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When Healing Prayer Works and When It Doesn’t (Updated)

This is a God story.

Last week, I got news from two God-friends (people with whom I became friends purely because God linked us up) that rocked my world.

The first friend said that after getting numerous lung-related hospitalizations, the doctors found growths in his lungs that they believed were cancerous and scheduled a biopsy. A few days after that news, God put him on my heart to pray healing over him, which I did with my husband. As we prayed, we felt the power of the Holy Spirit rush upon us and out to him. Three days later, he reported that the doctors were amazed at the change in his now healthy lungs and that the growths were gone, too! My husband and I high-fived and told our friend how we had prayed for him and felt the power of God respond to our prayers. That was a huge win in the Kingdom of Heaven!

The best kind of news a girl can get!

Meanwhile, the second friend reported that during a recent emergency stay in the hospital, doctors discovered that her aggressive cancer had returned and she was now going home to be in hospice with her young family until she died. I began to weep when I saw the post below and cried out to God for her life. But nothing happened—no power, no nothing—and I do not understand. You see, I have prayed for this woman’s healing for YEARS but I only felt the power of the Holy Spirit rush to her once: when I stood vigil for hours and hours during her first emergency surgery four years ago. She came out alive but significantly affected from that surgery. For some reason, ever since then, my prayers seem powerless! And now, she is slowly saying farewell to those who want her to stay but for whom she cannot will her body to stay.

The worst kinda news a girl can get!

I KNOW that her four-year battle with cancer ending with early death is NOT God’s perfect will. Jesus went to the cross so that she could be healed in his name. So why have my prayers, which I have seen work in other situations, been powerless in this one?? I don’t know.

Jesus went to the cross so that she could be healed in his name. So why have my prayers, which I have seen work in other situations, been powerless in this one?? I don’t know.

Yet, I do know this:

  • I will keep praying until God says it’s over (as in, no-she-doesn’t-want-to-be-resurrected-from-the-dead kinda over).
  • I will keep loving her and her family as best as I can until we are reunited in Heaven.
  • And I will keep seeking understanding from God about why my prayers for the first friend worked but not my subsequent prayers for the second friend. I have faith that God will tell me because it’s his delight to help his children uncover mysteries. And it will make me more effective for the next friend who needs a miracle.

I’m a Christian. It is my job to bring the Kingdom of Heaven near to the sick, dead, broken-hearted, lame, and tormented. Anything less is less than the full gospel.

Until then, please pray for my second friend’s healing with me.


My first friend went back to the same conditions that caused his lung troubles in the first place and has lost his healing (for now). Although disappointing, his free-will is outside of God’s control.

My second friend never got healed. She died one week after asking me for prayer to be with Jesus. Her funeral was beautiful: a beautiful woman who lived a beautiful life for Yeshua and touched thousands of people around her with love. See you in Heaven, friend. 😢

2 responses to “When Healing Prayer Works and When It Doesn’t (Updated)”

  1. Sarah Stilwell Avatar
    Sarah Stilwell

    May we enter into days where Yeshua-Jesus allows us, through His righteousness, to raise the dead. Blow the shofar, Ruach HaKodesh rest on this friend through Tenay’s prayers ❤️

    1. Tenay Avatar

      Such a Holy Spirit AMEN on that prayer, sister. May we all raise the dead, as we are commanded to do in the Scriptures.

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