Does your faith tradition believe in miraculous physical healings?

Just curious what your faith tradition’s position is on divine physical healing of diseases such as cancer.
The region of the country where I live is full of ‘ Word of Faith’ preachers who teach a “health and wealth” message that I don’t believe is of the Lord. For example, if a devout Christian lady has breast cancer, they would contend that if she has faith and trusts and believes in Jesus for her healing, she will be healed. The flip-side of that teaching is that if the lady is not healed and (let’s say) dies, then it’s implied that she lacked faith, which in my opinion adds insult to injury and impugns the sick person.

On the other side of the spectrum I sometimes hear speakers on Catholic radio talk about “redemptive suffering”, which sounds to me to be encouraging believers to embrace disease and physical pain instead of praying for physical healing while using the personal suffering as a spiritual force when united to Christ to pray for someone else to find God or for some other holy intention while accepting and welcoming your pending death.

Please correct me if I have misstated anything, as I’ve merely stated my perceptions of beliefs that I have been exposed to as best as I understand them.

The reason I broach this topic is that my wife was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and I have been praying regularly for her healing as well as taking her to a breast surgeon and oncologists. I have been praying for the Lord to heal her — if it be His will — while at the same time praying that the Lord guide and lead the doctors to help heal her.

Some of my wife’s friends tell her after she tells them the words I pray — the “if it be God’s Will” part — that my prayers are too wishy-washy and that I should claim her healing in Jesus’ name.

While I love my wife dearly and hope and pray she is healed by God or by God through the help of medical science, I believe that God is sovereign and you can’t manipulate Him into doing your will as if He were a divine genie in a bottle. Your thoughts?

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Well, yes, but most Catholics believe in using medicine along with prayer. I believe that medication can be an answer to prayer.

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Yes, God, if He wills it, can cure miraculously any physical illness.

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This is a horrible horrible doctrine. Someone in my family was told that their young son died because they didn’t have enough faith. It’s utterly repugnant as well as unbiblical. Don’t you think the martyrs would’ve prayed for divine intervention? Are they all faithless? I mean come on.

Yes Catholics believe in divine healing. In fact we believe in asking for those in heaven to help you pray for them. A step further than other Christian faiths.

If Christ can accept death on a cross, then we can accept whatever we have coming. Your prayer is fine.

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It sounds like you have a firm grasp on all sides of the question! And I pray God draws close to you and your wife as you struggle through this.

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Case in point, my mom was admitted to the hospital last year due to severe ulcer. She was brought immediately to the emergency room waiting for operation. While waiting, the doctor guided me outside the room and told me she has only 20% chance of survival due to her age and the complication of her condition. However, that didn’t deter me to pray and beg GOD for a sign. Within no time, the sign that I asked for started popping out everywhere I go. On the other hand, my cousin, who was with me at that time, was even more nervous than I am. I told him there’s nothing to worry about since GOD is in control. True enough, the operation went on very successfully; only to find out later that my mom was assigned to one of the best surgeons of that hospital. Praise GOD! After the operation, she was brought directly to the ICU where she stayed for 2 weeks. Then, she was transferred to an ordinary ward. During those times, I fervently prayed the rosary everyday and offered the mass intention for her immediate recovery. GOD is really good. He answered my prayer. Now, my mom is healthier than ever.

There had been many more previous incidents where I prayed for someone and the person got healed. This is just one of them. I think, based on my experience, I may have the gift of healing. I pray that GOD will continue to use me as His instrument by making full use of the talent He has given me in doing my mission for His greater glory.

I hope my testimony will serve as an inspiration to those who are currently going through difficulties in life to keep the faith, always pray, and never give up. Remember, faith in GOD changes everything. May the peace of our Lord be with you always. GOD bless!

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Yes. I’m a charismatic; I believe that the spiritual gifts that Paul talked about in 1 Corinthians 12 & 14 are still active today. One of those gifts is the gift of healing. I don’t know anyone who has that gift. I asked the Lord to give me that gift, but He has chosen to not give it to me (He gave me the gift of tongues, though).

Even if I did possess the gift of healing, I would not advise people to seek my healing power alone. I would want them to seek medical help, too.

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In my case, I didn’t ask GOD for a gift of healing. I just discovered it sometime in my later years.

