These summary notes are taken entirely from the book titled “How to Heal the Sick” by Stuart Gramenz. It is strongly recommended that you purchase the original book if you want to further understand his excellent teachings on this subject (www.spiritled.com.au ). A complete online training course available at www.spiritledacademy.com will not only teach you the principles contained in “How to Heal the Sick”, but also many other great truths from Stuarts nine other books. These notes are simply to show you some of the teaching from this book.
WHY I WROTE THIS SUMMARY
After reading half of Stuart’s book “How to Heal the Sick” in 2008, the Holy Spirit challenged and inspired me to take a chapel at my high school and pray for any sick students that wanted prayer. To my knowledge this had never happened in the hundreds of weekly chapels that had passed in the history of Nambour Christian College. After presenting several testimonies of healing from students, staff and myself and seeing faith rising in the student body, I prayed for those who wished to be healed. To my amazement and relief approximately twelve school students were healed instantly!!! Most of the schoolyard talk for the rest of the day was about the chapel service!
Prayer for the sick does work and it was because of Stuart Gramenz’s teaching that I was able to more fully understand how to move in this area of New Testament ministry. I present this summary of his book so that you too can be inspired to begin praying for the sick and seeing them healed, set free and brought into our family of faith.
1. WHY DOES GOD WANT TO HEAL US?
First, God loves everyone, and as our spiritual father he longs to see us healthy and whole, just as a natural parent would. His desire to heal us comes from his fantastic love for us (John 3:16). Yes, he is passionately in love with us all and demonstrated his desire to see us once again made spiritually and physically whole through the ministry of Jesus. Every time someone is healed it is an act an act of divine love. We are made in his image but our rebellion against our creator has crippled us spiritually, emotionally and physically. God loved us so much he sent Jesus to heal us spiritually, emotionally and physically.
Second, physical healing is also a powerful proof of Jesus’ authority over nature and a potent way of demonstrating his divine authority to non-believers and draw them lovingly to himself (Matthew 4:23, 8:16, 12:15, John 10:38). Jesus created the universe, our galaxy, our planet and us. He also made us and knows how to heal our bodies. Healing is a very powerful advertisement for the truth of the rest of his claims to be God in human form. Healing often has to come first in order to open up skeptical hearts to the truth of the gospel of restoration to our father through Jesus.
2. CHRISTIANITY IS BASED ON MIRACLES
Christianity is fundamentally based on many statements of the miraculous. For example God made the world in 6 earth days. Moses’ performed many miracles. Jesus was born of a virgin. Jesus constantly healed the sick. Finally, Jesus rose from dead. The New Testament is riddled with stories of the miraculous. If these stories were removed or are fiction there would be little left except history and doctrine. If the God of Christianity is truly the creator of the universe then he has to be the author of the miraculous. The strength of the early church was not in doctrine, but in divine power (Acts 8:1-6, Romans 15:19, I Corinthians 2:4-5, 4:19-20). A modern Christianity that removes the miraculous will never win the world back to its lord and maker. All it has to offer is history and doctrine.
3. IT WILL BE A LEARNING CURVE
Most of us can’t possibly imagine doing the same miraculous works that Jesus did, as recorded in the gospels. Yet he said we would do them (John 14:12-14). So how can you get from where you are now to where Jesus said you could be? The answer is by trusting our spiritual father, taking little baby steps, expecting some failures and pushing on regardless. This is how most new skills are learnt. Up until now you may never have prayed for someone and seen them healed, or you may have seen only a few healed out of many prayed for. By the time you finish reading this essay you will increase your success rate a little further. Then as you keep practicing, you will improve more. Not everyone you pray for will be healed. But then not everyone who hears the gospel will give their lives to Jesus either. The reason for this lack of success will be mostly because of problems on their part, not yours. But the miracles you do see will change lives forever and people will come into the kingdom because you took the time and risk to pray for them. As you begin to see lives change, your faith will grow further and you will see more miracles. Treat prayer for the sick as an apprenticeship in showing God’s love and compassion for the sick and you will have a lot of fun. Perfect love for a world of suffering people will soon overtake your fear of having a go.
