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OUTLINE: Introduction
  The Form of Prayer
24 Healing Prayers, on the following topics -
Anointing Future Obedience
Blindness Judgement Paralysis
Cleansing Kingdom Peace
Cross Laying on of Hands Relationships
Deliverance Life-style Sending Out
Disturbance Nations Service
Fear Neighbours Suffering
Forgiveness New Life in Christ Worship

Blind Bartimaeus Parable of the Debtor
Cleansing of the Temple Paralytic with Friends
Cross Predicted Peace of Christ
Forgiveness St. Paul's 'thorn'
'Go and Tell...' Risen Christ
For judgement I came Simon's mother-in-law
Healing the Nations 'The Spirit is upon me'
Leper healed Stilling nature's storms
Leper who returned Woman who anointed
Lord's Prayer Woman in crowd
'Love your neighbour' 'Worry not...'
Man at the Pool Zacchaeus
'A New Creation'  

What's Different About These 24 Prayers?
There are few printed prayers that reflect the wider and deeper views of health and wholeness that are held increasingly nowadays by Christian and non-Christian alike.

Why Have They Biblical Passages?
To root each prayer in a Biblical passage seemed to be the best basis and the way to avoid error and imbalance. Prayers for healing can suffer from imbalances both of unbelief and of faith.
  (a) Unbelief can lead to praying which is so fearful of saying anything dogmatic that it becomes little more than uncertainty wrapped in religious sentiment!

(b) Faith can distort prayer too! It may sometimes stand prayer upside-down and start commanding God to do what we have decided. The language of such prayers, based on verses like 'your faith has healed you', sound very Biblical, but that which sounds Biblical is not automatically Biblically sound! Using Scripture passages is the best way to be truly Biblical.

The Form of Prayer (back to top)
Why do the Prayers Have the Same Form?
Some Christians are suspicious of form and formal things because they seem not to be natural.
Formality has its dangers, but having form and being natural are not opposites.
Speaking is a very structured thing. In fact that last sentence written without form comes out as: 'thing Speaking structured a very is'!

A Natural Way to Ask
Consider the following requests, one spoken by a young girl to her mother, and the other written by a businessman to his bank manager. (Ignore numbers on first reading.)

  '(1) Mummy, (1a) darling; (2) Can you lend me your pen? (2a) I've lost mine and have got to do my homework. (3) Thanks!'

The next request is -

  (1) 'The Manager, Dear Sir,
(1a) Thank you for your financial help when I last moved house.
(2) Could you arrange a loan for me?
(2a) I am having to move again because of promotion at work.
(3) I am sure you will be able to help me. Looking forward to hearing from you…'

Each request has essentially the same form -
(1) Person addressed
(1a) Relevant truth about person addressed
(2) Request
(2a) Reason for and/or anticipated result of request
(3) Thought moves from request back to person, e.g. waiting for reply.

The numbers (1), (1a), (2), (2a) and (3), indicate the form within what is natural. This natural way of asking something influences the form of Christian intercession.
For example this well-known prayer has exactly the same structure -
(1) Almighty God,
(1a) to whom all hearts are open, all desires known and from whom no secrets are hidden:
(2) cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
(2a) that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name;
(3) through Christ our Lord.

Two Benefits
(a) The form is natural.
It can be said with a natural ease, and is one reason why some prayers have been used and enjoyed for centuries.

(b) The form is also balanced.
Prayers which consisted endlessly of items (1) and (1a) might sound terribly pious but would be removed from where most of us are.
Prayers which dwelt exclusively with (2) and (2a), i.e. our own needs, would contain no inspiration to lift us above them, and would be Godless and depressing.
The balance of the first section with the second draws God and us together; is divine and realistic, heavenly and earthly all at the same time!

Using the form
Use it flexibly and creatively.
Very fine prayers can be created by anyone using this structure; and some extempore praying can be much improved by bearing in mind this asking-form [or 'collect-style' as some would term it].

