When Jesus inaugurated his ministry that day in the synagogue in Nazareth (Luke 4:16-20), the passage he chose as his text was a reading from the prophet Isaiah. The ministry he claimed for himself was one that would “release captives” and bring “recovery of sight to the blind.” The word he spoke would have the power to do something. So when we pray, we take him at his word and often our prayers are for healing. Sometimes we get the answer we want, the answer he seems to promise to us in this and other like passages, and sometimes we don’t. So when it comes to prayers for healing our questions abound: Why isn’t God consistent? Does prayer really work? Am I praying the wrong way, if so what is the right way? One way to deal with such questions is to explore stories about Jesus’ ministry of healing in the Gospels. Throughout the summer we will do this by looking at healing stories in the Gospel of Mark.
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