Prayer and Healing

pawsonFor some reason David Pawson has been a controversial figure in Christian circles.
That controversy is clearly demonstrated by the popularity of an article I posted on one of my other blogs, asking Is David Pawson a False Teacher?

I wrote the article because that question has been the most common ‘search term’ drawing people to my blog. (It has had almost 29,000 views to date).

I see that Pawson is interested in what the Bible actually teaches and tries to address that rather than just pass on traditional teaching and theology.
It’s an approach with the capacity to offend those who are addicted to their church traditions.

For the most part this book takes a biblical look at prayer, through adapting content of some Pawson sermons into written form.

Overall it is a very readable, and interesting look at what scripture reveals about prayer. What it is, how it’s done and with whom and to whom we need to pray.

Pawson gives a lot of food for thought, maybe challenging some naïve ideas.

My one quibble with the book, and it seems out of character for Pawson, is that he takes the traditional, non-biblical, line regarding the apostle Paul’s “thorn in the flesh”. (see 2 Corinthians 12: 1-10) By doing that I think he compromises an otherwise well presented, clearly taught book on prayer.

(I have written about what the bible says regarding Paul’s “thorn”  as well as posting other material on my Onesimus Files blog).

murrayAndrew Murray’s Divine Healing is the first of two books I’ve read recently regarding “divine healing”. I read both of the books after doing my own study on the topic, and it was satisfying to note that both authors confirmed a lot of the findings of my own studies, as well as giving more insight to ponder.

Murray’s book suffers at times from outdated language and turns of phrase. (Murray died in 1917). Like so many from his era, he occasional resorts to an Olde English style using thees and thous, when addressing God; as if God speaks Elizabethan English and requires His followers to do likewise.

The surprising thing about this book is how much it reveals the extent that God’s desire to heal has been buried by the church. So much of what Murray teaches in this book would be dismissed today as extreme, and yet he comes from a very conservative theological background, and not some group promoting a modern “health and wealth gospel”.

The second book on healing was Christ the Healer, by F.F. Bosworth, a healing evangelist from the early 20th century.

bosworthIt’s a book I recall owning many years ago, but had long since lost.
I bought a new copy a few weeks ago, in an updated edition in which the language of a century ago has been given a more present day appeal.

Not long after it was delivered, Gloria claimed it and has been reading it ever since, making notes and highlighting significant sections. Instead of waiting for her to finish with it, I chose to get another copy for myself, one I could easily pass on to someone else later.

Bosworth starts with a very astute observation.

Before people can have a steadfast faith for the healing of their body, they must be rid of all uncertainty concerning God’s will in the matter.

It was that same realisation (that faith is impossible without knowledge of God’s will) that led me to my own Bible study of His will regarding healing.

After expressing that foundational reality, Bosworth proceeds to address the matter of God’s will and desire to heal, mostly from scripture but also from personal experience.
He himself had been healed of a terminal case of tuberculosis as a young man before going on to preach and heal around the world for many decades afterwards.

Three excellent books addressing vital issues of Christian living that sadly seem to have been pushed aside in modern Christian experience, expectation and practice.