By all means, let’s pray for our temporary, leaky tent to get patched up and thank God every time he does. But let’s long even more for the eternal mansion he has given us through Jesus Christ.
Christians can and should pray for healing. James 5:14 says: “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord”. We believe in a God who heals. He is called “the LORD, your healer” (Ex 15:26). He sent his servants Elijah & Elisha with a healing ministry in the Old Testament, and he sent his Son the Lord Jesus Christ and his apostles to exercise a healing ministry in the New Testament.
But we need to see healing for what it is: it’s a camper, who owns a luxurious mansion, getting his leaky tent patched up. Of course, patching up a leaky tent is a good thing. Patching up a leaky tent is something to be very thankful for. But living in a patched-up, leaky tent is not very exciting compared to living in a splendid mansion. Paul compares our present body to a tent and our resurrected body to a “house…eternal in the heavens” (2 Cor 5:1).
So, when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, Lazarus was getting his tent patched up, for 20, 30, 40 more years (John 11:44). But what Jesus has really come to give Lazarus (and all believers with him) is an everlasting house – “the resurrection of life” (John 5:29). Lazarus was never meant to confuse more camping with his move into a mansion.