For children I put the sections (1), (1a), (2), (2a), & (3) out as follows:

  DEAR ----------------------------
WHO -----------------------------
PLEASE -------------------------
SO THAT -----------------------
THROUGH ---------------------(e.g. Jesus Christ our Lord)

ANOINTING (back to top)
Luke 4:18-21 - 'The upon me' Show Bible reference(s)

  Heavenly Father,
who sent your anointing Spirit upon your Son
that he might be the instrument of your healing grace;
send anew your Spirit upon us,
that we may proclaim in word and deed
the liberty and healing of your Gospel,
we ask this through Christ Jesus, our Lord. Amen

BLINDNESS (back to top)
Mark 10:46-52 - Blind Bartimaeus Show Bible reference(s)

  Creator God,
through whose Son Jesus Christ
lost sight is restored:
have mercy on the spiritually or physically blind,
meet them in their need,
that enlightened by your Spirit
they may follow in the way of Jesus. Amen

CLEANSING (back to top)
Mark 1:40-44 - The Leper Show Bible reference(s)

  Holy God and loving Father,
we come to you in prayer,
stained by sin, tarnished by evil,
often rejected and despising ourselves:
in your compassion, touch, cleanse and restore us,
that others may see in us your new creation,
and we rejoice in the liberty of being your children;
in and through Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen

CROSS (back to top)
Matthew 16:21-28 - Jesus predicts his death Show Bible reference(s)

  Heavenly Father,
whose Son Jesus Christ in obedience to you
suffered death upon the cross:
help us, like him, to obey your call,
to renounce self and follow whatever the cost,
that partaking a little of Christ's sufferings
we may reign with him in glory,
who, with you Father, and the Holy Spirit,
lives and rules in victory, now and ever. Amen

DELIVERANCE (back to top)
Mark 4:35-5:20 - Jesus stills storms in nature and in human nature Show Bible reference(s)

  Lord God,
whose Son Jesus Christ
stills the storms around us and within:
free us from all that has us in its grip,
speak your word of peace and restoration
to our disorders in nation, church and home,
that a right mind may be ours again;
in the Name of Jesus we ask it. Amen

DISTURBANCE (back to top)
Matthew 21:12-16 - Temple cleansing and healing Show Bible reference(s)

  Heavenly Father,
whose Son Jesus Christ
cleansed your Temple and healed your children:
give us the courage to welcome the disturbance of your healing.
Come to our structures and traditions,
our habits and assumptions,
overthrow what is wrong, strengthen what is good,
and free us from wrong attachments;
that we may be wholly devoted to your kingdom,
and live in praise of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

FEAR (back to top)
John 20:19-23 - The Risen Christ Show Bible reference(s)

  Lord Jesus Christ,
come through the locked doors of our lives
and stand in our area of fear.
Speak your word of peace,
show us your wounds in which are our healing,
breathe anew your Holy Spirit upon us;
that filled with his perfect love and freed from fear,
we may obey your sending,
and go with new power and authority to heal your world. Amen

FORGIVENESS (back to top)
Matthew 18:21-35, Ephesians 4:32 - Forgiveness/Debtor parable Show Bible reference(s)

  Heavenly Father,
whose forgiveness of us
requires of us to forgive others;
send your Spirit to change our hearts and heal our memories
that we may be free to forgive;
even as you, in Christ, forgive us. Amen

FUTURE (back to top)
Matthew 6:5-13,25-34 - 'Do not be over-anxious...' Show Bible reference(s)

  Heavenly Father,
who taught us by your Son
not to be over-anxious about tomorrow,
because you care for us and know our needs:
relieve us of the burden of the future,
and enable us to trust you as your children,
help us not to cling to life, but to lose it;
for the sake of him whose yoke is easy and burden light,
Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

JUDGEMENT (back to top)
John 9 - A healing act brings division Show Bible reference(s)

  Lord God,
who sent your Son into the world
that the blind might see and those who see be blinded:
we pray for those who feel threatened
by your presence and saving work amongst us,
open their eyes to their blindness,
that they may welcome your saving work
in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

KINGDOM (back to top)
Matthew 6:7-15 - The Lord's prayer Show Bible reference(s)

  Heavenly Father,
who in our experience of worship
has given us a foretaste of your kingdom:
nurture deep within us all that it signifies,
that it may bear fruit in our hearts and homes;
and so extend your kingdom,
and honour your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

LAYING ON OF HANDS (back to top)
Mark 1:29-34 - Healings - individual and crowds Show Bible reference(s)

  Heavenly Father,
your Son Jesus Christ brought health and healing
to those who came to him;
may we be touched anew by him,
that we may feel your love,
may obey his will
and be raised up by the Holy Spirit;
strengthened for your service. Amen

LIFE-STYLE (back to top)
Luke 19:1-10 - The healing of Zacchaeus Show Bible reference(s)

