PEOPLE WHO HAVE RELIED EXCLUSIVELY ON PRAYER in every situation might recall with great joy the healings that came quickly and easily when they prayed with a genuine expectation of healing. They may remember feeling a closeness to God that they never felt before—a feeling of being comforted, cared for, even cherished. This is the effect of gaining a clearer understanding of the nature of God. When this understanding develops, it's natural to think of God the way Jesus did, as "our Father in heaven."

Sometimes, however, even though a person is praying and is sure that God is there—healing doesn't come. Sometimes one might pray for days, weeks, months, or even years, and there don't seem to be any results. Then it's really hard to face the discouragement, the doubt, the fear, that come into play when prayer doesn't appear to be making any difference. I know. I've been there.

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