Encountering The God Who Heals - Book Club Review

Posted at 10:50am on 18th November 2018

This book, Encountering The God Who Heals, was recommended by a man who had heard John Ryeland speak, and was greatly enthused by what he had to say.  Personally, as I told my Book Club members, I didn’t find it an easy read but that, I felt, had more to do with the distraction of other things in my life rather than in the quality of the book.

It’s clear from the outset that the author, Revd John Ryeland, has a passion to convey the many different strands of healing, and he does so with great fervour.  First, he says, we need to know who we are.  Then the nature of God.  In answer to the former, the four truths shown in the book are that we are Chosen, Adopted, Forgiven, and Marked – with the Holy Spirit.  We are, thus, the means of revealing God’s nature to the world.

When it came to God's nature, the things that really stood out for me were that he blesses, protects and speaks well of us.  Also that our sin is not filed away when confessed, but shredded irretrievably.  And if that seems barely conceivable, then the fact that he brings about reconciliation for his sake as well as ours, may be even more so.


Like me, some of those in my Book Club confessed to having, more faith in being misled, than in the ability of God to talk to us.  But as John Ryeland states, we can’t wait until we’re perfect to change the world.  We should pray for the healing of those in need, even if we don’t have the gift – because healing is an encounter with Jesus, and our role is to help others to meet with him.

So how do we do that?  We are to begin by listening.  Nothing new in that, I hear you say.  But we are to listen without making assumptions, to minister without passing judgement, and to concentrate on truth not feelings.  The importance of touch, silence and prompting others to see Jesus is also mentioned.


We are charged with bringing freedom to others; release for the oppressed.  Again, we’re reminded that this is because whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing. John 14:12.  So is it ‘freedom’ that constitutes ‘healing’ we wondered?

With two close friends who had died, despite our prayers for many months, even years, we all found this to be perfectly plausible.  Both women, in the end, had stated that they no longer wanted prayers for physical healing.  They wanted to go to be with the Lord.  And that, we concluded, was the ultimate release into freedom.


Yes, we can!  I shared my experience of a failed marriage, for which I had prayed for fifteen years in the hope of its being healed.  A story I’ve told in full in my upcoming book, Picked for a Purpose, it was only when I concluded that it was not MY marriage, or MY decision, but the Lord’s that I changed my mode of prayer.   Exactly two months later, on Christmas morning, it came to an end.

Sad?  Yes!  Hard?  You bet.  But as it turned out, it was a form of freedom.  Of release.  God had healed – not in the way we might interpret healing – but in his way; a way that turned out for the best.


As a readers’ group, we did have our reservations about the book.  There were those who confessed to finding it difficult to pray aloud.  Others who found the modus operandi over-structured.  Only two members were really enthused.  One who had been present at a seminar at which John Ryeland was speaking.  The other - laughing, we told her she must be the only intellectual among us - who is, actually, a member of a Team Ministry.  Clearly the book spoke to her in ways that we felt were beyond our remit.  As a result, we all concluded that Encountering the God Who Heals is obviously an excellent model for those who know themselves to have a ministry of healing.

If you are wishing to know more about your gifting, my book Picked for a Purpose may be just what you're looking for.  Beginning with the seeds God has sown in your life, it goes on to show how the weeds that threaten to overwhelm may, actually, be strengthening.  And as we put down roots, bud, blossom and bear fruit, we learn just what the Lord has in mind for us.  Because in his hands, we're Picked for a Purpose.

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