4. THE GOSPEL IS THE POWER, NOT YOU
It is not you who does the healing, so relax. The gospel has the power already in it to set people free (Romans 1:16, Hebrews 4:12). The message Jesus told people was one of power, liberation and intimate relationship with the father. The sheer power of this message will plough the ground of people’s hearts preparing them for the lords healing power. Signs and wonders will follow all those who believe in Jesus’ message as you explain it (Mark 16:15-18, 20). The gospel of the kingdom is more than just words. It is a whole package of spiritual, physical and social liberation. It is good news for the poor, freedom for spiritual and emotional prisoners, recovery of sight for the blind (healing) and release for the socially oppressed (Luke 4:18). This was Jesus’ mandate and he fulfilled it (Matthew 4:23). But you do not have to have faith in yourself for all this radical change, including healing. Your job is to explain the gospel package, and then Jesus will save them, liberate them and heal them. You are not some witch doctor or Sharman. You are a representative of the king of the universe. If he can make a galaxy, he can surely heal a human body. Your job is to simply trust him to do what he already wants to do. This journey into the miraculous could be a challenge if your mind is highly trained in secular materialism. However, when you learn the principles of healing the sick your ministry will slowly become that much more powerful and people’s lives will change around you.
5. SPIRIT-LED GUIDANCE
The first thing to learn when you are beginning on the journey of praying for the sick is to have love and compassion for those who suffer. Compassion and love will motivate you to pray every single day for the Lord to lead you to the right people to talk to that day (Colossians 4:3). It will also take your mind off yourself. Praying daily for divine appointments is crucial to walking in the area of healing. Then when you do come across people who are struggling with physical problems, as you certainly will, it is time to start asking Jesus what he wants you to do, then listen (Proverbs 3:5-6, John 14:26). At this point God will do one of two things. He may give you a message for this person, either as a vision, a righteous anger toward the sickness or word of knowledge. Or he may even give you the spontaneous faith to launch out into a prayer for this person (Luke 21:14-15). With spontaneous faith you will know to begin, but will not know where you are going! As you start God will give you the words to say, as he said he would in Luke 21. By the time you read and learn the notes below you will be well on your way to the level of asking God for the opportunities to pray for people (Philippians 4:13).
6. RAISING PEOPLE’S FAITH
In Mark 16 Jesus commissioned his disciples to go and expand the kingdom. He specifically told his disciples to preach the gospel and then miraculous signs, included healing, would follow. This passage gives us a hint as to the natural order most healings will follow. In nine cases out of ten people will require some sort of increased faith or confidence in order to believe for a healing. The “preaching” of the gospel is the faith raising ingredient (Mark 9:23-27, 11:24). This does not mean sitting under a pulpit listening to an evangelist at a church meeting or evangelistic rally. It simply means that faith will rise after you have gossiped about all the amazing things God has done in your own life (1 Corinthians 2:1-5). All you have to do is just chat and talk about the great things God has done for you; the answers to prayer, healings and miracles. This is the best way to prepare people for healing from Jesus. Simply tell them lots of stories of what Jesus has done for you and they will respond well. After all, everyone loves a great story. Acts 14:8-10 gives us a good example of a man’s faith being raised after hearing Paul talking about the amazing things Jesus was doing in so many people’s lives. Sure enough, a healing immediately followed. Was it Paul’s faith that healed the man? Not at all, the passage clearly states the man was healed because his faith was raised. Something inside this man reached out and trusted God. So start gossiping about the goodness of God and you will create an openness to receive in the heart of the person you are sharing with. This is faith and it is essential if they are to receive their healing from the Holy Spirit. Faith is simply a person’s confidence and trust that God can and will do something special.
7. THE ROLE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Just like an average human, Jesus performed no miracles and healed no sick people before the age of 30. Before he began his public ministry he was filled with the Holy Spirit while at the Jordan River (Luke 3:21-23). This was the event that changed everything. From that point on he was able to do miracles and heal the sick wherever there was faith in people’s hearts to receive (Matthew 12:28). All healing occurred as a result of the Holy Spirit power within him. This was the power that he was filled with and that went out of him when healings took place (Luke 6:19, 8:46).
