For two years, my co-pastor and husband has been battling cancer (victoriously!). Our church has been praying for him. Our community has been praying for him. Our friends have been praying for him. We appreciate all the prayers so very much.
Over the two years, two couples have just shown up at our home determined to pray for him and do what we in the charismatic church call, 'laying on of hands'. These couples are from the Body of Christ, but do not attend our assembly.
Another couple that used to attend our asssembly, but left, emailed to ask if they could come and pray. We thanked them for their prayer, but declined a visit for reasons I won't go into here.
Another couple, who have also left our congregation, but whom we still have relationship with emailed to say their church was having a healing service and invited us to come. They were going. On that particular evening, Bob was feeling a little weak and the weather was really not good and we said we couldn't make it. The former pastor at that church and this couple prayed for my husband, which was very very appreciated.
After the last invite, God's revelation exploded in my head. God said, "I did not direct the elders to call for the sick. I directed the sick to call for the elders!"
Wow! Suddenly I was humbled in the hands of a strong, firm God. In perpetuating what worked in the past, we have continued with 'healing rooms' and 'healing services' and 'faith healers'. These are all well intentioned by sincere Christians. Perhaps God directed them to do so. However, I really think God had another plan in mind for the Church.
God expected the Church to pray for the sick wherever the sick were. The healing rooms were whatever room you were in when you encountered a sick individual.
If we are part of an assembly of believers, the sick should call for the elders. "Come pray for me!!!!"
Bob and I have done that. We have invited people to our home and asked them to pray for my husband. We have seen miraculous results from that Biblical dynamic.
So, on Sunday, I challenged our assembly. I told them, go find sick people and pray for them. You are the elders! Hear the hearts of the sick which are calling for you.
We have heard of events called 'Treasure Hunts' where Christians receive direction from Holy Spirit for where to go and for whom to pray for when they get there. They head out, find that person, pray what Holy Spirit says to pray and lives are changed.
While the churches who have healing rooms are well intentioned, and God bless them, I challenge them to not wait for the sick who can leave their house and come to them for healing. Elders, hear the call of the sick. Get out of the four walls of the building. Reach the world. God loves them.