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|Publisher:||Barbour Publishing, Incorporated|
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About the Author
Mary J. Nelson is an author, speaker, and Pastor (non-staff) of Prayer and Freedom Ministries at Hosanna! Church, a church of 7,000 members in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota. She was the founder and president of Soterion, a communications company dedicated to the healthcare industry. Mary has a passion for helping people encounter God and His goodness in the midst of trials and be empowered and set free to live out their destiny. She emerged from a breast cancer diagnosis in 1999 eager to share how God restored and transformed her life. Her deepest desire is to give away what she has freely received. Mary is the author of Grace for Each Hour: Through the Breast Cancer Journey (Bethany House, 2005), Hope for Tough Times (Revell, 2009), Peace for Each Hour (Comfort Publishing, 2013), and Jehovah-Rapha: The God Who Heals (Shiloh Run Press, 2016). Her books inspire those suffering from physical, emotional, relational, and spiritual brokenness by helping them draw close to the heart of God. She founded and leads the Pray for the Cure cancer healing and discipleship ministry at Hosanna! where she also serves as a leader in the Sozo inner healing ministry and healing prayer ministry. She and her husband, Howie, have two adult children and two grandchildren, and have been married for 40 years.
Read an Excerpt
Jehovah Rapha: The God Who Heals
72 Story-Based Meditations & Prayers
By Mary J. Nelson
Barbour Publishing, Inc.Copyright © 2016 Mary J. Nelson
All rights reserved.
Before You Begin
I have heard all about you, Lord. I am filled with awe by your amazing works. In this time of our deep need, help us again as you did in years gone by. Habakkuk 3:2
Galilee, AD 29
If I can just touch Him, I will be healed. The thought ran through her mind over and over as the crowds pressed in, pushing and shoving against her as she tried to get closer to the Healer. Reports of His power were spreading throughout the villages. They had come from all over Judea with all kinds of diseases and disabilities, each one hoping for a miracle. Just yesterday she heard He had taken pity on a man with advanced leprosy and healed him so he could return to his family (Mark 1:40–44). Someone who had visited a crowded home in Capernaum where the Healer was staying told about how He healed a paralyzed man after four friends managed to dig a hole through the roof and lower the man on a mat right in front of Him (Mark 2:3–11). And in the village of Nain, people said He had even raised a poor widow's son from the dead (Luke 7:14)! Everywhere He went, the blind regained their sight, the lame walked, the deaf could hear, lepers were cured, and demons fled. She continued to push hard through the crowd to reach Him. If I can just get close enough to touch Him, I know I will be healed, too.
She risked everything to come today. A woman in her condition shouldn't be out in public. Jewish laws forbade it. She wasn't allowed to touch any man, especially a holy man of this stature, because she was unclean. The bleeding wouldn't stop. It had held her captive for twelve years now. The doctors couldn't help; and even if they could, she had no money left to pay them. She had given them everything she had and had tried all their remedies, but nothing worked. This man Jesus was her only hope. She tried inching closer to Him, but the crowd kept pushing her back. If I can just touch Him.
She pressed hard against the tangled mass of shouting, desperate people, trying to find an opening. There! Is that Him? She thought she caught a glimpse of His feet between the two people in front of her. Diving forward, she squeezed between them and stretched out her arm as far as she could reach, but she only caught the fringe of His robe on her fingertips. Instantly, she felt a surge of heat go through her body. She knew at once the bleeding had stopped. Amazed and elated, she sat back on her heels in stunned silence as the crowd noise grew distantly faint in the back of her mind. How long had she waited for this day? I only touched the fringe of His robe!
