How to Pray to be Healed of Cancer, Part 2
This approach has a very different basis from what I last presented, for several reasons:
- I just finished reading Greg Boyd’s God at War and Satan and the Problem of Evil and now see the origin and development of cancer in a whole new perspective,
- Ralph Winter’s (http://www.ralphwinter.org) pleas for someone to search for the source of the disease have caught my ear and nagged at me,
- All of my reading on cancer, both medical and spiritual, has led me to no longer try to create an approach to fight cancer that is palatable to everyone.
It is evident to me, now, that cancer at its root is the result of human microbiological processes and structures having come under the control of Satan. Am I saying that a person with cancer is possessed? No, what I am saying is that the one who is called “the god of this world” (2 Cor. 4:4) not only contends with God through the “big events” of nature (earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, and so on) but that Satan also contends with God in the microbiological aspects of nature, including on the battlefield of the human genome.
All of us—with or without cancer—are (usually unwitting) participants in this battle. Some have just become more vulnerable targets, for a variety of reasons. Some of us will never need to participate in combat for ourselves; but most all of us know—and love—someone for whom we are willing to fight.
I have also come to see that medical discovery—as some have pointed out—is a form of missionary work. The use of medicines that have been discovered to be helpful in combatting cancer is not oppositional to God’s healing purposes. In fact, it is only through a combined effort of faith and medicine that the effects of medicine can be maximized and the side effects of medicine can be minimized.
I am not saying that God cannot or will not heal cancer without medicine. I certainly believe he can—and has—done that. What I am saying is that I believe that both faith and medicine are resources provided by God, and eliminating the use of one or the other may diminish or even eliminate the means he has provided for healing in any specific situation.
On the other hand, I am also not saying that God cannot or will not heal cancer without faith. I certainly believe he can—and has—done that also. However, I do believe that following only a medical regimen without faith in God for his curing power to work in and through it is foolishly misguided at best and hopelessly optimistic at worst.
So let’s begin to take a look at how to pray to be healed of cancer.
Principles of Healing Cancer
Martin Luther published 95 theses presenting ways the church needed to be reformed. While I have not discovered 95 principles of healing cancer, I think there are at least 24, which are presented below:
- God is not the author of cancer
- Satan is the ruler of this world and works against God on every level, including the microbiological level
- Cancer is not God’s punishment; Jesus said “an enemy has done this…” (Mt. 13:28)
- It takes a warfare approach to overcome cancer
- Warfare on the physical level is not just medical treatment; it also involves following a spiritual regimen
- God has put mechanisms in place to protect our body from cancer
- Satan works to counteract the body’s protective mechanisms that God has put in place through the creation of strongholds
- We need to specifically pray to overthrow the Evil One’s strongholds in our body
- God is in the fight with us and we should worship Him above all else (worshipful prayer)
- We cannot let our feelings determine our level of effort or our level of progress (persevering prayer)
- It takes eyes of faith to see God at work (Heb. 11:20; Amplified Bible) (envisioning prayer)
- The Word of God is sharper than any two-edged sword (Heb. 4:12) and is our primary weapon (praying the word)
- The battle paradigms provided in God’s Word are not just spiritual remedies; they are physical remedies as well
- We must understand and apply the biblical battle paradigms in order to see and participate in God’s victories
- Medical science is limited by many factors that do not hinder a spiritual approach (rapidly changing cancers, inadequate medical treatments, costs, time, personnel, perspective)
- There is no limit to what God can do in us and through us
- We are not helpless victims in our situation, limited to only watch from the sidelines
- When God sends His people out to wage war with the enemy, He goes before them and with them into battle
- It is not helpful to continually ask God “why?” or “why me?”; we know there is an enemy intent on destroying us and that’s all we need to motivate us to action
- What is happening in our body is not “who we are”; we are God’s workmanship and he has made us “more than conquerors” (Rom. 8:37)
- God is faithful; His word says, “if we lose faith, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself” (2 Tim. 2:13)
- God has already provided for every contingency that we will need along this path in our life (Jehovah Jireh)
- Spiritual warfare is not something to fear; it is God’s tool for us to use in the evil infested world in which we live
- Even though cancer is a very strong attack of the Evil One, we have faith in the One who overcame Satan on the cross
Developing a Warfare Mentality
All too often I have heard and read the words of those with cancer who have said, “I am at peace with my cancer. I have learned to accept it.” I cannot begin to tell you how this frustrates and angers me. Cancer is not from God. Would you accept a gift from an enemy who seeks to destroy your life? Why would anyone “accept” cancer? And to call it “my” cancer is to own it. It is not your cancer; it is the enemy’s attempt to devour you by taking over more and more control of your body.
You must not accept cancer. If someone snuck into your home and began taking over your house a room at a time, attempting to force you out, would you “be at peace”? I hope not. Cancer is no different. ”It is an enemy who has done this,” says Jesus (Matt. 13:28). The thief comes “to steal, kill and destroy” (John 10:10). Do not allow the thief to go unchallenged! The doctors can do their part through medicine, but you have One on your side who will make you “more than a conqueror” (Romans 8:37) because He loves you.
Most people don’t realize that the fight against cancer depends greatly on their theology. How can that be, you may ask? If you believe that all good and bad things come from the hand of God, then you will be unwilling to—or at least uncertain if you should—fight against cancer. If God has sent this, we think, it must be what he has planned for me, so I must accept it. Except deep within we don’t really believe that, because we seek medical help. So we fight the cancer through medicine, but mentally we don’t think we should be fighting against God’s will for us, so the effectiveness of the medical treatment is diminished by our (bad, in this case) theology.
If, however, you believe that God is love and in him there is no darkness (evil intent), then it will be clear that the cancer is not from God. Instead you will see that God is your ever-present help in time of need who you can turn to in order to ward off this evil that is attempting to take over your body and destroy your life.
The whole thrust of the New Testament supports the latter view, that God is love and in him there is no darkness. The apostle John recognized that “the reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8). See the works of Greg Boyd mentioned above to delve into much more detail and support for why our theology should be based on a warfare theodicy.