A Full Breath of Praise
Here’s the truth …
“I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart. I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours” (Mark 11:23-24 NLT).
I was healed of a terrible breathing issue this week, Praise the Lord! I had been dealing with this issue for years, and was even erroneously placed on asthma medication for many of those years before recent tests showed that I didn’t have asthma after all. I also underwent surgery for a deviated septum, thinking that would solve the problem. It didn’t. I received allergy testing, only to find that I am allergic to nothing. All the while, I was coughing, couldn’t take a full breath, and was wiping my drippy nose every five minutes.
In my desperation, I turned to God. His response? Wake up at five o’clock each morning for a week and devote yourself to praying about and studying healing. So, I did. And this is what I learned.
First of all, pray expecting a miracle. Be like the woman with the issue of blood who lived with her suffering for twelve years and was desperate to be healed (Mark 5:25-34). Although we don’t know the exact lengths she went to for fixing her problem before Jesus became involved, we do know that Jesus didn’t spend quality time evaluating whether or not she was worthy of a healing. In fact, He noticed her only after she had “stolen” some of His power out of Him upon touching the fringe of His robe with extreme faith that she would be healed. Often, we tell ourselves that we are being punished for sin and “deserve” to be in our weakened state. We tell ourselves that even Paul was given a “thorn in [his] flesh … to keep [him] from becoming proud” (2 Corinthians 12:7 NLT). We make excuses that this sickness is probably with us for a reason. All I know, though, is that Jesus would spend much of His time healing people when He was here on the earth. And when people wouldn’t listen to His teachings (like when He visited His home town of Nazareth), “He could not do any miracles there, except lay His hands on a few sick people and heal them” (Mark 6:5 NIV). Funny that the real miracles He had to offer went beyond healing the sick! Clearly, healing people came very easily to Jesus! Why, then, should I see it as unattainable for me?
Secondly, use Scripture to guide your thinking. One particular verse that I prayed aloud increased my faith: “I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart. I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you've received it, it will be yours” (Mark 11:23-24 NLT). So, with the miracle of Jesus living inside of me, I proceeded to believe that He would work from the inside out and that I would breathe normally again. I put my hand on my chest and emphatically said to Jesus, “I know that if you can simply touch the spot that is causing me not to breathe, I will be healed. So, please touch that spot, Jesus.”
The verse that follows says, “But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too” (Mark 11:25 NLT). It is not lost on me that my recent forgiveness of someone who betrayed me (see What We Can Learn from Betrayal) was indeed a step in this healing process.
Next, when you are asked to come forward at the end of your church service to receive prayer of any kind, go! Having someone place hands on you and pray over your body in agreement with you aligns with Scripture: “For when two or three gather in my Name, there I am with them” (Matthew 18:20 NIV), and “Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord” (James 5:14 NLT). It increased my faith to hear someone else say, “Nothing is impossible with you, Lord.”
Also, find worship songs that match what you need and sing those over and over again with a thankful heart, believing that you have been healed. I chose Air I Breathe by Mat Kearney and Great are You, Lord by All Sons & Daughters (with the verse, “It’s Your breath in our lungs, so we pour out our praise, we pour out our praise”). Very fitting, huh?
I woke up at the end of my week of prayer and something was different. It was like a cork had been popped in my chest and air was able to get in there now.
Now you might say, Well, I know of many people who prayed for healings and weren’t healed. How come God healed you and not them? I certainly cannot answer that. All I can say is that God has been in the business of increasing my faith this year and showing me more of Himself than I have ever witnessed before. He earlier rescued me from some emotional pain. Now, He has rescued me from a physical burden. I am like the blind man who was questioned by people who were amazed by his healed eyes. He answered them, “The man they call Jesus made mud and spread it over my eyes and told me, ‘Go to the pool of Siloam and wash yourself.’ So I went and washed, and now I can see!” (John 9:11 NLT). That’s all I can say as well. I was told to dedicate myself to this for a week. This is how I dedicated myself to it. I once was breathless; now I can breathe.
Although I think the above steps of faith were very instrumental in my healing, I don’t want all of the emphasis to be placed on what I did. Jesus inevitably touched that spot and sent away the demon who was keeping me breathless. But I can say that the blind man being told to wash and God impressing upon me to wake up much earlier than I usually do makes me believe that God desires our skin in the game. Want another example of this? Naaman, a commander in the King of Aram’s army, had leprosy. Elisha the prophet gave Naaman a task: “So Naaman went down to the Jordan River and dipped himself seven times, as the man of God had instructed him. And his skin became as healthy as the skin of a young child’s, and he was healed!” (2 Kings 5:14 NLT). At first, Naaman was very angry that he had to do this, rationally thinking that Elisha would instead “wave his hand over the leprosy and call on the name of the Lord his God” (2 Kings 5:11b NLT) to heal him. If we want to grow closer to God, though, we need to let God build our character in unexpected ways, which means taking steps of faith we might not normally take.
Open yourself up to the possibility that God wants to show you more of Himself through whatever burdens you today. Take the plunge, get up early, and devote yourself to studying what He is capable of doing. He might surprise you with a healing that will make you shout with all the air in your lungs, too!
… and that’s the truth as I know it!