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Prayers for Healing


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Introductory Thoughts
Matthew 28: 18-20
“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them… teaching them… and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen”

Mark 3:14
“Then He appointed twelve that they might be with Him, and that He might send them out to preach, and to have power to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons.”

Testimonies Vol. 9, 126
“In visions of the night representations passed before me of a great reformatory movement among God's people. Many were praising God. The sick were healed, and other miracles were wrought.
Hundreds and thousands were seen visiting families, and opening before them the word of God. Hearts were convicted by the power of the Holy Spirit, and a spirit of genuine conversion was manifest. On every side doors were thrown open to the proclamation of the truth. The world seemed to be lightened with the heavenly influence. Great blessings were received by the true and humble people of God.”

James 5: 13-16
“… 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. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.”

Medical Ministry, p. 195
“When you neglect to pray for the sick, you deprive them of great blessings; for angels of God are waiting to minister to these souls in response to your petitions....”

Psalms 107: 20
“He sent His word and healed them….”
“God is just as willing to restore the sick to health now as when the Holy Spirit spoke these words through the Psalmist.” Ministry of Healing 226

Mark 16:18
“They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

Ministry of Healing 226
“The Lord’s promise… is just as trustworthy now as in the days of the apostles." Ministry of Healing 226

Ministry of Healing 126
“His disciples in t his time are to pray for the sick as verily as the disciples of old prayed. And recoveries will follow…. We have the Holy Spirit’s power, the calm assurance of faith, that can claim the promises. It presents the privilege of God’s children, and our faith should lay hold of all that it embraces. Christ’s servants are the channels of His working, and through them He desires to exercise His healing power. It is our work to present the sick and suffering to God in the arms of our faith. We should teach them to believe in the great Healer.”


What is the Healing Process

What does it mean to seek healing on behalf of another person? What outcome is anticipated? Merely a physical healing, or does it also bring spiritual healing? Is the healing instantaneous or is it gradual? The Bible makes it clear that healing always involves both a physical aspect, and a spirtiual one. Sometimes healing comes in a moment, sometimes it covers over time. Sometimes God chooses not to heal, apparently because He sees it would not be for His glory, or for our good.  In all cases, however, physical healing should inclue a personal physical and spiritual inventory! The folowing texts and quotations explore the healing process.

A Healing?
A Process?
A Spiritual Inventory?
A Blessing?

Bartimaeus
Bartimaeus: Immediate healing
Mark 10:52: “Immediately he received his sight.”

Healing? Process? Blessing?
Bartimaeus: Immediate healing

Mary
Mary: Needed multiple healings.
Luke 8:2: “Out of whom seven devils….”

Healing? Process? Blessing?
Bartimaeus: Immediate healing
Mary: Needed multiple healings.

Naaman
Naaman: A process to obediently follow.
2 Kings 5:17: “Go, dip seven times.”

Healing? Process? Blessing?
Bartimaeus: Immediate healing
Mary: Needed multiple healings.
Naaman: A process

The Man at Pool
The Man at Pool: Action
John 5:8: “Take up your bed.”

Healing? Process? Blessing?
Bartimaeus: Immediate healing
Mary: Needed multiple healings
Naaman: A process
The Man at the Pool: Action

Hezekiah
Hezekiah: Poultice remedy
2 Kings 20:7: “Take a lump of figs….”

Healing? Process? Blessing?
Bartimaeus: Immediate healing
Mary: Needed multiple healings
Naaman: A process
The Man at the Pool: Action
Hezekiah: Poultice remedy

Paul
Paul: Blessing
2 Cor. 12:7: “There was given to me a thorn….”

Healing? Process? Blessing?
Bartimaeus: Immediate healing
Mary: Needed multiple healings
Naaman: A process
The Man at the Pool: Action
Hezekiah: Poultice remedy
Paul: Blessing

Healing? Process? Blessing?
“Yes, the deeper the need, and the bitterer the extremity, the greater the opportunity for God to show forth His mighty  power in our lives, if we but give Him a chance by unswerving obedience at any cost.” Rosalind Goforth

What do we anticipate?
A Healing?
A Process?
A Spiritual Inventory?
A Blessing?


Why Doesn’t God Respond?

God's seeming lack of response is a matter of discussion and somtimes ongoing frustration on the part of Christians. Some of the more common reasons include the following:

Failure to Believe.
Not in the person’s best interest.
Not following a natural law.
Failing to prepare.
Casual entreaties.
The danger of pride.

Why Doesn’t God Respond?
Failure to Believe.