When you have received the Holy Spirit you too will have this power to heal the sick (Acts 1:8). If you have not been prayed for to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit then take care of this immediately. This is why all through the book of Acts the filling of the Holy Spirit quickly followed salvation (Acts 1:8, 2:4, 4:31, 8:17, 9:17, 10:44). You will then house a great treasure in your earthen vessel (2 Corinthians 4:7). After this, when you pray for the sick it will not be you who has the power. It will be the Holy Spirit healing through you. All you need is trust, faith, and confidence in the ability of the Holy Spirit, who acts on the orders of Jesus, to do his job. You will never need more power ever again, just more confidence in his power to do what he is already eager to do (Matthew 10:7-8, Ephesians 3:20).
Our minds have to come up to speed with the reality of the power of the Holy Spirit working through us. How do you come up to speed with this new reality? The answer comes from John 15:5. Jesus is the vine and we are the branches. If you live in him you will bear much fruit. If you learn to hear his voice you will do his will. Branches don’t do much. They simply convey life from the roots to the leaves, from one point to another. So it is with you and I, we convey the life force of the Holy Spirit, who acts on the orders of Jesus, to those we are in contact with. You cannot heal anything and were never asked to. You were simply asked to lay hands on the sick and they would recover (James 5:14-15). The Holy Spirit does the rest.
8. SPEAKING WITH AUTHORITY
Often when Jesus prayed for the sick and infirm he commanded with authority for the healing to take place. Today we often whisper nice soft prayers that don’t offend. Jesus commanded Lazarus to come out of the tomb (John 11:43). He commanded the wind to die down (Mark 4:35-40). He commanded light to appear and it happened (Genesis 1:3). He knew his authority and used it confidently. Only those who know their authority speak with authority. We all remember the teachers in our school days who knew their authority and those who were not confident in their authority. They all had authority but some really knew it. You could hear it in their voice. You are now a person of immense authority which has been delegated to you by our Lord (Matthew 28:16-19). All through the book of Acts the apostles were speaking miracles into people’s lives because they knew their delegated authority (Acts 3:6, 14:10). There was no screaming, no pleading and no begging; just the confident, firm command of one who knows the power of their words to change history because of the supreme authority of the one who rose from the dead, lived within them and now ruled the whole planet.
9. DIFFERENT FAITH LEVELS
Some people will naturally have a very high level of faith to believe for healing when you share the gospel with them. This is usually because the Holy Spirit has already been preparing their heart. In Matthew chapter 8 Jesus met a Roman soldier who said, “Simply speak a word and my servant will be healed”. Like the Roman soldier, these people with high levels of faith will be healed even without specifically praying for them. The revelation of the power of God often hits them and they are healed immediately. They frequently experience amazing miracles, even from a distance, because their faith is so determined and sure (Acts 19:11-12).
Other people will have a high level of faith, but not to the extreme of the people mentioned above. In Luke 8:43-48 we read the story of a woman who had a bleeding problem for over a decade. She had a very high level of faith to believe Jesus could heal her. She thought to herself that if she could just touch Jesus she would be healed, and she was. Like the Roman soldier, she had already heard a lot about the amazing man who was able to heal people. Her faith was high and she was ready to receive. This level of faith is likewise not that common, but it is very refreshing to see.
Then there is the average person. Most people will require you to lay hands on them as part of the healing process (Mark 16:18). This is the normal level of faith where most healings take place. Most people relate to being touched and prayed for. If their expectation has been raised through hearing you gossip about the great things God has done, then when you lay hands on them they will activate their faith at that point for their healing.
Finally, there are those who are skeptical and have no faith. If you pray for them nothing will happen, barring a sovereign miracle from the Lord. This is the problem we experience so often in western countries where people have been conditioned by the humanistic lie that there is no spiritual realm and the material world is all there is.
The important thing to remember is not to be limited in your expectation of what God is going to do. The very different levels of faith in the people you are talking to will be pretty obvious after you have practiced praying for the sick for some time. Always ask the Father for his wisdom to know where these people are up to. He will often show you hidden things from their heart that, once dealt with, will release the healing. Above all, keep it simple. No special formulas are needed, not gimmicks, no showmanship, just childlike trust (Mark 10:15).
