Such public prayers may be medically informative, but they are spiritually impoverished. They usually center on physical healing. And they typically amount to nothing more than requests for effective doctors, procedures, and medicines.
Visitors of many churches might be pardoned if they get the impression that God is chiefly interested in perking up our health, and that radiant physical fitness is our greatest need. They might also be pardoned for thinking that God can’t do what we ask, because so many chronic illnesses remain unhealed.Powlison's point isn't that we shouldn't pray for healing but that we should frame those requests in the context of broader biblical priorities which he reminds us of from James 5 and other passages on sickness and prayer. "Is God interested in healing illnesses?," he asks, "Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Yet he is always interested in making his children wise, holy, trusting, and loving, even in the context of pain, disability, and death."
Powlison's provides profitable instruction and encouragement to those who are sick and those praying with and for them.