  Lord Jesus Christ,
as you welcomed Zacchaeus as a friend,
and freed him from the bondage of materialism
to experience the joy of your kingdom,
and a home transformed by your salvation:
call us, confront us, free us and transform us,
that through your Spirit working in us
we may work in society for your Father's kingdom,
and for all nations to honour you our King. Amen

NATIONS (back to top)
Rev 22:1-2, Ezekiel 47:12 - For the nations' healing Show Bible reference(s)

  Almighty God,
from who all being and well-being come:
we pray for the nations of your world
that they may acknowledge your Son as King
and through him receive the water of life for their healing;
we ask this in the name of the Prince of Peace,
even Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen

NEIGHBOURS (back to top)
Mark 12:28-34 - Love your neighbour Show Bible reference(s)

  Loving Father,
who has commanded us to love our neighbours as we love ourselves:
so heal us, that freed from distortion and despair
we may love those whom you have given us
and for whom we pray;
in the Name of Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen

NEW LIFE IN CHRIST (back to top)
2 Corinthians 5:11-20 - A new creation Show Bible reference(s)

we give thanks for * new life in Christ :
send your spirit upon us
to cleanse, change, strengthen and renew;
that ever more freed from our former lives and reconciled to you,
we may, as Christ's ambassadors,
be ministers of your reconciliation;
in his Name we ask this. Amen

[* 'our baptism and' may be added here. ]

OBEDIENCE (back to top)
John 5:1-15 - The man at the pool Show Bible reference(s)

  Heavenly Father,
who sent Jesus Christ to save us;
teach us to hear him,
and empower us to obey him,
that submitting to the Great Physician
we may be raised up in newness of life;
we ask this in his Name. Amen

PARALYSIS (back to top)
Luke 5:17-26 - The healing of the paralytic Show Bible reference(s)

  Lord God,
whose power was present to heal
those who came to Jesus,
and to raise-up those paralysed by sin;
give us a truer awareness of our needs -
to the paralysis of our guilt, come with forgiveness,
to wills weakened by indecision, come with truth,
to lives restricted by fear and doubts
come with your Spirit's love and power. Amen

PEACE (back to top)
John 14:25-31 - My peace I leave with you Show Bible reference(s)

  Heavenly Father,
whose Son Jesus Christ
promises a peace that the world cannot give;
send the Holy Spirit of Jesus upon us,
that we may enter more deeply into your truth,
and find a new peace in heart and home. Amen

RELATIONSHIPS (back to top)
Mark 14:3-9 - The woman anoints Jesus Show Bible reference(s)

  Heavenly Father,
you rejoice in your children's acts of love;
free us from fear and insecurity
that criticises and condemns,
and give us the love of Christ in our hearts,
that we may rejoice and be enriched
by the differences of others,
who are your gift to us. Amen

SENDING OUT (back to top)
John 20:19-23, Mark 5:18-20 - 'As the Father has sent me...' Show Bible reference(s)

  Almighty God,
who sent your Son into the world,
by whom we also are commanded to go forth:
breath your Holy Spirit upon us,
that with love instead of fear,
we, your church, may with boldness
proclaim what good things you have done for us;
to the honour and glory of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen

SERVICE (back to top)
Mark 1:29-31 - Simon Peter's Mother-in-law is healed Show Bible reference(s)

  Almighty Father,
by whose Spirit Christ himself was raised
and by which he was empowered to raise others;
come to us at our places of need,
touch us, raise us, and equip us for service
that we may minister to others;
we ask this in the name of your Son Jesus Christ,
who came to serve and lay down his life for us. Amen

SUFFERING (back to top)
2 Corinthians 12:7-10 - Paul's 'thorn' Show Bible reference(s)

  Heavenly Father,
whose Son Jesus Christ
was wounded for our transgressions
and bruised for our iniquities:
come to us in our sufferings,
and hold us in your all-sufficient grace,
that your power made be made perfect in our weakness;
in the Name of him who died and rose again for us,
Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

WORSHIP (back to top)
Mark 5:25-34, Luke 17:11-19 - Woman in crowd / tenth leper Show Bible reference(s)

  Lord God of Truth,
whose Son our Saviour required honesty in those who came to him,
and saw fullest healing in those who gave him thanks;
in this time of worship and thanksgiving
open our hearts to your self,
our ears to your words,
our wills to your ruling,
and our lives to your service. Amen

  (back to top)

Copyright John Richards 2001, but waived for users of

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