In the story of the leper in Luke 5:12-15, we see several important qualities in this man of faith.
“He fell on his face” – this man had humility as he encountered the living God.
“…(He) begged Him” – this man sought the Lord with an earnest request.
He called Jesus “Lord,” showing respect for His deity, and position of authority over mankind.
When he asked for healing, he said, “if You will,” recognizing that God does what He wills.
“You can make me clean” – despite all the suffering that this man had endured, he believed in the power of God to heal and restore.
He knew the decision was ultimately up to God, not how he formulated his request, yet he still asked respectfully, in a way that focused on God rather than on himself.
For those of us praying for healing for ourselves or others, may we remember to ask God respectfully, with a humble attitude as we bring our earnest request before Him, while recognizing that God has the power to heal and restore, but the decision is up to Him, and we should have faith in Him no matter how He chooses to answer.
It is also important to realize that the Lord often uses different methods for different people – He knows our hearts like no one else. Often, He answers in a way that is different from how we expect Him to, or in a different way than He answered someone else with the same request. For example, in 2 Kings 5:11, Naaman was shocked that the prophet of the Lord didn’t even come to him directly, but rather sent a message to him telling him to wash in the nasty Jordan river. He didn’t come and heal him with a quick prayer or a flick of the wrist. At first, he was very upset that his expectations were unmet. “But Naaman went away angry and said, ‘I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the Name of the Lord his God, wave his hand over the spot, and cure me of my leprosy. Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be cleansed?’ So he turned and went off in a rage.” (2 Kings 5:11-12)
Thankfully, his servants reasoned with him and he obeyed the Lord and experienced healing. “So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy.” (2 Kings 5:14) Naaman’s healing was preceded by obedience to God, even though God’s will did not fall within his human expectations, and required humility.
As we pray for healing, let us have hearts that are willing to comply with the will of God in humble obedience. Let us not try to fit God into our human box, limiting what He will require of us or limiting His power.