10. NOT ALL HEALING WILL BE INSTANT
Mark 16:18 does not say that all people will be instantly healed when we pray for them. It says they will recover, which is a very different concept. Yes, most people do experience something immediately. However for many sicknesses and physical problems the healing will take place over a longer timeframe. In Luke 17:12-14 there is the episode where ten lepers were healed after they went from Jesus and showed themselves to the priests. This was probably over a period of an hour or two. Likewise, in John 4:49-53 a man’s son began to recover from the time Jesus prayed for him. It wasn’t instant, but it began at that point.
When we pray for someone and then ask them how they are feeling, we are often told there has been no change in their condition. Your faith can sink at this point. When this happens always remember this: If you have shared the gospel message that they can be healed, and you have confidence in the power of the Holy Spirit, and the other person has faith as well, then it is impossible that nothing has happened. Make sure you explain to them that Jesus promised recovery, not instant change. You have given the pill, but the condition often takes time to respond to the pill, just as it does when we visit the doctor. You must encourage them to continue to believe the gospel (Mark 11:24). A poor understanding of this truth that healing can take a few hours or days has robbed so many of their healing. For some reason we always think it has to be instant. Give it time. If a doctor said you will feel better after a day or so because of the prescribed medicine, you would not be upset if you still felt pain tonight. You would go home and simply trust the pill to do its job. Likewise encourage people to simply trust the gospel to do its job. This is especially true when praying for stroke and cancer sufferers. The disease needs time to wither just as the fig tree cursed by Jesus needed time to wither (Mark 11:12-24). The fig tree started dying instantly, but it took time for this death to become visible. When we are praying for people to be healed, we are always praying for the root cause to be dealt with, not simply the branch symptoms. Feelings are the branch symptoms. Direct your prayer and the person’s faith to the root cause.
11. SHOULD YOU PRAY MORE THAN ONCE?
Jesus once prayed for a blind man two times. After the first prayer he could see men like trees, after the second prayer he saw perfectly. Actually two miracles took place here. His eyes were healed perfectly the first time, but recently we have learnt that people who have their sight restored usually need about one year to teach their brain how to interpret what they see. Jesus fast tracked this process by healing his nervous system after healing his eyes. Mark 11:24 is emphatic in its strength of conviction: “whatever things you ask for when you pray, believe that you receive them and you will have them”. When you pray for the sick they may start out by trusting God for their healing, but then something will come across their path that destroys their faith in the healing power of God. It is often through skeptical family or friends. In these situations no amount of follow-up prayer will help. What will help is to replace the fear that has developed with renewed faith in the power of the gospel to heal the sick. The person must begin to turn their mind onto the truth and off to the fear. They must read God’s promises, thank him for what he is doing in their body and believe God has made them whole when they were first prayed for. This is what Abraham had to do for over 20 years before his wife’s womb was healed. Can’t we do it for a week or two?
12. IS IT MIND OVER MATTER?
The above teaching could be construed to be teaching “mind-over-matter” tactics, or psychosomatic healing. However, with all divine healing, a person’s trust is not in the power of their mind. It is in the person of Jesus Christ. Devine healing is caused by him and is only ever for his glory. If healing is based on anything other than giving Jesus the glory and credit, be wary of it. It will be a counterfeit and is designed to lead people away from a relationship with Jesus. Our faith should only ever be in the following truths:
For I am the Lord who heals you
Who forgives all your sins and forgives all your diseases
All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me
And the whole multitude sought to touch him, for power went out from him and he healed them all
Then the seventy returned saying “Lord even the demons are subject to us in your name
If you ask anything in my name, I will do it
Through faith in the name of Jesus, this man who you see has been made strong
The father promised it. Jesus did it. The early church “got it”! Simple people in developing countries get it too. But in the intellectual west, we look for reasons why it is always the mind, and never God who heals. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and don’t lean on your own human understanding. Then you will see divine healing.