Failure to Believe
…And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. James 5: 13

Failure to Believe
“Our Lord has given us definite instruction, through the apostle James, as to our duty in case of sickness. When human help fails, God will be the helper of His people. If the professed followers of Christ would, with purity of heart exercise as much faith in the promises of God as they repose in satanic agencies, they would realize, in soul and body, the life-giving power of the Holy Spirit....” Counsels on Health, p. 457

Why Doesn’t God Respond?
Failure to Believe.
Not in the person’s best interest.

Not in Person's Best Interest
2 Kings 20:17
“Behold, the days are coming, when all that is in your house (Hezekiah), and what your fathers have accumulated until this day, shall be carried to Babylon, nothing shall be left.” 2 Kings 20:17

Not In Person’s Best Interest
“All that can be done in praying for the sick is to earnestly importune God in their behalf, and rest their case in his hands, in perfect confidence.... When we come to him we should pray that we might enter into, and accomplish, his purpose, and that our desires and interests might be lost in his.... We have united in earnest prayer around the sick bed of men, women and children, and have felt in regard to our earnest prayers, they were given us back from the dead. In these prayers we thought we must be positive, and if we exercised faith, we must ask for nothing less than life. We dared not say, If it would glorify God, fearing it would admit a semblance of doubt. We have interestedly and anxiously watched these cases which have been given back, as it were, from the dead. We have seen some of these, especially youth, raised to health, and forget God, become dissolute in life, causing sorrow and anguish to parents and friends. They lived not to honor and glorify God, but to curse him with their life of vice, and a shame to those who feared to pray. If their life can glorify Thee, let them live, nevertheless not as we will, but as Thou wilt. We no longer mark out a way, nor seek to bring the Lord to our wishes. Our faith can be just as firm, and more reliable, by committing the desire to the all-wise God, and trusting, with unfeverish anxiety, all in perfect confidence with him. We have the promise. We know that he hears us if we ask according to his will.” Testimony for Battle Creek Church, p. 64

Not In Person’s Best Interest
George Müller
“I repeatedly prayed with sick believers until they were restored. I asked…for the blessing of bodily health unconditionally (which I could not do now), and almost always had the petition answered.”

Not In Person’s Best Interest
Rosalind Goforth
Rosalind lost her daughter to sickness in spite of prayer.

“What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.” John 13:7

Why Doesn’t God Respond?
Failure to Believe.
Not in the person’s best interest.
Not following a natural law.

Exodus 16:26
“If you diligently heed the voice of the Lord…give ear to his commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the Lord who heals you.”

3 John 1:2
“Beloved, I pray that  you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.”

Luke 9:1
“…gave them power and authority … to cure diseases.”

Not Following Some Law
“It is labor lost to teach people to look to God as a healer of their infirmities, unless they are taught also to lay aside unhealthful practices. In order to receive His blessing in answer to prayer, they must cease to do evil and learn to do well.” Ministry of Healing, p. 226

S. D. Gordon
God will not heal miraculously, what He can heal naturally!

Why Doesn’t God Respond?
Failure to Believe.
Not in the person’s best interest.
Not following a natural law.
Failing to prepare.

Psalm 139:23
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties, and see if there is any wicked way in me….”

Failing to Prepare
“To those who desire prayer for their restoration to health, it should be made plain that the violation of God’s law, either natural or spiritual, is sin, and that in order for them to receive His blessing, sin must be confessed and forsaken.” Ministry of Healing, p. 226

Failing to Prepare
“In order for the child of God to receive divine healing, the following usually must take place: sin must be confessed and renounced, one must completely surrender to the Lord, self must be yielded up to be wholly in His hands, and that Jesus desires to take charge of the body must be firmly believed. Then, the healing becomes the commencement of a new life of intimate communion with the Lord.” Andrew Murray, Divine Healing, p. 52

Preparatory Materials: Ministry of Healing, “Prayer for the Sick”

Why Doesn’t God Respond?
Failure to Believe.
Not in the person’s best interest.
Not following a natural law.
Failing to prepare.
Casual entreaties.

2 Chron. 7:14
“If My people who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face,  and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

Our High Calling, 129
“I have been shown angels of God all ready to impart grace and power to those who feel their need of divine strength. But these heavenly messengers will not bestow blessings unless solicited.  They have waited for the cry from souls hungering and thirsting for the blessing of God; often have they waited in vain. There were, indeed, casual prayers, but not the earnest supplication from humble, contrite hearts.…” 

Why God Doesn’t Respond
Failure to Believe.
Not in the person’s best interest.
Not following a natural law.
Failing to prepare.
Casual entreaties.
The danger of pride.

