Remember that healing is sometimes a process, not just an instantaneous event.
Many testimonies of miraculous healing in the Bible, and in our Healing Meetings, are very dramatic and instantaneous. In the context of evangelism, God performs instant miracles so that the lost will be convinced of the Gospel.
But many also receive divine healing from the Lord over a period of time, often, ‘in that hour’ (Matthew 8:13) or ‘as they went’ (Luke 17:14). In the New Testament, Epaphroditus (Philippians 2:27), Timothy (1 Timothy 5:23), Trophimus (2 Timothy 4:20) and Paul (Galatians 4:13-14) were each on the journey to healing like many of us. God does not always do instant miracles, but He has promised to be our healer (James 5:14-16).
Whether it takes minutes, months or even years, the important thing is that we get healed – and not always in the way that we would imagine!
Philippians 2:27 “Indeed he was sick and almost died. But God had pity on him, and not only on him but on me, too, and spared me an even greater sorrow”
1 Timothy 5:23 ”Do not drink water only, but take a little wine to help your digestion, since you are sick so often”
2 Timothy 4:20 “Erastus stayed in Corinth, and I left Trophimus in Miletus because he was sick”
Galatians 4:13-14 “You remember why I preached the gospel to you the first time; it was because I was sick. But even though my physical condition was a great trial to you, you did not despise or reject me. Instead, you received me as you would an angel from heaven; you received me as you would Christ Jesus”
James 5:14 “Are any among you sick? They should send for the church elders, who will pray for them and rub olive oil on them in the name of the Lord”
James 5:15 “This prayer made in faith will heal the sick; the Lord will restore them to health, and the sins they have committed will be forgiven”
Healing may be a question of timing (Ecclesiastes 3:1).
Perhaps God wants to do some work on our character, and to use the difficulty to help us (2 Corinthians 12:8-9). Perhaps our healing will bring God greater glory if it comes later, as with Lazarus (John 11:6).
The lame man healed at the Gate (Acts 3:8) was probably seen by Jesus on numerous occasions, but he remained unhealed until the time was right.
Many came to the Lord as a result. We should trust in the Lord’s wisdom. I promise that you haven’t been forgotten!
2 Corinthians 12:7-9 “But to keep me from being puffed up with pride because of the many wonderful things I saw, I was given a painful physical ailment, which acts as Satan’s messenger to beat me and keep me from being proud. Three times I prayed to the Lord about this and asked him to take it away. But His answer was: ‘My grace is all you need, for my power is greatest when you are weak.’ I am most happy, then, to be proud of my weaknesses, in order to feel the protection of Christ’s power over me.”
2 Corinthians 12:10 “I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and difficulties for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
John 11:14-45 “So Jesus told them plainly, ‘Lazarus is dead, but for your sake I am glad that I was not with him, so that you will believe. Let us go to him.’ Thomas (called the Twin) said to his fellow disciples, ‘Let us all go along with the Teacher, so that we may die with him!’ When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had been buried four days before.
Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, and many Judeans had come to see Martha and Mary to comfort them about their brother’s death. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed in the house. Martha said to Jesus, ‘If you had been here, Lord, my brother would not have died! But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask him for.’
‘Your brother will rise to life,’ Jesus told her. ‘I know,’ she replied, ‘that he will rise to life on the last day.’
Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me will live, even though they die; and those who live and believe in me will never die. Do you believe this?’
‘Yes, Lord!’ she answered. ‘I do believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who was to come into the world.’
After Martha said this, she went back and called her sister Mary privately. ‘The Teacher is here,’ she told her, ‘and is asking for you.’ When Mary heard this, she got up and hurried out to meet him. (Jesus had not yet arrived in the village, but was still in the place where Martha had met him.) The people who were in the house with Mary comforting her followed her when they saw her get up and hurry out. They thought that she was going to the grave to weep there.
Mary arrived where Jesus was, and as soon as she saw him, she fell at his feet. ‘Lord,’ she said, ‘if you had been here, my brother would not have died!’ Jesus saw her weeping, and he saw how the people with her were weeping also; his heart was touched, and he was deeply moved.
‘Where have you buried him?’ he asked them. ‘Come and see, Lord,’ they answered. Jesus wept.
‘See how much he loved him!’ the people said. But some of them said, ‘He gave sight to the blind man, didn’t he? Could he not have kept Lazarus from dying?’ Deeply moved once more, Jesus went to the tomb, which was a cave with a stone placed at the entrance.
