Can prayer really heal us?

The Bible makes confident claims that God can heal people.

And yet, we regularly pray for people who are unwell, and nothing seems to happen. This sort of paradox can give us what psychologists call cognitive dissonance: that unpleasant feeling when we believe mutually incompatible things.

People naturally want to reduce this discomfort. One way to do this is to oversimplify and ignore one side and push into the other: ‘God always heals if we pray,’ or, ‘there’s no point praying for healing.’

Another strategy is to avoid praying. Either way, our prayerful connection to God suffers.

But just as our friends don’t always communicate as we expect (or want!), God always responds to prayers for healing, but it might not look like what we expect.

God will restore all things, but not necessarily now.

Healing is not the same as curing.

God might reply in a very different way, including reminding us that praying for a cure isn’t always the right thing to do.

But our prayers are always heard.

Watch the video on Praying for Healing from the Sunshine and Showers prayer course.