Christ carried the burden of our sins. He was nailed to the cross, so that we would stop sinning and start living right. By his cuts and bruises you are healed.
- 1 Peter 2:24
Does the Lord want you to be healthy?
The diseased state is not a natural one for the human body. When God completed His creation of people, he pronounced the work very good (Genesis 1:31). Disease is often viewed in scripture as a punishment (Exodus 15:26), but Jesus indicated that often it was not (John 9:1-5).
I hope that you are as strong in body, as I know you are in spirit. - 3 John 2
How should one pray for healing?
There are a number of ways to pray for someone for their healing.
The elders of the church, or church leaders, may anoint a person with oil, and pray for their healing.
If you are sick, ask the church leaders to come and pray for you. Ask them to put olive oil on you in the name of the Lord. If you have faith when you pray for sick people, they will get well. The Lord will heal them, and if they have sinned,
he will forgive them.
- James 5:14, 15
Some people are given the gift of healing, so that they can lay hands on the sick, or simply command the disease to depart in the name of Jesus (1 Corinthians 12:9). (We should always remember that the authority is in the name of Jesus, and is not our own.)
What does it mean to "have faith?"
The command to have faith means more than simply believing that what you do will work. It means:
Is the outcome of healing based on the amount of my faith?
Very often Jesus forgave sins at the same time that he healed people. In Matthew 9:1-8 we are told of a crippled man who was healed by Jesus. First, however, Jesus told the man that his sins were forgiven (verse 2).
"But I will show you that the Son of Man has the right to forgive sins here on earth." So Jesus said to the man, "Get up! Pick up your mat and go on home." The man got up and went home. - Matthew 9:7
Here the physical healing is a sign of the spiritual healing that has already taken place. It makes it clear that the forgiveness has occurred.
Does the person receiving healing have to have faith?
God desires that the person who is healed physically also be brought into a good relationship with Him. Jesus often indicated that the person who was receiving healing had been healed because of their faith. But He also spoke healing upon those who did not know Him nor exhibit great faith in the power of God (Matthew 9:18-26; John 11:1-44; Acts 9:36-43).
It may be necessary for the person who prays for someone else's healing to pray also for faith for them to receive healing.
Does seeking medical treatment indicate a lack of faith?
Some people believe that if you seek medical treatment, you are denying God's power to heal. But God is the creator, the ultimate source of the knowledge which allows people to design remedies and procedures that will heal people.
We should not reject one form of the power of God in order to depend on another. Rather, we should seek God's will in prayer, and make use of all that He provides to us for our healing.
Will everyone be healed if I pray for them in Jesus' name?
Many things can interfere with healing:
Who can pray for healing?
Anyone. We may wish to pray in different ways as the Spirit directs each one. Remember that it is not volume, wording, or some set of magical actions, but rather the power of God that heals people.
What should the role of the church be in healing?
The church is the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12, 13). We show Jesus to the world (1 John 1:1-3). Jesus constantly reached out to heal those in need. If the church wants to follow his example we must be a community of healing. We must reach out to provide both spiritual and physical healing, and to sustain those who are healed.
All scripture quotations taken from the Contemporary English Version, Copyright © 1995 American Bible Society.
Copyright © 1998, Henry E. Neufeld
Taken from the Participatory Study Series