‘Take the stone away!’ Jesus ordered. Martha, the dead man’s sister, answered, ‘There will be a bad smell, Lord. He has been buried four days!’ Jesus said to her, ‘Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believed?’ They took the stone away. Jesus looked up and said, ‘I thank you, Father, that you listen to me. I know that you always listen to me, but I say this for the sake of the people here, so that they will believe that you sent me.’
After he had said this, he called out in a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out!’ He came out, his hands and feet wrapped in grave cloths, and with a cloth around his face. ‘Untie him,’ Jesus told them, ‘and let him go.’ Many of the people who had come to visit Mary saw what Jesus did, and they believed in him.”
Acts 3:8 “He jumped up, stood on his feet, and started walking around. Then he went into the Temple with them, walking and jumping and praising God”
We should never give up!
Jesus said, “Ask and it will given to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7).
This amazing promise must be balanced with the Lord’s other teaching on prayer which is that we need to be persistent (Luke 11:5-8; 18:1-8).
Just as Naaman had to dip in the Jordan seven times (2 Kings 5:10), there is good reason to keep on asking for healing.
Sometimes having faith involves coming back for prayer repeatedly even though we feel no different. Don’t give up! Keep praying and believing! Don’t abort your prayer through discouragement.
Often there’s a battle in the heavenlies for our healing and for prayers to be answered: Ephesians 6:12, tells us ‘our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm.’ Also, Daniel 10:13 gives us a glimpse into these heavenly battles when an angel appears to Daniel twenty-one days after he’d prayed a prayer to say that he had been detained from answering the prayer, ‘for twenty-one days the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia blocked my way. Then Michael, one of the archangels, came to help me.’
Matthew 7:7 “Ask, and you will receive, seek, and you will find, knock, and the door will be opened to you”
Luke 11:5-8 “And Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Suppose one of you should go to a friend’s house at midnight and say, “Friend, let me borrow three loaves of bread. A friend of mine who is on a trip has just come to my house, and I don’t have any food for him!” And suppose your friend should answer from inside, ‘Don’t bother me! The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ Well, what then? I tell you that even if he will not get up and give you the bread because you are his friend, yet he will get up and give you everything you need because you are not ashamed to keep on asking.”
Luke 18:1-8 “Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to teach them that they should always pray and never become discouraged. ’In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected people. And there was a widow in that same town who kept coming to him and pleading for her rights, saying, “Help me against my opponent!” For a long time the judge refused to act, but at last he said to himself, “Even though I don’t fear God or respect people, yet because of all the trouble this widow is giving me, I will see to it that she gets her rights. If I don’t, she will keep on coming and finally wear me out!”‘ And the Lord continued, ‘Listen to what that corrupt judge said. Now, will God not judge in favour of his own people who cry to him day and night for help? Will he be slow to help them? I tell you, he will judge in their favour and do it quickly. But will the Son of Man find faith on earth when he comes?’”
2 Kings 5:10 “Elisha sent a servant out to tell him to go and wash himself seven times in the Jordan River, and he would be completely cured of his disease”
Does personal sin block healing?
There are some instances of this in the Bible (John 5:14 and Revelation 2:22). God may want to challenge us in the area of forgiveness (Mark 11:25), or some other sin (James 5:16).
John 5:14 “Afterward, Jesus found him in the Temple and said, ‘Listen, you are well now; so stop sinning or something worse may happen to you’”
Revelation 2:2 “I know what you have done; I know how hard you have worked and how patient you have been. I know that you cannot tolerate evil people and that you have tested those who say they are apostles but are not, and have found out that they are liars”
Mark 11:24-25 “For this reason I tell you: When you pray and ask for something, believe that you have received it, and you will be given whatever you ask for. And when you stand and pray, forgive anything you may have against anyone, so that your Father in heaven will forgive the wrongs you have done”
James 5:16 “So then, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you will be healed. The prayer of a good person has a powerful effect”
Nobody’s perfect and all healing comes from God’s grace.
Do I have enough faith to be healed?
While it is certainly essential to exercise our faith in healing, it only needs to be the size of a mustard seed (Luke 17:6) and we all have that! So when you have received prayer, expect to recover.
Luke 17:6 “The Lord answered, ‘If you had faith as big as a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, “Pull yourself up by the roots and plant yourself in the sea!” and it would obey you”
This is often best demonstrated by attempting to do something you couldn’t do before. We often find that the miracle happens at that moment!
What about taking my medicine?
Until you have been checked by your doctor, you should never stop taking any essential medicines. This is really important. Taking your medicine will not “unheal you” if God has healed you, so let the doctor be the one to take you off your medication.
