A couple weeks ago I wrote of events at a meeting of a house church group, where a woman was ill and asking for prayer, and nobody moved. Two elders were present, but nobody responded. Finally I stood, laid hands on the woman, and prayed for her healing. Nobody joined me. But she was healed.
This is the follow-up on that incident.
Last week, the meeting began with a meal, as usual, and with three songs, as usual. However, after the singing, the leader, rather than starting the discussion, stopped and said we would first pray for three people, two present, with a need of healing. I was surprised, but pleasantly so.
Last night, we met again. The pattern was the same: eat, sing, and discuss. But, as two weeks previously, one person was clearly ill and getting worse. He didn't ask for prayer, and nobody prayed for him. None of the group leadership showed any concern. And so, at the end of the evening, the guy was miserable and went home worse off than when he arrived.
Interestingly, through the time - three hours - I never sensed that God was telling me to pray for him. Understand, when I see someone who is ill, the first thing that comes to my mind is that here is a time when God may want to work in a life. I sharpen my senses, so I don't miss the Holy Spirit if he wants me to act. And yet, though I was watching the guy and noticing his deterioration, I never sensed that I should pray for him.
So what's up with this? Why would God not want me to pray for a group member - a friend - who clearly needed it? I don't know. But some thoughts occur to me.
One is that God is interested in teaching others to act on being his people, and not just talk. And since I am more than happy to act, he let me sit, waiting for someone else to wake up and do something. One possibility.
Another is that for whatever reason, God didn't want to heal the guy. That happens. But I have no idea if that was the case here.
So in the end, I don't know what happened or why. All I know is that the group seems to have gone very quickly back to the old comfortable, undemanding pattern. Sad.