The Teacher knew immediately someone had intentionally touched Him. The touch released His healing power, and He had felt it go out from His body. He stopped and turned to ask the crowd, "Who touched My clothes?" The disciples were puzzled. With the crowd pressing against Him from all sides, how could He possibly ask if someone had touched Him? But Jesus persisted in looking for the person who had reached out to Him with such strong faith. "Who touched Me?" He asked again. The frightened woman trembled and fell at His feet. "It was me," she tearfully confessed. "I knew if I could get close enough to touch You I could be healed. I could only reach the fringe of Your robe, but You healed me!" Jesus looked at her tenderly. "Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. You have been healed."
Ahmednagar, India, 2008
The crowded line was long, and her daughter was growing tired. She picked up Amisha again, letting her rest in the crooks of her forearms. Amisha sighed and nestled her head against her mother's chest. At six, she was getting too big to carry, but standing and walking was difficult for Amisha. She had been born with her right leg shorter than the left and a twisted right foot that caused the sole to face inward. She limped when she walked, making it difficult to help with chores, play games, or keep up with her older brother and sister. How long before she reached someone who would pray? If someone would just pray in the name of Jesus, Amisha will be healed.
She had heard about Him. He was a Healer, a man who lived long ago and was raised from the dead. Christians worshipped Him. She had petitioned her own gods since Amisha was born, but they were angry and held back their blessing. Her only hope was this man Jesus. Earlier in the evening, the evangelist from the United States spoke of Jesus' power to save and heal to the huge crowd that had gathered under the stadium lights. Billboards throughout the town had encouraged them to come to the festival to learn more about Him. They came to be healed of every kind of disease and infirmity. They came because He was their only hope. There were few doctors and no money to pay them.
Most attending were "untouchables" like her, born into the lowest class of a caste system that banned and segregated them from full participation in Hindu social life. They were held captive to a life of discrimination, poverty, and often unrestrained violence — with no hope of escape. But this evangelist had given her hope. He said Jesus loved her. In His Kingdom, everyone was equal. Rich or poor, untouchable or not, His followers all shared the same inheritance and the same eternal future. The evangelist said Jesus could meet her every need. He could heal her and her household of sin and disease. With Him, all things were possible.
She had stood when the evangelist invited the crowd to receive Jesus as her Lord and Savior. Her heart leapt when he invited the crowd to come forward for healing prayer in Jesus' name. And now, she waited in the crowded line with everyone else who wanted to lift up their petitions and receive from God through one of the prayer ministers lined up behind the barrier. She desperately wanted Jesus to heal her little Amisha. Life would be difficult enough for someone like her, but without support, a crippled child was destined to a life of scavenging in the streets or much worse. If someone would just pray in the name of Jesus, Amisha will be healed.
Finally, a man signaled her to come with him. With Amisha's arms clinging tightly around her neck, she quickly followed him, pushing her way through the crowd as he led her to one of the prayer ministers. The young woman greeted her with a gentle smile and asked a question, but she couldn't understand the English words. Her eyes searched around for the man who led her through the crowd. She hoped he could translate, but he was gone, so she simply nodded toward the child who still rested in her arms. The prayer minister raised one hand to the heavens and laid the other on the child's leg and began to pray, "Yeh Pavitra Aatmaa." Come, Holy Spirit. The rest of the prayer was in English, so she didn't understand all the words. When it was over, the young woman looked up and smiled at her again. By this time, Amisha was squirming to be let down, so she lowered her to her feet. For a moment, the child looked puzzled. Amisha took a few tentative steps forward and looked back at her with a broad grin on her face. To her astonishment, Amisha's legs were even and her foot was straight. Praise Jesus, Amisha was healed!
* * *
A bleeding woman and a crippled child separated only by time, each desperate for hope and seeking mercy from the Lord who heals. Two thousand years ago, Jesus came to restore what the enemy stole in the garden, to set things right and initiate His Kingdom on earth (Matthew 12:28; Luke 4:18–20). He came to give life in all its fullness, to comfort the brokenhearted, and to set the captives free (John 10:10; Isaiah 61:1). He preached the good news of His arrival everywhere He went. The Kingdom of God is near! He wanted His followers to understand that His Kingdom is not just a place we may hope to experience in the future, but a realm of power making all things possible today. His Kingdom has started and will continue until it is finally finished on that day when He returns (Philippians 1:6). In this secret place under God's divine rule and reign, there is love, goodness, peace, joy, healing, and abundant life. In this secret place, no evil will conquer you (Psalm 91:9–10).
