Due to the miraculous healing I have received in inner healing prayer I began to pray for physical healing for arthritis for the first time in many years.
During this time my pain decreased to the point where I forgot to take my bi-monthly shot. I went back on the medicine not because I had pain but because you are not supposed to just stop taking this medicine cold turkey. I was taking Humira, a very powerful drug that has some nasty side-effects, but does fight he bone-fusion my arthritis is known for.
When I got back on the medicine I started having dizzy spells, a sign of a severe side-effect relating to nerve damage. I contacted my doctor immediately and after explaining the situation decided to get off Humira completely.
[I want to be abundantly clear on this point: I would *never* suggest that people need to get off their medications before a healing has happened “to prove” their faith. I would be incredibly wary of any “faith-healers” who suggest you need to do this. If you are praying for healing and think you have received it talk to your doctor about discontinuing medication.
For me, personally, as an individual, in this situation, I felt like God was calling me to step out in faith, get off my medication, and begin praying for healing again. Indeed God not healing me of arthritis as a child really broke down my faith and confidence in prayer and now that I am all of a sudden excited about prayer, I think God is bringing back here for a very specific reason. How confident can I be in prayer if what eroded my faith in prayer still exists?
Several weeks ago at a Livebones gathering, we ended the night in a time of prayer for healing for my body and for another friend. We did an exercise known as a “leg-lengthening prayer.” Apparently a very common issue people have, especially with back pain, is one leg being shorter than the other. Leg lengthening prayer is prayer for God to miraculously even out your legs.
When I put my back completely flat against a chair and lifted up my legs, my left leg did appear to be an inch or so shorter. We prayed, and I felt heat, but my left leg did not grow out.
In the moment this struck me as very crazy and even something I would have previously relegated to fringe groups of Christianity. However, as I looked around at who was praying for me, it was people who I knew, people who I trusted, and people who I knew loved God and loved me. So it was okay.
That week the whole situation stuck with me and often I sat in the library lifting my legs together and it seemed one leg was certainly shorter than the other. Additionally, when I stood and balanced my weight completely on each foot I was leaning like 5 degrees to the left, and when I stood 100% level I was putting more weight on my right leg.
Now, I have had my back adjusted before by a chiropractor after he identified that my lower back was messed up, causing my legs to be different lengths, but this appeared to be something else. My knees would line up, but my left leg from the knee to the ankle appeared to be shorter.
Last Wednesday I had several people over and towards the end of the night we prayed. I “volunteered” one of my friends to pray for my leg. I figured, if my faith is going to be stretched, I may as well bring others along with me. She said later that she felt very out there and on the edge. Coached and encouraged by another friend she said a very brief prayer for healing in the name of Jesus Christ.
I instantly felt my left leg and hip warming up and as we continued to pray I felt it pushing out against the carpet. When I lifted my leg there seemed to still be a difference, but about one or two millimeters, not an inch. Something had clearly happened.
Now a cynic might suggest that just as my chiropractor could adjust my back and get my legs aligned, so something similar could have happened, and this was not that miraculous of a thing. However, this happened sitting in a chair where the only variable was prayer. There was no chiropractor putting me on my side and adjusting my back through physical force.
Additionally, we prayed for my eye. I have a condition called Iritis which, when it got out of control, caused glaucoma, which in turn resulted in an eye surgery in 2008. A major flare up of Iritis came up and I was going to see the doctor last Friday about it. These flare ups worry me because they could lead to another eye surgery. We prayed over my eye.
While my vision did not change or improve in that moment, last Friday at the Dr. Dea’s office when he looked into my eye he only saw trace amounts of the inflammation. I know my Iritis very well, I know what a major flare up looks and feels like, and I know when I have a trace amount of inflammation.
God is at work in healing my body.
When I look back, even at my previous post, I see a man who accepted his arthritis as something fated. Part of this was probably my feelings of helplessness. Part of this was also a Christian man speaking into my life saying that this was like “Paul’s thorn in his flesh” and my arthritis was to keep me humble. However, as I learn more about prayer, and follow the Holy Spirit, I think She is inviting me to pray for full healing from my arthritis and an undoing of the damage it has caused. What happened at the Livebones meeting and last Wednesday I think are just baby steps on the route to something far bigger and God seeding and watering my faith that He can and does heal people miraculously in this life.
At the end of the day, if my arthritis is something that I am going to live with, if that Christian man was right, God can tell me that directly and that will be okay. But I sincerely doubt He has brought me to this place of prayer just to say no to my petitions for healing.
In all of this I feel very vulnerable with God. I am asking Him for help. I am asking Him for help in an area where He previously did not answer. Will He respond? Will He respond this time? It just seems like when I keep following the Holy Spirit I keep being brought to these places where I do not feel safe or comfortable, but I think that’s the point.
Readers: Thanks to everyone who prayed for me last Wednesday. If you want to be part of future prayers for healing in person, if you want be put on the edge and have your faith grown, just let me know.