We have some friends who are going through a very hard time right now. They are the most amazing family I know, so full of faith, so generous and overflowing with Christ's love. But, they also are carrying more crosses at the moment than it seems possible to bear. Both the father and youngest daughter are dealing with very serious health issues at this time, and these are just their newest burdens. Some members of our parish are currently coordinating meals, house cleaning, etc., and, of course, prayer for this family in an effort to try to help lighten their load. They sent an email out asking for help and most especially for prayers for this family so they will be blessed with the graces they need to get through this hard time. Another woman in our parish replied to everyone and said that we should do even more. She said that we should "take the leap of faith and pray for total healing". She also said that we should "pray for healing and restoration with confidence that God wants that for them more than we do."
The reason that I am relaying this story to you is because it has reminded me of a question that I have been struggling with for a long time. It is a question of faith and God's will. I don't know what God's will is for this family. I know that He already has done amazing works through them and that their example will probably lead many more souls to Christ in the future.
But, does He desire for them to be physically healed or is He allowing these struggles because they will help the family bear even more fruit in the future? I don't know.
So, in an attempt to be a good faithful Catholic, I am struggling as to what my prayers for them should entail. Do I pray for total healing and trust that God will answer that prayer? Is doing any less showing a lack of faith? Or does it demonstrate more faith in God to let go of trying to control the situation and just pray that God's will be done, regardless of what the outcome might be?
All my life I have watched my father struggle with a myriad of health problems. I prayed for years that he would be healed and it has yet to happen. A couple of months ago I realized that, unintentionally, my prayers had changed over the years from requests for healing to just asking for God to give Dad the strength to joyfully bear his cross. I don't know if this means that I gave up on the hope of healing or if I have just accepted that it seems to be God's will that Dad carries this heavy burden for the good of souls. I do believe in the redemptive power of suffering, but I also believe in miracles.
I would welcome any wisdom or guidance that any of you could share. Do I keep faith in a miracle happening or should I have faith in God's will and just pray that it be done even if it requires great suffering? These are questions that I have been unable to answer on my own. Any thoughts?