Yes, Jesus is still with us, and the good news hasn't changed. He never changes. We change. For some reason, we forget. And in our forgetfulness, perhaps we stop believing. We take our eyes off the Creator and focus instead on His creation. We become children of the world instead of children of the Kingdom. He blessed us with intelligence and free will, and we grow comfortable and dependent on a world of things we can touch, see, hear, and control. We forget about the secret place of things unseen. We stop believing that He is the Healer and His power is unlimited. Nothing is impossible for Him. We forget that Jesus preached salvation by actually saving, healing, and delivering people.
The good news of the Gospel is what Jesus did, not just what He said (Acts 10:37–38). He combined both preaching and healing and gave His disciples the power and authority to do the same in His name (Luke 9:1–2; 10:8–9). Then He told all of us to go into the world and preach the good news to everyone, everywhere. He said signs and wonders will accompany those who believe, and they will be able to place their hands on the sick and heal them (Mark 16:15–18). Through the ministry of Peter and Paul, He further demonstrated that healing and miracles were a central and vital part of the early church and His message to the world (Acts 4:29–30; 5:16; Romans 15:18–19).
He is the same today as He was two thousand years ago and before the world began. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). He is not just able to heal today. He is willing. Through His death and resurrection, He provided the full measure of grace to restore all things (Colossians 1:20). He longs to give His children all the blessings of redemption, including physical healing. He always heals those who seek Him. The healing can come supernaturally. Often, He allows His creation to co-labor with Him in the healing process through individual prayer, doctors who provide treatments, or prayer ministers who lay hands on the sick and pray. When physical healing doesn't come, the greatest miracle of all is that He always heals eternally. Whatever the situation, He is still the Lord who heals.
In this book you will find compelling teaching on the healing promises of scripture, healing prayers, and powerful Kingdom stories that will guide you in your quest for healing. My hope is that through this journey, you will come to desire God more than life itself. I pray that His love will overwhelm you and you will be lost in His presence. In this deep place of intimacy with the Savior, may He release His healing power. I pray you will be filled with awe by the amazing things He has done. In this time of your deep need, may He help you again as He has in years gone by. May He show you His power to save and heal.CHAPTER 2
Jesus traveled throughout the region of Galilee, teaching in the synagogues and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom. And he healed every kind of disease and illness. Matthew 4:23
From humble beginnings and after years of obscurity, at age thirty Jesus launched His public ministry with powerful teaching and preaching. He had good news to share — news about the Kingdom of God! For centuries, the people waited for the Anointed One who would rescue them from their Roman oppressors and establish a new Kingdom on earth. More than three hundred prophecies in the ancient scriptures foretold His coming. His cousin John the Baptist came ahead of Him to prepare the way and to tell the people how to find salvation through the forgiveness of sin (Luke 3:4–6). Finally, their long-awaited Messiah had come!
With Capernaum as His home base, Jesus traveled throughout Galilee teaching in the synagogues and preaching everywhere the good news about the Kingdom. News about Him spread far beyond the borders of Galilee. Enormous crowds gathered to hear Him preach. The people were hungry for His message of hope and salvation. People came from the Ten Towns, Jerusalem, from all over Judea, and from east of the Jordan River. Whatever their illness or pain, from the lame and epileptic to the demonically possessed, He healed them. Soon the sick were coming to be healed from as far away as Syria. No problem was too great or too small for Him. He healed them all.