13. DEMONIC SOURCES OF SICKNESS
Many western Christians have difficulty with the idea of demonically controlled sicknesses. We usually think of demonic control as total possession and sickness as a purely physical condition. However demons are real and can have lower levels of control over humans as well as total possession. This is where we need to have an open mind to alternative causes of sickness other than the physical realm. Jesus dealt with a number of cases of sickness that originated from demonic control. In Matthew 9:32-33 Jesus dealt with a demon that had caused a person to lose the power of speech. He also healed a woman with a “spirit of infirmity” that caused her to be bent over for many years (Luke 13:11-12). On another occasion he dealt with a spirit of deafness (Mark 9:25). Still on other occasions he cast out a spirit of epilepsy (Matthew 17:15-18) and a spirit of blindness (Matthew12:22).
In praying against spirits causing sickness there are three steps: Firstly make sure you are dealing with a demonic cause. This will come through a word of knowledge from Jesus in the lead up to praying for them. Often it comes as a small sense of righteous anger rising up within you. Second, take your rightful authority over the spirit by speaking directly to it instead of the symptoms of sickness. You don’t need to know any details about the spirit, simply call it the “spirit causing this or that problem”. Third, command it to go. You have the same authority Jesus had so use it. Finally, always tell it on whose authority you speak. Tell the spirit it is in the name of Jesus Christ that you work. So, as a simple example this whole episode could look like this: “Spirit of deafness, out in the name of Jesus Christ”. Don’t make it any more complicated than this! Remember, Jesus loves people so much he can’t stand to see them suffer. His righteous anger at this demon’s meddling is right with you. He will back up his word (Mark 16:17). He is doing the delivering and healing, not you, so relax.
14. PRAYING FOR THE PHYSICALLY IMPAIRED
This type of prayer is, in many ways, the opposite of praying against demonically caused sickness. If you are praying for someone with a physical impairment caused either through genetic defect or accident, relax and speak quietly. Your job is to allow the power of the Holy Spirit to flow into them (Ephesians 3:20). First, simply say “Holy Spirit, I release your healing power right now”. Then command them to “be healed and made whole in the name of Jesus Christ”. Your prayers don’t have to be long. It only takes a second for the Holy Spirit to work the healing.
When praying for the sick you are often dealing with the spiritual and the physical together. In these cases always speak to the root cause than then deal with the physical problem. If the task seems daunting because of the sheer scale of the need then always try think of the other person, not yourself. Have a heart of love and compassion for the person and their situation. This way you will take your mind off yourself and onto them. If you get fearful, you are thinking only of yourself and how you will look in front of others. You are only a channel for the love of God to flow (1John 4:18). Develop a righteous anger for Satan’s attacks on people. Love for the person and anger at Satan will get your mind off yourself.
15. OVERCOMING YOUR OWN FEAR
In Corinthians 2, Paul clearly says he was not eloquent in speech, or confident in their presence. But he still saw many miracles! So do we have to have supreme confidence when praying for people? No! We have to be obedient and trust that the gospel is the power. Jesus is the power. The Holy Spirit is the power. You are definitely not the power! You are simply the jumper leads that connect Jesus with that person. If you are afraid when going into prayer for healing, simply start talking about the divine healing you have seen or experienced. Raise your faith and theirs. Then pray for them. Push through fear. Fear comes from thinking you will fail and be laughed at. It is a mental picture of what you don’t want to happen. Replace it with mental pictures of what Jesus has already done for you and others, and picture what he is about to do. Also ask Jesus for words of knowledge that will give you specific guidance in that situation. Lean on the Lord, not on your own understanding. Like soldiers in battle you may feel fear, but you are carrying the most powerful weapon on the whole battlefield of life. Trust in your secret weapon which is the passionate desire for our Lord to back up his word and set people free (Mark 1:40-41).
16. WHEN PRAYER FOR THE SICK FAILS
What happens when we have done everything and the person is still not healed? This will happen a lot as you first begin the journey of praying for the sick. Always remember that your motivation is love for that person. You will not have all the answers. But you have expressed compassion and love for the sick by taking the time to care for them and pray for them. People will sense your compassion. Take your mind off yourself and concentrate on the love Jesus showed for the sick and lame. It is his passionate desire to heal these people. It is not a circus trick. If healing does not come there will be a reason. Keep asking Jesus for guidance and he will lead you into all truth.
