor struggled with that question and stumbled for words as he explained that the damage was irreversible. Then he said that an operation may help, but the success rate was too low and the risk too high.

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I felt like my body was giving up on me. It was as if there is still life left in me, but my body was giving up too early. I experienced somewhat of a feeling of betrayal. My body should have stayed with me for the rest of my life. It was a deep internal struggle that was unexplainable.

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When David was betrayed by his own son Absalom, he had to flee. David realized there was no one to trust except God. Thus he responded: “But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. I cried aloud to the Lord, and he answered me from his holy hill” (Ps 3:3-4). David had lost all hope, and in the midst of his distress, he reminds himself that God is his hope.

In my utter helplessness, God in his mercy, put me through about two years of emotional healing and finally experienced his miraculous touch in June 2012. The pain was miraculously gone and I was able to resume all my former activities. You can read about the healing at this link.

The mountains of Namchi were a testimony to God’s faithfulness and healing power. What is impossible with people is possible with God.

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