Strategies to consider when healing prayer hasn’t been effective.
Most of us have been taught that healing comes when we ask God to heal someone who is sick or injured. We pray and God hears our prayer and based on His knowledge of the situation He decides to either heal them or not. If this is how you believe healing takes place, I would ask you to set aside your beliefs for a while as we examine what the Bible teaches about the process of healing.
Most of us were taught how to pray by someone we respected. That first prayer may have sounded something like, “God, please bless mommy and daddy and our dog, Buster… in Jesus name I pray, Amen!”
When we became older, our style of prayer probably changed. Some of us developed a bit more desperation; “God I really need this job! You know how much this means to me, so please hear me and make this job happen now… in Jesus name I pray, Amen!”
It’s true that Jesus taught His disciples to pray, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done…” finishing with, “Nevertheless, not my will, but yours be done.”
Some of us believe there is virtue in accepting the outcome of a situation, regardless of how it works out. “Lord, if it’s your will, please heal grandma of cancer, but if it’s not your will, give us the grace to accept her sickness and death.”
I don’t mean to be critical of those who offer such prayers in earnest. But most of us who pray this way seldom see people healed. After trying this approach and praying with hundreds of people but seeing almost complete failure, I discovered a better, more biblical approach. I suppose there’s nothing more insulting than to be told we don’t know what we’re doing when we pray. As people of faith, we pride ourselves on our prayer life. But we should ask ourselves if our prayers for healing are effective or not.
Over the last year, I would estimate that about 80 percent of the people I have prayed with have been healed. In a week when my faith was operating consistently, about half of them were healed instantly. In a typical week I might pray with as few as ten or as many as 30 people for healing of different conditions. Occasionally, in a particular week, everyone I prayed with was healed.
You must understand that this kind of success is not guaranteed and my results from week to week may vary greatly. I have some weeks, where the success rate may be closer to 30 percent, but that happens only rarely. A number of friends have reported a 100 percent healing rate for a particular weekend of ministry. The success we have is the result of using a different approach to prayer . At this point, you may be wondering why we aren’t setting up camp at cancer clinics if we have this kind of success. Unfortunately, it’s incredibly difficult to find anyone in health care who will take you seriously when your specialty is faith healing.
Supernatural healing is not yet accepted as a valid form of treatment by most hospitals and clinics. Even when hospitals employ chaplains, they don’t expect them to work miracles. Their role is primarily emotional support and grief counseling.
On September 2, 2010, I had a dream in which I was standing on the edge of eternity with a group of friends who operate in healing. Pete Cabrera and Jessie Campbell were two of the people with me. While I gazed into eternity, Jessie approached and handed me a scroll. I knew what was written on it. It had a declaration that said, “You have been given authority over all the power of the enemy.” I took the scroll and wrote the words down.
Then I approached another person and read the declaration to him and he wrote it down.
The dream was a revelation of an eternal promise given to those who want to heal the sick. We know that some forms of sickness are planned and carried out by the enemy. But we have been given authority over sickness, disease, trauma and all other powers of the enemy.
Largely due to the teaching of men like Andrew Wommack and Curry Blake, many believers have begun to see the kind of success in healing achieved by Jesus and His disciples. These believers have a confidence and tenacity you won’t find elsewhere in the Church. They tend to function as a kind of spiritual police, arresting sickness and disease and enforcing the principles of God’s kingdom.
The truth about healing will come as a shock to most Christians and it will challenge their theology. When you review the individual healing accounts recorded in the New Testament, you’ll find that not once did Jesus or His disciples ask God the Father to heal a sick or demonized person. A few people begged Jesus for healing, but Jesus never asked His Father to heal them, nor did the disciples. That fact ought to make us reconsider how we approach healing.
If it wasn’t His approach to ask His Father to heal the sick, what approach did Jesus use? Let’s have a look.
When Jesus was summoned by the Roman Centurion to heal his servant, the soldier recognized the authority He had over sickness. Here is one of the keys to healing – it’s a matter of authority. Because the Centurion understood how authority works, his faith was able to apprehend healing for his servant. No prayer was involved; Jesus spoke a word and the servant was healed. It was a simple transaction involving the faith of the Centurion and the authority of Jesus. There are a number of other healings that occurred in this manner, recorded in Matthew chapter 8.
Although He used slightly different approaches in each encounter, Jesus usually spoke a word of healing, touched the sick person or in some way transferred power to them. He didn’t ask His Father to heal them.
A few passages from the New Testament when taken together reveal the plan Jesus had for His disciples in regard to healing and deliverance. It’s actually a simple outline for operating in healing. As recorded in Matthew chapter 10, Jesus chose twelve disciples and commissioned them to go out to the cities of Israel. These were His
instructions to them:
“And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons.”
He gave them authority over all the power of the enemy:
“Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”
He revealed a few of the things His disciples would do:
“And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
After He was resurrected He told them they would receive power:
“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
He gave His disciples assignments for healing, deliverance and raising the dead, and He gave them the power and authority to do them. Now let’s have a closer look at the kind of power and authority He gave
Authority to Heal
Faith isn’t the only factor involved in healing. Some healers have great faith, but lack an understanding of their authority. The word for “authority” which is found in Luke 10:19 is the Greek word, exousia. I looked up this word in Strong’s Concordance and found the following definitions:
- Power of choice, liberty of doing as one pleases
- The ability or strength with which one is endued, which he either possesses or exercises
- The power of authority (influence) and of right (privilege)
Power to Heal
Faith and authority are two of the keys to healing, but there is a third key we must understand – power. Jesus gave power to His disciples. What kind of power did He give them?
