I started being ill with bronchitis at the end of January. (It’s no coincidence that I was just starting up a prayer group to look to God for more healings and miracles!)
After 10 days of getting gradually worse, I saw the doctor who told me to rest and take paracetamol. A few days later I experienced sharp stabbing pains at the back of my chest, and knew it was pleurisy, which is a painful lung condition. I had a high temperature, coughed perpetually, and had no energy.
I was forced to rest, sitting upright in a chair or in bed, clutching a hot water bottle. The doctor prescribed a 7day course of antibiotics, and sent me for a chest X-ray which showed I had pneumonia. Over a week I gradually improved, and after finishing the antibiotics, felt better for a couple of days. Then I got worse again and had to take more antibiotics, blood tests and another X-ray.
This had now been going on for 4 weeks. Many of my dear friends had visited and prayed with me and I had missed two Sundays at church which was probably the first time ever in 17 years of being at Gateway! While I was seriously unwell, I found it hard to pray and read my Bible, although I did so. I talked to God about it. He reminded me that whether or not I prayed and read my Bible, made no difference to His love for me. I was His daughter, and was totally loved whatever I did or didn’t do.
He also reminded me that we have a ‘great high priest’ (Jesus) in heaven, who sympathises with our weaknesses.
On Thursday 14 th March I remembered another Scripture. In James 5 v 14-15 it says, ‘Is anyone of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up’.
I wanted to be well. Healing is still a mystery. We pray and speak healing over some people and they don’t get better. Sometime the Lord takes people home to be with Him. Others get gradually better though prayer and medication and doctors’ input all working together. But the more we seek God, and the more we pray for healing, the more results we are seeing.
In obedience to Scripture, I asked the elders to pray and anoint me with oil. Three elders saw me the same afternoon, and it only took about 10 minutes. They each prayed. The oil smelt beautiful, and I carried the fragrance of it (just a drop on the forehead!) with me for the rest of the day. I felt the same physically when I left, but I knew I had met with God through them.
Within 24 hours there had been a turn-around! My coughing had significantly subsided, much to Graham’s (my husband’s) relief, and my chesty bronchitis symptoms had disappeared. I could sleep without coughing and was beginning to feel stronger. Thank you, Lord.
So I want to encourage you that if you are ill – read James 5 v 14-15, and ask the elders to anoint you with oil and pray for you. Whatever happens you will be blessed.
Also, we have formed a prayer group for healing, so if you also want us to pray for you, or with you, we will be happy to do so. Please let me know!