For several years now I’ve suffered excruciating pain without thinking for a moment that God would want to heal me. After all, thousands of people all over the world suffer much worse pain every day than my relatively small problem. Pain, I thought, is just part of living in this sinful world.
My condition caused unbearable pain to shoot down my left leg to my toes without notice while I was preaching or presenting a workshop in my role as director of Family Ministries for the Seventh-day Adventist world church. I also felt the pain while doing my 2 mile (3 kilometer) power-walk every morning. I needed to sit to get relief or to call on Jesus for help to complete a presentation without interruption.
My physician put me on over-the-counter pain medication to manage the pain. An MRI showed I had two compressed vertebrae that would require pretty invasive surgery to correct. The specialist who ordered the MRI suggested that I continue to manage my pain though medication until I decided to go forward with the surgery.
Then something happened.
I read Heidi Kamal’s story about her husband, Raafat, president of the Adventist world church’s Trans-European Division on the United in Prayer blog on Nov. 11. Heidi wrote that Raafat’s months of intolerable neck and arm pain had been healed miraculously through prayer.
Now I have always believed in prayer. As the son of an Adventist pastor and Adventist schoolteacher, daily family worship and prayer have been an integral part of my life. Educated in Adventist schools and trained as an Adventist minister, prayer for me is like breathing.
So, I wondered, why hadn’t I prayed about my condition?
I was moved by Heidi Kamal’s testimony. I believed that if God could heal Raafat, He could heal me, too. So that Sunday morning after reading the testimony, I asked God to cure my pain as I power-walked my regular two miles. I also immediately gave up my painkillers in faith. For the remainder of that week and ever since, I have continued doing my 2 miles each morning — and without pain.
I am grateful to God for His amazing goodness to me. I know without a doubt that if He could do this for me, He can do anything for you, too, if it is His will and you believe. Trust Him today.
Willie Oliver is director of Family Ministries at the General Conference headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Note: To view this week’s world church prayer requests, click here!