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We have spent the past several lessons looking at scripture and developing a solid biblical basis of God's willingness and ability to heal the sick. We looked at how Jesus gained physical healing for us (in addition to salvation) on the cross. We developed from scripture about how God wants us well and healthy. We saw how God adds His rhema word to what He said in the bible, or about how He quickens scriptures to us for specific situations that require His healing touch. It helps our faith, doesn't it, when God makes a scripture come alive for our specific situation? Then we have an inner assurance that He wants to bring His healing in this case.
We also discussed how to stand for a healing in faith. We saw that it is important to come into agreement with God's word and to believe His promises to us.
Clearly faith (believing God's promises are true) plays an important role in healing. But how do we get it? How do we develop the faith we need for our own healing and to pray for others to be healed? Sometimes God will grant a supernatural impartation of faith for a given situation and sometimes God will give an individual the spiritual gift of miracle working faith (1 Cor 12:9). But for most of us, faith is something we acquire over time, something we build on. We call this experiential faith.
Experiential faith develops or grows in two ways. We have already discussed building our faith by bringing our own minor sicknesses to God instead of reaching for the convenient over the counter medicine that we know will fix the problem. When Jesus supernaturally heals our headaches or clears or allergies or relieves our upset stomach, it builds our faith in His healing. Why? Because we have experienced it firsthand.
We can also build our faith by praying for the small things in others and seeing Jesus heal them. It takes much more faith to walk into a hospital and command a missing body part to grow back than it does to pray for a friend when they say they have a headache. So when you are first getting started, and your friend says they have a headache or a stomach ache, offer to pray for them. Many times you will see Jesus heal them of the minor infirmities and sicknesses. That will cause your faith in His healing to grow.
You Can Be An Agent Of God's Healing To Others
Part of God's commission to all believers is to pray for the sick and see them healed (Mark 16:17-18). God will not only work His healing in your own life; He will also use you as His agent to bring physical healing to others. He can break into everyday situations and bring opportunities to pray for the sick and see them get healed. It can be as simple as sending a prayer to a friend by email, or praying for a friend on the phone. Or maybe a friend tells you they don't feel well and you offer to pray for them. God may sit a stranger next to you on a bus or airplane who needs healing and is open to receiving prayer. Or God may elect to break into a busy schedule to send you to the hospital to pray for someone who He desires to heal.
Don't limit God to only a few set ways for Him to use you. Expect His leading throughout the day. I have trained myself to listen for people coughing, complaining of headaches or other pains in their bodies. Once I hear someone saying or doing these things I see that is my cue for intervention. I discern that this one is ripe for hearing about the power of Jesus cross to heal them. My goal is to pray for their healing, building their faith to receive and believe as I share a few scriptures from the Bible. Most folks think you will go home and pray for them before you go to bed. However, when I ask if I can pray for them, I shake their hand and immediately bow my head or close my eyes and pray for their healing rebuking the symptoms and applying the blood of Jesus. I ask the Holy Spirit to accomplish Jesus work in them. Many times healing comes immediately! I then investigate to see if their symptoms are gone. I challenge them to continue to believe in Jesus or open their hearts to His love for them.
I encourage you to take invite God to use you as an agent of His healing to others. Be alert and aware of the opportunities that He brings your way. Expect Him to use you on a daily basis. As you make yourself available to God in this manner, you will begin to see His healing power released as you pray for the sick.
Getting Started In Praying For The Sick
Your heart and desire to pray for the sick should flow out of your personal relationship with Jesus. Your rightness with Him will produce righteousness in you that will cause the Holy Spirit to open up doors of opportunity to pray for the sick. Also, knowing what God's word, the Bible, says about healing will help you get started. That is because Scripture tells us over and over that God desires to heal the sick.
Early on in my Christian walk I spent much of my time meditating and memorizing bible verses. When I meditated on James 5:13-20, I not only wanted to memorize these scriptures, but I desired to put them into practice. James said, "Is there any sick among you? let them call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith shall save the sick man, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he has committed sins they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, the effectual prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much."
When I thought about these verses, I thought about who the elders might be in my church. Possibly I was naive, but I took it literally, at that time in my life at the ripe old age of 22, I was one of the 4 oldest people in my church. We mainly had a church of high school and college students. I must be an elder! 'Older one,' was what I was thinking, not relating this scripture to its true context of church leaders. God used my misunderstanding to stir my heart to pray for others. He asked me, "who are the sick ones?" Most of the people in my church were young and healthy. So I had to go and find sick people to offer up prayers for them. I purchased some olive oil because it was from the Holy Land. I went to the hospital where I found a lot of people sick. I went from room to room praying and anointing with oil. Some received healing and others just thanked me. But my faith grew with the use of my faith and prayers.
Ask Jesus to lead you to people who are sick. Put the Word of God into your heart, believe, act, pray, and stir up the gift of God that is in you through the Holy Spirit. All things are possible to him who believes. We all have to have a starting point. Prove to yourself first that the Word works in your body, then you will have your own testimony that Jesus heals today. As you go forward the Holy Spirit will open doors into people's hearts that will give you an opportunity to believe and pray.
Believe out of your spirit for the gift of the Holy Spirit to rise within you. When you lay hands on them, speak the Word into them, rebuke the spirits or sickness, commanding it to leave in Jesus name. Ask the Holy Spirit, "Is there any way that you would like me to pray now?" Pause.... listen in your spirit... then pray again... or finish the prayer. As you grow in faith, you will become more confident that the Holy Spirit will work with you to glorify Jesus.
So I encourage you to take God at His word, engage your faith, and allow His healing power to become a reality in your life and through your life.