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Catholics believe the following:

  1. If you are sick, you should seek medical attention.

  2. You can pray for healing, but it is up to God whether you are actually healed or not. The strength of your faith does not determine whether or not you are healed. Many saints had very strong faith and yet died of some illness or other. Our healing prayer would be “God, if it be your will, please let me (or person X) recover from this illness.” One can also ask for the intercession of Mary or saints.

  3. Redemptive suffering simply means that when you are suffering and there’s no way to avoid it, like your pain meds or treatment isn’t working, you offer it up to save souls or in reparation for sins. In that situation you are going to suffer anyway, so why not put it to good use by offering it. It does not require you to actively seek out suffering, like go without your pain meds, although many of us would do this on a small scale when we are not sick by, for instance, fasting on bread and water for one day and offering that.

Some people don’t like the idea of redemptive suffering because they think it encourages people to seek out pain or stay in painful situations without getting help. These people don’t understand redemptive suffering, or perhaps they were taught about it incorrectly.

I will pray for your wife and you.

Your wife’s friends are free to pray for her in their own way. They need to be respectful of the belief systems of others and not be policing your prayers, or worst of all saying your wife isn’t healed because you “didn’t pray right”.

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You and your wife are in my prayer.

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Pentecostals believe that “healing is provided in the atonement”, which means that the healing we have in Christ is holistic, both spirit and body. We can use both medicine and prayer (some Pentecostal groups teach you should not use medicine, but that’s a minority). We practice anointing of the sick with the laying on of hands, and there is also teaching that the Lord’s Supper can also be a means of receiving healing as well.

The statement of faith of the Foursquare Church, a major Pentecostal denomination represents the view well:

XIV. DIVINE HEALING
We believe that divine healing is the power of the Lord Jesus Christ to heal the sick and the afflicted in answer to believing prayer; that He who is the same yesterday, today and forever has never changed but is still an all-sufficient help in the time of trouble, able to meet the needs of, and quicken the body into newness of life, as well as the soul and spirit in answer to the faith of them who ever pray with submission to His divine and sovereign will.

Scripture References

  1. “‘He Himself took our infirmities And bore our sicknesses.’” (Mt. 8:17)
  2. “For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise and walk’”? (Mt. 9:5)
  3. “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” (Mk. 16:17,18)
  4. “Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.” (Acts 4:29,30)
  5. “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed…” (James 5:14-16)

When it comes to the Word of Faith teaching, unfortunately Pentecostals kind of are to blame for that since this teaching is a distortion of classical Pentecostal teachings. The classical Pentecostal approach is to ask God in faith, and then leave it in his hands. There is an acknowledgement that God is sovereign.

The Word of Faith/positive confession teaching is an early 20th century combination of Pentecostal teaching with New Thought magical thinking, and it has done horrible damage.

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From the Baha’i Writings: “At whatever time highly-skilled physicians shall have developed the healing of illnesses by means of foods, and shall make provision for simple foods, and shall prohibit humankind from living as slaves to their lustful appetites, it is certain that the incidence of chronic and diversified illnesses will abate, and the general health of all mankind will be much improved. This is destined to come about. In the same way, in the character, the conduct and the manners of men, universal modifications will be made. According to the explicit decree of Bahá’u’lláh one must not turn aside from the advice of a competent doctor. It is imperative to consult one even if the patient himself be a well-known and eminent physician. In short, the point is that you should maintain your health by consulting a highly-skilled physician. It is incumbent upon everyone to seek medical treatment and to follow the doctor’s instructions, for this is in compliance with the divine ordinance, but, in reality, He Who giveth healing is God.”
From Abdu’l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, p. 156

Totally agree with you .

The only thing I would like to add without being rude.

Some folk wish to find a miraculous healing from illnesses.

But in fact they have lost sight that each day is a gift given to them and those who suffer can be an enormous inspiration to those who are fully well .

Spritual they are stronger.

John 9:1-12 English Standard Version (ESV)

Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind

9 As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3 Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. 4 We must work the works of him who sent mewhile it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. 5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”6 Having said these things, he spit on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man’s eyes with the mud 7 and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing.

“It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him". Folk who are ill can be more spritual than fit and well people.

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