Not even Jesus, who made 100 billion galaxies, could heal the sick or do miracles in places where the people were skeptical and mocking (Mark 6:4-5). Hebrews 4:2 tells us that if a person does not believe when the gospel is preached to them, there can be no profit in their lives. Only when there are the following conditions will God’s healing power flow automatically:
1. The person being prayed for has to have confidence in Jesus that they will receive healing.
2. The person doing the praying must also have confidence in the power of God. Confidence in you is not what it is about, but confidence that Jesus really wants to back up his word and set people free.
This confidence must be real and determined, alive and certain. It is an intuitive knowing that it is already done in the spirit and our senses are simply going to catch up with this reality. It is a trust in God’s power, not yours. You, and the person you are praying for, may both have had little faith when you first started talking about healing. But when you chat and rave about the great things God has done, or remember other people who have experienced the power of God, or ask for words of knowledge and God reveals things to you, then the spiritual atmosphere will change. Expectation will rise. When these conditions are met, then the two ends of the jumper lead are in place and the power of the Holy Spirit can flow (Mark 11:22-24, Luke 11:9-10). When these conditions are not met, then healing rarely comes. The person praying can have faith but nothing will happen. The person being prayed for can have faith, but usually nothing happens. Only when both have certainty and confidence will the miracle occur. You cannot heal a skeptic and you cannot expect anything from God if you are a skeptic. Likewise you cannot heal someone who enjoys the attention their sickness gives them.
17. LOOKING AFTER THE BODY
God has created an amazing machine in you and I. We are the most complex organisms ever constructed in the universe and so much can go wrong if we do not follow his guidance for health. The human body is designed by its creator to heal itself from disease. But so much of what we do in the western world actually creates disease. Heat disease and cancer kill almost half of us and they are both lifestyle related. Obesity and type-two diabetes are now endemic. Junk food, sugar, fat and salt intake are far above safe levels. Lack of exercise, sedentary lifestyles and obesity all mount up to a long term assault on your body. If you give in to the lifestyle of ease and comfort you will very likely suffer disease. Sometimes the cure for you will not be miraculous but a common sense change of lifestyle and diet. Proper nutrition, little alcohol and other stimulants, sensible exercise, lots of raw salads, low intake of meat, plenty of water, good sleep habits, and little packaged food will do you wonders.
Reducing your stress levels alone will take care of a lot of chronic illnesses (Proverbs 17:22). Most stress is caused by broken relationships. Work on these and your body will respond. If anyone asks you to pray for healing and the solution is obviously a change of lifestyle, or diet, then make sure they are looking after themselves first before praying for them. Much sickness is caused as a side effect of prescription or illegal drug taking. People who come for healing who are on medical drugs need to realize they are not dealing with the root cause of their problem. Healthy aging is an issue as well. Our bodies are now designed to wear out and age. Our Lord is not going to remove old age, but he will make sure we can age well and do not end up with feeble minds.
18. LOOKING AFTER THE SPIRIT
A lot of people who are Christians will ask for prayer when their relationship with the Lord is not what it should be. They attend church and say the right religious words, but there is little in the way of intimacy with Jesus in their walk through life. Many of us only get serious with the Lord if our life is threatened. God wants us to be as close to him as a husband is to a new bride (Ephesians 5:25-27). He loves us with all his heart, soul, mind and strength, and asks the same of us (Luke 10:27). If we have substituted an intimate relationship with Jesus with something else like religion, sport, or any one of a hundred other intrusions, then things will go wrong. When you walk closely with him he will guide you in all the ways of life, from reducing stress, to helping with diet, to dealing with low self-esteem, to answering your own prayers for healing. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight. This is one of the great things about knowing our creator and walking with him. So many of the problems sin nature has inflicted on the human race are dealt with. God is truly a loving father.
