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Luke 5:17 says, "One day He [Jesus] was teaching; and there were some Pharisees and teachers of the law sitting there, who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem; and the power of the Lord was present for Him to perform healing" (NASU).
After the day of Pentecost when Holy Spirit came, the power of Lord came upon those who ask to be baptize in Holy Spirit. Jesus had said to receive Him -- and those who did would receive power (Acts 1:8). Jesus is the one who baptizes believers unto the Spirit (John 1:33). I believe that a believer must be baptized in the Holy Spirit to move in a powerful healing ministry. Jesus spoke of signs following those who believe, and healing is one of them. The Apostle Paul spoke of the "gifts of healing" as one of the gifts of Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit who enables us to carry the Lord's presence and anointing to heal.
The Old Testament prophets ministered in healing. But Jesus brings a greater depth and more direction to the ministry of healing. (Of course, He also taught on all aspects of ministry and Christian life.) Not only did He teach He showed them ministry in action. Then Jesus had the disciples do it themselves. But there was one thing the believers needed to bring them in to the fullest of what God wanted for His people -- this was Holy Spirit in them and working through them. In the book of Acts describes the ministry and activity of the apostles and disciples. This book does not have a closing at the end of it. That is because the Acts of the apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers, all the disciples continue on today. See Ephesians 4:7-16.
Jesus gave us the great commission in Matthew 28:18,19,20. It tells us that we must go to all nations to teach all that Jesus instructed, and we must continue doing so until the end of time. Jesus' command still applies to ministry today. Therefore, ministry must allow all spirit filled believers to move in the healing power. We must be careful NOT to give the impression that only a few special people can minister healing. The spiritual gift that we have becomes stronger and of greater value when we use it as often as we can. For example, in Romans 12:6, Paul suggests that we should use the gift of prophecy in proportion to our faith. We see here that the gift can strongly developed in some people. Those that have less faith not as strongly developed. Using what we have will cause it to be come strong and more developed. That is why Paul told Timothy to sir up the gift that was in him (2 Timothy 1:6). We need experience, we need do what God has said, to use the gift with in us.
Remember Jesus said these signs would follow those who believe. Now there will be some that move in a special healing ministry for God has ordained it. But that does not negate the truth that healing can come at the hands of all believers. This ministry of healing can take place anywhere that we go; this is not something just to be used in the Church building. I have seen the healing power of the Lord at work in many places, not just in the Church.
So how do we prepare to minister healing? First, we must we must be sensitive to the prompting of the voice of Holy Spirit. We must pray regularly, talking to God and letting Him speak to us. The voice of Holy Spirit comes only because we have been in prayer. Thus, one of the key reasons that some are ineffective in healing ministry (or in any ministry) is because they don't spend enough time in preparatory prayer. Next, we must understand that it is God's will to heal. Also, we must be ever ready to minister to others as the Holy Spirit leads us. We must do whatever the Spirit of God directs, and we should not do things that He is not directing. Also, Jesus sent the disciples out two by two in Luke 10:1. So, when possible, it is better to minister with another person as your partner. Of course, there will be times when this is not possible, but when it is possible, it is a good idea to minister in teams. Most of the ministry in the book of Acts was done in teams.
You must realize that not all healing is instant, so develop and cultivate the "patience" fruit of the spirit. Take a look at your motivation to minister healing. Some are attracted to the healing ministry for the wrong reasons. Our motivations should be compassion and obeying God's word and to glorify God. We need to be humble but strong. And we must be ready to do with God what he is doing, even if it is a bit different than we are used to. There are times when the Holy Spirit will give us other gifts to enhance the healing ministry, such as word of knowledge, word of wisdom, discerning of spirits, gift of miracles. When He does this, we must be ready to do it with Him.
Now, on to some of the practical steps of ministering healing. Don't be afraid to ask questions of the one which needs healing, Jesus that with some blind men. Read Matthew 20:32-34. Feel free to ask questions like:
- what do you want me to do?
- Do you want to be healed?
- How long have you had this?
Along with that, check and see if something has happened after you pray. For example, if you are praying for a deaf person, ask, "can you hear?" We need to keep our eyes open when we pray. We can gain helpful information by watching the person's reactions. And if we suspect a healing, we want to send them back to their doctor. If the person is under a doctor's care or on prescription drugs, send them back to their doctor instead of telling them to discontinue their medication or treatments. Let the doctor be the one to take them off of the prescription. Urge them to get a medical confirmation of their healing.
Also, it is important to have people who have been healed share their testimony publicly. This builds the faith of others and it strengthens the one who was healed. Have the one who has been healed give a testimony of their healing. If they do not know the Lord as Savior ask them if they want to receive Him as Savior and to be baptize in the Spirit. We will look more at the power of testimonies in our next lesson.