I didn’t have a lot of exposure to these situations, but when I did, I wasn’t seeing results. It wasn’t people asking me for information about healing and to pray for them but me freely sharing it with them because I wanted them healed so badly. I would pray for them without getting much of the word in them first and whether or not they seemed to have received what I shared. I was frustrated it wasn’t producing the outcome I desired.
A couple of things I have learned. First, just like I cannot force anyone to receive Christ as their savior, I cannot force anyone to receive the healing he has provided either. First Timothy 2:4 says that God “desires all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” Saved here is the Greek word sozo, which means saved, healed and delivered. God’s desire is for all to receive Christ and to be made whole in every area of our lives, but if someone is not open to hearing and receiving the truth, I cannot overstep their free will and make them receive it.
I also have learned there needs to be faith, both from the person praying and the one receiving prayer. Now one could be exhibiting a more active faith and the other a more submissive faith, but it still needs to be present. There are times when a person may be flowing in the anointing of the Holy Spirit and the sick person can be healed through the anointed person’s faith, but that is the spiritual exception, not the rule, and highly unlikely when there is outright disbelief. There were times that even Jesus himself could not heal because they didn’t believe.
Mark 6: 5-6 says, “Now he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them. And he marveled because of their unbelief.”
Instead of being so quick to pray for a person that is sick, I’ve learned the importance of getting the word in them first because “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” — Romans 10:17. How can they believe in healing if they have never heard of it? We need to speak truth into people’s lives about healing so they can believe in the finished works of Christ and learn to stand on their own faith in what Jesus has provided. T.L. Osborn was a mighty teacher of the word who had a mass-miracle evangelism ministry. He would often preach to hundreds of thousands of people at a time and saw miracle after miracle, sick person healed one after another. In his book “Healing the Sick,” which I highly recommend, he states:
“Among the tens of thousands who have been miraculously healed by the Lord under our own ministry in over 70 nations of the world, only a small fraction of them have been individually prayed for. Most of them have been healed through their own faith, which came to them while meditating on the Bible truths we present from the platform or from the printed page.”
Osborn also said: Instead of saying, “Pray for me,” many should first say, “Teach me God’s word so that I can intelligently cooperate with him for my recovery.” We must know what the benefits of redemption are before we can appropriate them by faith.
Isn’t that encouraging that we can get healed on our own without having to seek out someone who is flowing in the anointing of the Holy Spirit just by us hearing the word, believing it and applying it?
I hope people properly receive what I am trying to convey in this article. Am I saying not to pray for sick people? No, absolutely not, but what I am saying is if you have the opportunity, invest in getting the word in them first so they don’t have to try to receive their healing on your faith alone.
Jesus himself went about “teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.” — Matthew 9:35.
He sent his disciples to “preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.” — Luke 9:2. Teach the word first if possible, and after you get the word in them, then command their healing by faith.
Stay tuned for my next two articles of lives being drastically changed by learning what God’s word has to say about healing.
(Amber can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or through her AmberRiceMiller Facebook page).
Published: December 12, 2016