“…love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. Matt. 22:37-38”
At first glance, you might think that healing prayer has not that much to do with the first commandment. But let’s think again! Nothing can be more basic in the Christian faith than loving God. In its essence, Christianity is all about relationship. Our faith, our life in Christ, our ministry, our identity, all flow out of our personal relationship with the living God. An expert in the Law asked Jesus what is the greatest commandment in the Law (Matt. 22:34-40). Jesus replied that loving the Lord our God, our heavenly Father, is the greatest commandment. This is so fundamental, where our Christian life resonates, and from where all true ministry flows.
The extent to which we love the Lord our God, and know his love, shapes and influences so much. We might be unsure of his love so we are driven to “performance orientation.” Or a deficit in our soul which only the Father’s love can fill makes us more vulnerable to all sorts of addictions or compulsions. Perhaps we have a lot of anxieties that seem to plague us no matter how much we pray – it could just be that we are unsure of the Father’s love and hence also his protection and guidance. We believe with our mind, but our emotions are really elsewhere.
So it turns out that a major need for healing, indeed often the “first major block” in our spiritual journey is our image of God. God is not an abstract or remote ‘eternal being’. He is so different from other religions, our heavenly Father to whom we pray the most intimate things (Matt. 6:9). In fact, the idea of God as a “Father” is so different from the god(s) of Islam, Bhuddism, Hinduism, and other religions. God as Father brings to the forefront the idea of relationship.
Loving God with all our heart, soul, and mind is not an abstract concept, but must be lived out in practice. The Lord God is our heavenly Father (Matt. 6:6, 8, 9, 14, etc.). We cannot escape this every time we pray the Lord’s Prayer – “Our Father, Who ….”. How does each of us view Fatherhood? What image have you possibly created of God (Ex. 20:4)? Has there been a ‘Father figure’ in the church such as a pastor, priest, or other spiritual leader that has damaged or distorted your view of God the Father? Some of us have experienced sexual abuse, or other forms of abuse, from our own earthly fathers, and that almost always affects how we approach God the Father. Some Christians cannot fully trust God, are not sure He will really care for them, are not fully convinced He has their best interests at heart, and so forth. Thus, living by God’s faithfulness and His promises is difficult. This in turn undermines other relationships and service for his kingdom. If your earthly Father was absent or simply never demonstrated love, or never affirmed you, then you may well find it hard to relate to your heavenly Father. Knowing the true character of Father God becomes difficult.
We see the foregoing often in healing prayer – believers wanting to love God in “their hearts” and not just in “their heads”. This is more widespread in the body of Christ than many of us care to admit. So the ministry of healing prayer, the transformation of the whole person to become like Jesus, seeks to uncover the blockages, hindrances, or wounds that prevent us from realizing the Great Commandment. At times in healing prayer, the Lord takes time to give a revelation of His character and love for a person – and uniquely for each person. Many times, we have seen how the Lord brings healing to a person inviting God as Father more fully into their life.