Why Doesn’t God Heal Every Person You Pray for? How can you Keep the Faith when Your Prayers Go Unanswered?

Any person who has torn his ACL before the start of football season or lost a parent to cancer has wondered, “Why didn’t God heal?”

We are duty-bound to teach that God is a healer and He has sent the Holy Spirit to manifest gifts of healing as signs of his Messianic Mission. Just as we teach the healing power in the Anointing of the Sick and Reconciliation, we must also teach that, through the grace of their Baptism, we too can participate in Christ’s healing ministry. Christ’s ultimate desire is to heal the world from all suffering and death! And this promise is sometimes manifested in the supernatural charism of healing.  But so that the person does not fall into the allure of the prosperity Gospel nor lose their faith and be tempted into apatheism, we also MUST teach that every individual is on a life-long spiritual journey towards God the Father. One stop on that journey is their prayer session where they pray for healing.

The Holy Spirit determines when and how he answers our prayers, meaning that our prayers cannot guarantee that God will move in the exact manner and method for which we are praying. In their text Instructions on Prayers for Healing the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith writes, “Yet not even the most intense prayer obtains the healing of all sicknesses.” This is because the fate of the fallen on earth is to die. In fact, every person Jesus healed in his earthly ministry eventually died. Lazarus died twice! The mission of prayer ministry is to lead the supplicant into a closer union with God, thus preparing them to meet death when it comes. While it is my hope that your prayers contribute to the elimination of temporal suffering, this will not always be the result.

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