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When we pray for the sick, we manifest the kingdom of God. We know that it is God's will to heal the sick and often when we pray for someone who is sick, God comes and heals them. But there are times when we pray for the sick, knowing it is God's will to heal the sick, and they are not healed. And that is what we are going to talk about in this teaching series. We will look at the question - "Why aren't people healed?"
Healing is one of those things that is, and will remain, a mystery to us. We have the ability to understand the will of God for healing, yet there is a limitation here. We are limited by the physical and by our living in the physical here. There are often spiritual factors that effect things in this life. For instance, if someone has a sickness or an illness, there is frequently a spiritual root as the foundation of that. That means that in order to see the person get well, we have to discover and deal with the spiritual root before the actual physical healing can fully manifest in that person's life.
Now of course God has veto power and can do whatever He wants and overcome anything. But most of the time He won't do that. Most of the time, there are a lot of things that need to be dealt with in the realm of the Spirit. And not only that, but if you have a condition or sickness and it's root happens to be spiritual, the only way you are going to find healing is to deal with it on the spiritual level. Otherwise all you are doing is just managing the disease.
A lot of the medical profession is unable to cure a disease when the root is spiritual. They can only manage it. And it keeps popping back. Likewise, we need to know how to take care of things in the spiritual realm especially if the cause of the disease or sickness happens to be spiritual in nature.
Please understand, not every sickness has spiritual roots, but many do. What really got me thinking a lot in this area was one time when we had Omar Olier with us in our Sunday morning service. He is from Argentina and he has a powerful healing ministry. Before the service began, I went back into this room with Omar and we talked for about 20 to 30 minutes. He used that time to teach me. He talked about things relating to praying for the sick and miracles. Omar has two miracle services a week where he lives, and he is just used to seeing a lot of the power of God. He told me that when you are praying for people, there are three things that, if present, will usually prevent healing. So when you pray for a person and they don't get healed, then look to see if any of those three things are present and deal with it.
Any one of those three things will usually prohibit healing from coming about when you pray. God is so awesome and so divine and so much God that He can break through and undercut anything -- even those three things. God can just break through and do what He wants to do just because He just happens to be God. However, a lot of times those three things inhibit the flow of God's power and inhibit the grace of God. When you are praying for someone to be healed, and they are not healed, you do have to back up and ask yourself "What is going on here?"
That is the time when it is a good idea to see if any of these three things are present, because they are major reasons why healing did not take place in a person's life. I will disucss them in some detail, but let me start by simply identifying them. Those three things are:
We will look at them in detail in subsequent lessons. And we will look at some other factors that can also prevent healing from taking place. But before we dive into the things that can inhibit healing, let me describe what our service with Omar Olier looked like. I want to do this because I want us to expect to see healings when we pray for the sick. We do need to be aware of factors that can interfere with healing that we may have to deal with. If they are present, we deal with them to get rid of them so we can get back to what is normal. It should be normal for us to see God heal people when we pray for the sick.
Anyhow, this is what happened at my church the day Omar spoket there. Our typical service is to start with brief announcements, then have an extended time of worship. We usually take the offering about 30 minutes into the worship, because we consider giving to God as an act of worship. Then we have another 10 minutes of worship and then transition directly from worship into our sermon. It was at that point that I introduced Omar to the congregation and turned control of the service over to him.
The first thing Omar did was to tell us, "In Argentina, the way we tell whether or not God shows up at our service is whether or not we see miracles when we pray for the sick. So the first thing we do is pray for the sick. If God shows up and there are miracles, then we preach afterwards. If God does not show up, then we don't preach... we go home because if God is not there, we don't want to be there either. And that is what we are going to do today. We are going to pray for the sick. And if God does not show up and heal people, then we are done and we can all go home. But if God shows up, then I will preach to you. And you must listen carefully to what I say, because the miracles will be evidence that God is backing up what He has asked me to speak to you today.
Then Omar asked those who needed healing to come up front. He interviewed them to see what their problems were. Omar began asking people what they were up there for and brought a few on to the stage. One lady had one arm shorter than the other. Omar prayed for her and God lengthened her arm. Then Tony came limping up on his cane. We all know Tony well; he had a bone infection that required surgery and left his leg in a very bad state. He could barely walk with the cane. Omar sat him in a chair and measured his legs... one was 3 inches longer than the other. This was no surprise to Tony, his physical therapist had already told him about that. Omar invited people to come up and see what God was doing. People rushed to the stage and crowded in around Tony as they prayed for him, especially the youth. Omar commanded the leg to grow and it did. There were audible gasps from the people crowded around Tony as they watched the leg grow out. Tony ended up leaving his cane on the platform and walking off with only a slight limp.
Omar prayed for several people. Some had conditions where it was not possible to observe whether or not a healing occurred, such as kidney problems. However many people who were in physical pain when they came up for prayer reported the pain was gone after receiving prayer.
One lady had a very bad case of tennis elbow and she would experience great pain from even the mildest bumps to the elbow, and she was getting cortizone shots from her doctor every 6 to 8 weeks. We are a Baptist church and we were not used to needing catchers. So there was not a catcher behind her when she was prayed for. She ended up falling backwards to the floor, and the first thing to strike the ground was her sore elbow, catching the full force of her body weight. That would have hurt even if she did not already have a problem with that elbow. However, she did not show any evidence of pain and laid quietly on the ground for some period of time. When she got up, she reported that the pain was totally gone. Since there was no more pain, she stopped going to the doctor for her cortizone shots, and she has been fine since then.
Then Omar came to pray for one of our seniors who was in a wheelchair. She is 96 years old and very sweet and a committed prayer warrior. He prayed for her and a spirit of confusion came over her, so that she could not understand simple commands that he was giving her, like "look at me" or "lift your knee." He mentioned that the enemy was confusing her mind, but he did not cast anything out. He had been casting out spirits on the others that he prayed for. She did not appear to be healed.
Omar suddenly changed direction and asked everyone with flat feet to come on the platform and had chairs put there and asked them to sit down in them and take off their shoes. While they were getting organized on that, he called out several words of knowledge of conditions God would heal and people came forward. Then he prayed and asked God to grow back the arches and some (not all) had arches form where the flat part had been. It was exciting to watch because you could see visible changes in their arches as he prayed for them.
After that Omar began praying for those who had come forward in response to the various words of knowledge. At that point it got rather chaotic. Many of the people who Omar prayed for ended up on the ground. Soon there were bodies everywhere. And a crowd had gathered around Omar and followed him from person to person as he prayed, in order to be able to see the healings first hand. These people were having to step over those laying on the ground to follow Omar as he prayed for people. The youth and children particularly pressed in around Omar, watching God heal people as he prayed for them. When the ministry time was over, we decided God had shown up, and Omar preached a sermon for us.
Omar is very experienced in ministering healing, and I would like to share the principles with you that Omar taught me that morning before the service began. We will spend the next few lessons examing Omar's principles. After that, we will look at some other factors that can interfere with healing.