1. Should we believe that the healing narratives in the New Testament are merely efforts to prove that Jesus is the Messiah by fulfilling the Old Testament prophecies?
Or should we take them at face value?
2. Should we place the miracles in the category of events that take place "'while the bridegroom is with them'"? Mark 2:19 (NRSV)
Or should we believe that Jesus healing power transcends death?
3. What expectations should we have of prayers for people who are sick?
(a) No expectation.
(b) Total faith (cure).
(c) Hope without expectation.
(d) Healing without cure.
One possible answer to the mystifying reality of prayer for healing is that prayers will not be answered if your attitude or ideas are wrong.
This would create a false impression of God. So He will not answer. But He may do something else.
The overall impression created by God's response to your prayer will be the maximum positive effect for the maximum number of people.
This may be healing or silence.
The healing which took place when Jesus prayed for the sick can be seen as an endorsement of Jesus' approach.
The silence which followed a group of fundamentalists' prayers for a sick friend to be cured can be seen as a rejection of their approach.
A prayer from the heart is more important.
(Scripture quotations (marked NRSV) are taken from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and are used by permission. All rights reserved.)