19. LOOKING AFTER THE SOUL
Finally we come to the all-important area of human emotions and thinking. So many people suffer sickness because of broken relationships and the associated emotional trauma that comes with it. Because Adam and Eve broke their relationship with the creator, they then saw their own relationships with others broken. All down through history broken relationships have caused so much sadness and sickness. The stress caused by rejection, loneliness, arguments, fighting, bullying, abandonment and abuse will eat away at our bodies if we do not have the spirit of Jesus working in our hearts helping us forgive. Living with unforgiveness toward others and/or emotional wounds from others create chemical toxins that will destroy you. They are a major cause of cancer and heart disease. Jesus forgave all offences (Luke 23:34, Ephesians 4:32, Colossians 3:13). So must you and I. The ultimate goal in your Christian life is to get to the point where you don’t allow offence to take root. Forgiveness is a powerful healer. Contentment is a great healer. Releasing offences will set you free as well as the other person. If the person you are praying for has bitterness and lack of forgiveness in their heart, then they will rarely receive healing. It is like a landslide holding back a river. Remember that the Lord’s Prayer commands us to forgive (Luke 11:4), so get on with it.
Some of the people you pray for will need to ask forgiveness before receiving healing. If they are the person who has caused offence then that will need to be dealt with as well or it will sit on their conscience as guilt and shame. Once this root is dealt with through confession of sin then healing of physical illness can flow (James 5:16, 1John 1:9, 3John 1:2). Healing, as it can be now seen, incorporates the body, soul and spirit. If your conscience condemns you then you will receive nothing.
These situations where forgiveness is needed or asking forgiveness is required will not be relevant to most people seeking healing. They are usually a factor in people who have ongoing chronic illness. But if either of these are required, and if the person is too embarrassed to pray, then they are telling you that they do not want to change and are not ready for healing. Always ask the Lord for guidance when praying for the sick to see if unforgiveness is an issue.
20. “LOSING” YOUR HEALING
Sometimes people who have been beautifully healed by the power of the Holy Spirit feel that they have “lost” their healing a few days, weeks or even years later. Satan’s job is to destroy you, kill you or steal your God-given rights. He is always trying to break through your confidence in the goodness of God so will try to trick you with a return of symptoms. At this point you have two choices: you can lapse into a belief that the sickness has returned and you were never really healed. Or you can stand in the confidence that God is good, loves to give good gifts to his children and this is a satanic test of that confidence in him. At these times it is vital that you dive into prayer and the word so that your confidence in the power of our Lord to heal is restored and you can stand against the symptoms of the sickness with promises from scripture and from personal conversations with Jesus. These returning symptoms are like an attack on the fortress of your heart. They can either bounce off or penetrate the wall. You have already been healed. That is what happened the first time! Simply stand in faith on what has already happened and the symptoms will leave very quickly: Praise God for his power and miraculous healing and your faith will return. Pray in the spirit and your faith will return. Spend time with Jesus and your faith will return. Think about all the times you were touched and healed by God in the past and your faith will return. If Satan was able to put Jesus to the test (Luke 4:13) then he will do the same to you from time to time. Jesus stood on the promises of scripture, so should you.
It is possible that there is a second reason why the sickness has come back. Jesus told a cripple who had been healed not to sin any more or the sickness could return worse than before. This could happen if the person is not a Christian and experiences healed but does not turn to God in repentance. It could also happen if a Christian is healed but deliberately and secretly keeps sinning, or practices some form of spiritually negative activity connected to the occult. In these situations the return of the affliction is a warning to change and return to Jesus.
These notes are a short version of “How to Heal the Sick”. The full version of the book has many extra teachings on healing that could not be included in this essay. Also included are quite a few stories of people who have experienced healing that are used as examples of the different topics covered. If you wish to learn more about this much-needed teaching on healing you should purchase the book and study it well. If you are not in a situation to do this, then by all means feel free to pass this essay on to other Christians so they can learn the amazingly powerful principles for healing. Above all, go out and practice! Pray for yourself. Pray for others. Ask to be led to those who need prayer. So many people have hard hearts and they can only be cracked open by the supernatural side of our faith. My prayer is that you become a doer of the word and not just a hearer. Take the risk and watch Jesus set people free.