As they watched Him heal the sick and set the captives free, they knew His teaching was true. They witnessed proof of His power and love for them. This man was indeed sent from God! He had authority over sickness and disease — complete authority over heaven and earth (Matthew 28:18). He healed them all because it's God's nature to heal. It always has been and always will be, because our God never changes (Malachi 3:6). Jesus said anyone who has seen Him has seen the Father (John 14:9). When Jesus healed the sick, His actions reflected the Father's heart.
Today, imagine you stand in the crowd. You eagerly wait to hear His voice. You hunger for His message of hope. Desperately, you seek His healing touch. His eyes search the multitude and lock onto yours, slowly penetrating the depths of your soul. You know at once your Savior has come. He knows everything about you. He knows your name. He knows your every need. He knows the deepest desires of your heart. And He still has authority over sickness and disease. He has the same power and desire to heal today as He did two thousand years ago when He traveled through Galilee preaching the good news. At last, the Kingdom is here!
Lord, long ago Your prophets said You would come to save me. Your prophet Isaiah said, "The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine" (Isaiah 9:2). Lord, I don't want to walk in darkness anymore. I want to turn from my sin and turn to the Light (Matthew 4:17). I turn my life over to Your direction and control. Thank You, Lord, for sending Your Son to redeem me! My Messiah has come! My Lord and Savior — my King!
Lord, I lift up the words You taught us to pray. "Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven" (Matthew 6:10 NIV). When I pray these words, I'm praying that Your perfect purpose will be accomplished in this world as in the next. Lord, in heaven there is no illness or pain. Sickness and disease were never Your plan for me. They came into the earth through the sin of one man. Two thousand years ago, heaven touched earth in the form of another man. He healed the sick and set the captives free. Jesus, my King! You live in me. You reign in me. I believe in Your power and desire to heal me today, just as You healed people of every kind of sickness and disease when Your ministry first began. I love You, Lord. Thank You for sending Your Kingdom to earth.CHAPTER 3
I Am Willing
Large crowds followed Jesus as he came down the mountainside. Suddenly, a man with leprosy approached him and knelt before him. "Lord," the man said, "if you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean." Jesus reached out and touched him. "I am willing," he said. "Be healed!" And instantly the leprosy disappeared. Matthew 8:1–3
The man bowed low before the Healer, covering his face with his tattered coat. He had long ago been banished from his home to live outside the city with others suffering the same affliction. Exile was his destiny until he was cured, no longer contagious, or until he simply died. Coming out to meet the Healer brought great risk. As a leper, he was declared by Jewish law to be unclean and was forbidden from mingling with the public or participating in any religious activities. He looked around nervously, alert for the law keepers and those who often threw rocks to keep people like him at a safe distance.
Excerpted from Jehovah Rapha: The God Who Heals by Mary J. Nelson. Copyright © 2016 Mary J. Nelson. Excerpted by permission of Barbour Publishing, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
ContentsBefore You Begin,
I Am Willing,
The God of Compassion,
The Perfect Plan,
In His Name,
His Tender Mercies,
His Word Brings Life,
Help Me Not to Doubt!,
He Is God,
Believe and Receive,
His Redemptive Grace,
Walking in the Fullness,
The Promise of God,
He Healed Them All,
Glory to God,
Hold Out Your Hand,
He Wants You Well,
He Does Not Change,
More Than Enough,
Come to Jesus,
The Secret Place,
Save Me, Lord!,
Because of Your Faith,
Taste and See,
Your Thirsty Soul,
Dare to Believe,
Go and Tell,
Seek Him First,
Out of the Pit,
Small as a Mustard Seed,
Prayer of Faith,
Go ... Till He Says No,
Even Evil Spirits Obey,
A Grateful Heart,
He Has Overcome,
The Secret to Answered Prayer,
Just Do It,
He Dwells in Your Praises,
From the Overflow,
Hidden in the Darkness,
Pit Bull Prayers,
For His Glory,
Just Have Faith,
Even Greater Things,
The Secret to Contentment,