There is Danger of Pride
…We poor mortals need to purify our souls, that when the Lord works for us, it will not ruin us. This is the reason that so few of the sick are healed. If they were [healed], men would be elevated in self-esteem. Upward Look 375

There is Danger of Pride
“We are so weak that we cannot bear much spiritual prosperity, lest we should take the glory, and accredit goodness and righteousness to ourselves as the reason of the signal blessing of God.”  TBC, p. 60

A Sobering Wake Up Call
"But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup.  For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, …

1 Corinthians 11; 28-30
…not discerning the Lord's body.  For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. not discerning the Lord's body.  For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep."

How Should We Respond?
How Should We Respond?
Get our affairs in order.

Get Our Affairs in Order
“Often there is danger of error here. Believing that they will be healed in answer to prayer, some fear to do anything that might seem to indicate a lack of faith. But they should not neglect to set their affairs in order as they would desire to do if they expected to be removed by death. Nor should they fear to utter words of encouragement or counselwhich at the parting hour they wish to speak to their loved ones.”  Ministry of Healing, 231

How Should We Respond?
Get our affairs in order.
Use other means prayerfully

Use Other Means Prayerfully
“It is our privilege to use every God-appointed means in correspondence with our faith, ….  If there is need of a surgical operation, it is not a denial of faith to have the operation performed.”  MR, Vol. 1, p. 387

How Should We Respond?
Get our affairs in order.
Use other means prayerfully
Use natural means judiciously.

Use Natural Means Judiciously
“In regard to the matter of prayer for the sick, many confusing ideas are advanced. One says, ‘He who has been prayed for must walk out in faith, giving God the glory, and making use of no remedies. If he is at a health institute he should leave it at once.’ .... The path of faith lies close beside the path of presumption. Satan is ever seeking to lead us into false paths. He sees that a misunderstanding of what constitutes faith will confuse and disappoint. He is pleased when he can persuade men and women to reason from false premises.... It is no denial of faith to use rational remedies judiciously..” MR 387

Rosalind Goforth
“In all cases of divine healing cited in this record it will be noted that God healed in answer to prayer either when the doctors had done all in their power and hope had been abandoned, or when we were out of reach of medical aid.” How I Know God Answers Prayer p.  31
What Methods Should We Follow?


Methods

What particular methods should we follow? Is it always necessary to have oil? Must elders always be present? What does the Bible say on the subject?

Methods
Jesus:  “Laying hands…; He healed…” (Mark 6: 5)

Methods
The Disciples:
“Heal the sick…” (Matt 10: 8); “Anointed with oil…” (Mark 6: 13)

Methods
The Apostles:
“…shadow fell…” Acts 5: 15
“laying on hands…” Acts 28: 8
“Rise up…” Acts 3: 6

Methods
James: “Call the elders… pray over him,  anointing him with oil….” James 5: 14, 15
 
Additional thoughts on methods
1. Oil may or may not be used, but remember, healing comes through the Holy Spirit.
2. Healing is NOT a solo sport!


Who are God’s Agents

God’s Agents
“If any man serve Me,…him will My Father honor. ”John 12:26

“If we live according to His word, every precious promise He has given will be fulfilled to us. … He will work for and through those who follow Him.” Ministry of Healing 226

God’s Agents
 “Only as we live in obedience to His word can we claim the fulfillment of His promises. If we render to Him only a partial, half-hearted obedience, His promises will not be fulfilled to us.” MH226


Who Should Seek Healing?

Those Who Are Sick
Blind Bartimaeus:
“Lord that I might receive my sight.” Mark 10:51

Those Who Tremble
Woman with Bloody Issue:
“If only I may touch the hem of His garment, I shall be made well.” Matt. 9:21

Those Seeking For Others
Jairus:
“Only believe and she will be made well.” Luke 8:49

Centurion:
“Only speak a word, and my servant will be healed.”
Matt. 8:8

Those Needing More Healing
Mary:
“Out of whom had come seven spirits….” Luke 8:1

Desire of Ages, p. 568
“Mary had been looked upon as a great sinner, but Christ knew the circumstances that had shaped her life. … Seven times she had heard His rebuke of the demons that controlled her heart and mind. She had heard His strong cries to the Father in her behalf.”

The Seemingly Unprepared
Two Demon-Possessed Men:
“What have we to do with You, Jesus.” Matt. 8:29


How They Responded

Responding
• They believed!
• They obeyed!
• They praised God!

Responding
“I was blind, but now I see.”

“…fell down before Him and told the truth.”
“She was made straight and glorified God.”

Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 315
“Many do not leave their cases with Him; they encourage weakness and disease by worrying about themselves. If they would cease repining and rise above depression and gloom, their recovery would be more sure.”
 
Toronto Fundamentals Seminar: Healing Prayer (2 of 3) 3/21/2007

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