1. Should we believe that the healing narratives in the New Testament are merely efforts to prove that Jesus is the Messiah by fulfilling the Old Testament prophecies?
Or should we take them at face value?
2. Should we place the miracles in the category of events that take place "'while the bridegroom is with them'" Mark 2:19a (NRSV), i.e. while Jesus is alive?
Or should we believe that Jesus healing power transcends death?
3. What expectations should we have of prayers for people who are sick?
(a) No expectation.
(b) Total faith of a cure.
(c) Hope without expectation.
(d) Healing without cure.
One possible answer to the mystifying questions of prayers for healing is that prayers will not be answered if your attitude or ideas are wrong.
This would create a false impression of God.
God works to create the maximum possible good for the maximum number of people.
The overall impression created by His response to our prayers will be the maximum positive effect for the maximum number of people.
This may be healing or silence.
The healing which took place when Jesus prayed for the sick can be seen as an endorsement of Jesus' teachings.
The silence which followed the fundamentalists prayers for healing of their friend can be seen as a disendorsement of their approach.
A prayer from the heart is more important.
(Scripture quotations (marked NRSV) are taken from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and are used by permission. All rights reserved.)