Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. Rev. 22:1-2
Merciful Lord Jesus, I begin today with one clear image and many pronounced longings. The image is John’s vision of the New Jerusalem, our future home of perfect health. Because of the tree of Calvary, the tree of life will stand tall in the New Jerusalem—bearing the fruit of your great sacrifice, extending its leaves for our complete healing. Oh, to live, play, and praise in the shade of that tree, where every disease, disintegration, and distress will be gone forever!
My intense longings are connected to people I love—people in need of all kinds of healing. I pray for marriages of friends to be healed; for the minds of those suffering with mental illness to be healed; for the fabric of our racially torn community to be healed; for the emotions of the demonized to be healed; for friends with stories of abuse, cancer, and heart disease to be healed; indeed, for the nations to be healed . . .
Even as I pray for these things, Jesus, I don’t fully understand—and I don’t have to understand—the “already and not yet” of your healing ministry. Why, how, and when you choose to bring a foretaste of perfect health in the present state of our brokenness is up to you. You are the King who does all things well. You are always at work in all things, for your glory and our good. You don’t need our permission to do anything or our advice about anything.
But, Lord Jesus, when it comes to praying for healing, help me avoid two extremes: keep me free from faith formulas that treat healing like an on-demand right or already secured reality waiting to be claimed; and keep me free from a theology that has little, if any, expectation of your kingdom breaking in with power and healing, supernatural deliverance and extraordinary manifestations.
More so than ever, I intensely and deeply long for the Day of consummate healing and perfect health. Until that Day, help all of us to anticipate and extend various dimensions of your healing ministry to one another, to our communities, and to the nations. So very Amen I pray, in your holy and healing name.