This is not doubt or unbelief and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. It’s just sensible and wise. Just as the sailors on Jonah’s ship prayed and then took practical steps to help themselves (Jonah 1:5), so it is perfectly alright to pray and also to visit a doctor. Even the Apostle Paul encouraged Timothy to take his medicine (1 Timothy 5:23).
Jonah 1:5 “The sailors were terrified and cried out for help, each one to his own god. Then, in order to lessen the danger, they threw the cargo overboard. Meanwhile, Jonah had gone below and was lying in the ship’s hold, sound asleep”
1 Timothy 5:23 “Do not drink water only, but take a little wine to help your digestion, since you are sick so often”
If God has healed you, the doctor will be able to confirm it (even if they won’t be able to make medical sense of it!).
And God can heal you while you are on medication and undergoing treatment, so never be afraid to take medicine or undergo surgery thinking it will somehow block God’s ability to heal you.
Stay in the Word.
Our faith for healing should be rooted in the Word of God. While you are waiting for your healing, take time to study the numerous scriptures concerning healing. As you meditate on these things (Joshua 1:8 and Psalm 1:2), the Word will work in you like a seed in the ground (Mark 4:26-28).
Then, as you come for prayer, or as you pray at home, you can put your faith in God’s promise and stand upon it.
Joshua 1:8 “Be sure that the book of the Law is always read in your worship. Study it day and night, and make sure that you obey everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful”
Psalm 1:2 “Instead, they find joy in obeying the Law of the LORD, and they study it day and night”
Mark 4:26-28 “Jesus went on to say, ‘The Kingdom of God is like this. A man scatters seed in his field. He sleeps at night, is up and about during the day, and all the while the seeds are sprouting and growing. Yet he does not know how it happens. The soil itself makes the plants grow and bear fruit; first the tender stalk appears, then the head, and finally the head full of grain”
Always be honest.
Although we are encouraged to have faith, if we don’t feel better there is no shame in owning up to that!
That doesn’t change the truth about healing. Remember the woman with the issue of blood (Mark 5:25-34) and Abraham and Sarah (Romans 4:19-21).
The “facts” were that the woman was ill and Sarah was barren, but the “truth” was that Jesus was a healer (and still is!). Some may feel slightly better after prayer but know that they are certainly not fully cured.
We should thank God even for a small change and seek further improvement through our own personal prayers or by coming for further ministry in church.
So What Shall I Do Now?
• Be encouraged to come for prayer whenever you aren’t well. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t visit the doctor – even Paul had a physician travelling with him (Colossians 4:14). But we want to commit all things to God and look to Him.
• Come expectant!
• Allow the prayer minister to do the praying, rather than you. This is not the time for you to pray, but to receive humbly like a child.
• Don’t be concerned about falling. Some people fall over when they receive prayer because the power of the anointing can be overwhelming, and that can be a wonderful thing. But this is certainly not essential.
• After prayer, begin to do something you haven’t been able to do before. You might be amazed at what has happened!
• If you don’t feel any better, there is no need to make anything up. But don’t be discouraged: you have moved a step closer to being healed than you were before.
• If you truly feel healed, go back to your doctor and have him or her check you out.
Keeping your Healing
It is not uncommon for people who receive healing to sometimes face a battle to “keep the healing” later. Don’t be astonished if after some weeks or months, or even the next morning, you sense some of the symptoms trying to creep back. While this may shake your faith, this isn’t the time to be upset or disappointed but rather, it is the time to fight! Tell the condition to go because it has no mastery over you and refuse to return to an “ill mindset”. Don’t forget to stay in prayer, read and meditate on the Word and be among a community of faith-filled believing Christians.
Scriptures for Meditation
Psalm 103:2-3 ”Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits – who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases”
Matthew 14:35-36 “People brought all their sick to Jesus and begged him to let the sick just touch the edge of his cloak, and all who touched him were healed”
James 5: 14-15 “Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well”
James 4:7 ”Resist the devil and he will flee!”
Jeremiah 30:17 ”For I will restore you to health and I will heal you of your wounds”
Exodus 15:26 “For I, the Lord, am your healer”
Isaiah 53:5 ”But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed”
John 10:10 ”The thief (Satan) comes only to kill, steal and destroy. I came that they might have life and might have it abundantly”
Mark 16:18 ”They will lay hands on the sick and they will recover”
John 14:13 ”And whatever you may ask in My name, that I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son”