(May 28, 2021) Maureen McQuillan responds to a concern about certain demandings…

Dear Pastor Maureen
I repeatedly hear scriptures quoted in a way that sounds like a demand that ‘God must do it (whatever) because his word says… (some scripture is then quoted). I’ll try to explain what’s troubling me.

For example, 1 Peter 2:24 is repeatedly quoted when someone requests prayer for healing. Now admittedly people have got healed, but I feel like God is being belittled in that he must do whatever we want or else… this isn’t word for word, but almost like: ‘God, you must heal immediately because your word says so in 1 Peter 2:24!’ And if the person doesn’t get healed, it’s said that their faith isn’t strong enough. Sorry, Maureen, if I’m not making myself clear enough. Kelvin

Dear Kelvin

I understand exactly what’s troubling you… and agree that God is not some pinball machine!

Regarding healing, yes, we should believe that God is the miracle-working God. Countless times he has responded to our asking for healing… or a miracle or whatever! We praise him for many documented testimonies confirming his goodness and demonstrated love, such as those in GodReports – example: God had Other Plans for Covid-19 Lost Cause.

And I myself have had several wonderful healings, including one many, many years ago when I was a child. I had an illness which doctors (even London specialists) had no answer for… beyond smelly ointment which didn’t really do a lot of good. Today there is still no known medical cure for what I suffered from!

At my mother’s request, our church elders gathered together one extremely cold winter’s weekday night and simply prayed over me… and I must stress that although scriptures such as 1 Peter 2:24 were mentioned, there was no demanding that ‘You, o God, must work a miracle.’ This wasn’t even a meeting as such, no music and they didn’t even turn the heat or the lights on!

The point is … when someone asks sincerely and humbly, whether their faith is super-strong or not, if they pray believingly, trustingly, expectingly and are willing to await God’s timing, in his love he responds – and praise God many times the person is healed. Maybe instantly, maybe later! Yes, it’s good that scriptures on healing are quoted and believed on… but in the final analysis we’re relying on, and can rely on, Almighty God’s love.

Yes, praise God, sometimes the healing or miracle happens immediately, sometimes over a period of time and ongoing medical care may be needed (praise God for the medical profession he ensured is around!). That childhood healing of mine didn’t outwork until the following day after yet another night’s torment.

On another occasion, when I was an adult and faithfully serving God but desperately needing a healing of another kind, although I was well covered with prayer and my faith was strong, I actually got worse! It took four and a half years before I was healed! Suddenly… and in the most unusual way the miracle happened one morning as I answered the phone in a medical centre where, of all places, I was receptionist (while Robert was away fulltime at live-in Bible college)!

The truth is that we just don’t have all the answers we’d like to have! If the person doesn’t get healed immediately, they should never be hammered with ‘Your faith isn’t good, isn’t strong enough’ or ‘Oh, it’ll all be okay when you get to heaven because there’s no more sickness there.’ Such haranguing doesn’t encourage the sick one or enrich their faith!

Obviously, Kelvin, there’s a lot more I could cover here but space doesn’t permit… but I agree with you: Requesting answers to prayer is not a matter of casino-machine-punching! God is the great Almighty God… the creator, we are his creation and should give him more respect, praying – asking humbly – and expecting a favourable answer in his perfect timing. Praise him that he does come through… his way, his timing. In all things we must praise him, whether he responds immediately causing us to instantly rejoice, or as may happen, we are called on to be patient as he (all-knowing, superior God) knows something that we (inferior but saved humans) don’t.

May I encourage you to continue to fully check out the scriptures.

Got a question for either Pr Maureen or Dr Robert McQuillan? Email to

One comment

  1. Thanks for this thoughtful response, Maureen. I too have had concerns about what can seem to be what I call ‘magic wand’ prayers. I agree, praying asking and believing in faith is our responsibility and prayer answering is God’s prerogative and in his time.

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