“The feelings of depression, hopelessness, and suicidal thoughts have consumed me for over two months. Each day gets worse and worse. I know that the devil is trying to push me to give up on life, give in to him, and let go of what God has planned for me. It takes everything I have to make it through each day without tears, fear, anger, and disappointment. I hate myself and I hate my life. I cared about nothing. There is no joy, no smiles and no fulfillment in anything.
It was a beautiful Sunday morning, as my friends and I were greeted at the door by the sweet sounds of southern hospitality. The decor of the church reminded me of growing up in the ’80s where we slept soundly under the pews while the loud hell, fire, and brimstone preacher delivered his message. Potluck smells filled our noses as we dreamed of the savory country fried chicken and gravy cooking in the cast-iron skillet for the church potluck following the service.
Even as a visitor this particular day, I felt like I was at home. The music refreshed my soul as we sung old hymns like, “Victory in Jesus, my Savior forever.” and “Oh, how He touched me and made me whole.” If you needed prayer, then the altars were always open. No invitation was needed and this morning was no different.
Church members were met by the pastor and church leaders as they began to walk down the aisle. I watched from the third row as more people filled the altars after the pastor’s invitation, “If you need anything from God today, come forward for prayer.”
Out of the corner of my eye, I could see a man moving slowly towards the front, for obvious reasons. He was bent over at the waist at about a 45-degree angle and his face painted with pain and weakness. Trying not to stare, I focused my gaze back on the members at the front of the church already receiving prayer. Immediately I heard God say, “Khristina, I want you to pray for that man.”
The conversation quickly ended with my response, “Lord, it’s okay, he will be prayed for by the pastor and church leaders. These people don’t know me. If I walk up there and pray for that man in this old school, country church, that pastor may reign fire and brimstone down on me.”
After a few minutes of chatting with my friend, I saw the man return to his seat in the same condition that he was in when he had slowly walked to the altar.
I heard God say again, “Khristina, I want you to pray for that man.”
The paint was chipping on the weathered concrete structure as we entered the Ukrainian church. You would never guess this was where 100 people gathered every week, as it looked very different from most Western churches. I imagine in the nearly 70 years of Communist rule, building church sanctuaries was not on their list of priorities. The lack of Western luster didn’t offend God either because he showed up and showed out this particular day. After teaching one hour about God’s desire to heal the sick and perform miracles, through my interpreter, I asked if anyone needed prayer for healing.
The first couple in line pastored a local Ukrainian church that teaches, “Healing is not for people today. Healing was something that Jesus and the disciples did in Bible times, but it was not meant for us to experience today. The wife said, “I’ve had severe back pain for five months. I realized during your teaching today that I had sin in my life. I repented of the sin while you were teaching and my back started to feel a little better, but the pain is still there. Can you pray for my back that God would completely heal me?”
My heart nearly skipped a beat as I listened to her next few words. I’ve heard these words many times. I have lived my life by these words until God revealed His truth to me. She said, “I think God is punishing me for my sin, that’s why I am in pain.”
WoW! Even now as I write down her words, I can feel her pain. Soon compassion for her overwhelmed me. “That is not true! That is a lie from the enemy, satan. God does not make people sick! God does not punish people with sickness,” I said.
Take a look a the scriptures below. Do you see a theme?
“He forgives all our sins and heals all our diseases.” Psalms 103:3
“Jesus spoke and the demons left them, and he healed all the sick.” Matthew 8:16
“Jesus went everywhere in Galilee….preaching the good news….healing all the people’s diseases and sicknesses.” Matthew 4:23
It’s a three letter word that we should repeat over and over as it pertains to healing. It’s the word ALL. “ALL” means “every, wholly, entirely, completely, everything.” It doesn’t mean some people or just specific sicknesses, but ALL people and ALL sickness.
In Psalms 103:3, it says “He[God] forgives ALL your sins, and heals ALL your diseases.” So, the same faith that it takes for you to believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins and receive him as your Savior, is the same faith it takes to believe He can heal you. There is no magic method, formula, words, or actions that should be followed to receive healing from God. You only need to believe in faith. If you are a child of God, then you already have that faith. The enemy will immediately try to come in and create doubt by telling you lies. We have a choice to believe him and make his lies our truth or resist him and choose to believe God.
What if you don’t believe in the bible? Let’s take a look at these lies from a logical standpoint. God doesn’t make people sick! Why? Because He’s not sick. You can’t give what you don’t have.
If sickness is from God and in some way this brings Him glory, why would it not bring Him more glory if we were even sicker?
Why would hospitals not be places of revival where people are giving their lives to Christ?
Do you have children of your own, nieces, nephews, etc.? If they were disobeying you, would you give them pneumonia, cancer, or some other disease until they did what you told them to do? NO, of course not. You would be arrested for child abuse and your children taken away from you. You love your children and would do anything to protect them and keep them safe. Often times sparing no expense to ensure their health and safety. If you have received the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, then you are considered a child of God. Why would he make you sick to teach you something? That’s just stinking thinking!!!
I could see the look of astonishment and hope on her face. Could it be true? Could God really heal her?
She went on to explain her pain was so severe that she could only bend over at a ten-degree angle, which made it hard to pick up things, properly bend to sit in a chair and do everyday tasks. So, with her permission, I laid my hands on her back and prayed that God’s healing power would flow through her body and all muscles, tissue, ligaments, and bones would be restored to their normal length and strength.