The Greek word translated “power” in Acts 1:8 is the word dunamis. Strong’s Concordance gives the following definitions:
- Strength, power, ability
- Inherent power, or power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature, or which a person or thing exerts and puts forth
- Power for performing miracles
The authority we have is the legal right to do the things Jesus commanded us to do. The power He gave us (the anointing) is the operation of the Holy Spirit in us. These definitions speak of power and authority that reside with the individual. While our authority is ultimately tied to the authority of Christ, it is given to us and it may be exercised by us in whatever way we choose.
The power for healing is a manifestation of the kingdom of God that permanently resides in us. Once we’ve been given power and authority to heal the sick, we never need to ask God to do it. We have the power and authority to heal them ourselves. This power and authority is how Jesus and the disciples healed and it is no different for us today.
We’ve noted that some people were healed when power left Jesus as He passed by them. The woman healed of the bleeding disorder is one example. Some people feel heat or tingling sensations when I pray with them and some feel nothing at all. Yet many of them are healed, whether they feel anything or not. Some people feel power leaving their body when they pray for others, but I do not. The only thing I feel is the presence of God around me.
We must understand that the power to heal resides with us. It is true that the power does not originate in us. It comes from God. But it comes to us and is released through us by the power of the Holy Spirit operating in us. We are something like portable power stations walking the earth. How marvelous it is that He has placed His treasure in these very earthen vessels.
Before we close, I want to share one more point about authority:
The Bible says that believers have been seated (past tense) with Christ in heavenly places (see Eph. 2:6). It also says that Christ is seated on a throne in heaven beside His Father (see Eph. 1:20). If we have been seated with Him, then we are also seated on a throne in heaven – which is our seat of authority. We rule and reign beside Him.
Rulers who reign from their throne do not engage their enemy directly in battle. They simply make declarations from their seat of authority and their declarations are carried out. It is the fact that they occupy a seat of established authority that allows their spoken commands to be carried out. It’s not the individual, but the seat they occupy that grants authority. If they were not seated on a throne, their commands would not have the same effect. Once we understand how to occupy our seat of authority in heaven, and how to rule from it, everything we do takes on a different dimension. The exercise of our authority is not limited to healing. It extends to all areas of life.
Most of us have been taught incorrectly about prayer and healing. We haven’t been informed about our power and authority. I don’t want to be too critical of church leadership and this isn’t meant to be a book on theology. But there are some erroneous things being taught in the Church that need to be corrected.
Many of us have cried out to God to do something for our loved one as they lay dying of cancer. God has already done all that He needs to do. He paid for their healing and He gave us the power and authority to heal them. The thief comes to our house to steal, kill and destroy the people we care about. If the tongue holds the power of life and death, then your mouth is a loaded gun, a weapon that destroys sickness and disease. Isn’t it time you started using it? If you haven’t begun to exercise this power and authority, there’s no time like the present. Go ahead, step out of the boat and watch the power of God begin to work through you.
This is an excerpt from my book Divine Healing Made Simple.
Many people receive healing from God only to have the symptoms return. In this lesson, I teach you how to keep your healing.
In this episode of Supernatural Saturday, I teach you how to receive your healing.
I’m often asked if we can heal ourselves, or do we need to have someone pray for us to be healed. Since there aren’t clear examples in the Bible of self-healing, I’d like to share a personal experience:
One night, as I went to bed, I developed sudden pain in my lower back that radiated down the back of my left leg. I’d never had this type of pain before, but I knew from transporting people with these symptoms, it was consistent with a herniated lumbar disc. The pain was severe and for a moment I panicked, thinking I’d done something to injure my back.
As I thought about the pain, I remembered that God had been speaking to me about pain returning after healing. This was a new concept at the time. (I was new to healing and had only been praying with people for about a year.) On a hunch, I took the position (in my mind) that the pain I felt was not actually a herniated disc, but an imitation of that pain, caused by a demon. I told myself repeatedly, “I do not have a herniated disc.” Suspecting an evil spirit was at work, I commanded the spirit to leave. I didn’t address the bones, nerves or other structures in by back. I focused completely on the spirit I believed was causing the pain. After ten minutes, the pain left, but it returned 20 minutes later. When it returned, I repeated the same process and had my wife join me in the battle. We went to war against the spirit, repeatedly commanding it to leave. The pain would leave for a while, only to return later. This went on for two hours.
I became exhausted and I realized had to go to sleep—even if the pain was still there. I decided to rebuke the spirit one last time and commanded it not to return. When I went to sleep, the pain was as bad as it had been all night. But when I awoke in the morning, I was pleasantly surprised to find I had no pain. It disappeared overnight and never returned. I learned a great deal from this experience.
I learned that we can indeed heal ourselves. I also learned that we can have the symptoms of a condition that perfectly mimics the condition itself, with no actual injury or disease process in our body. A demon can create a near perfect imitation of a real medical condition.
I also learned that a key to victory over the enemy lies in what we believe and what we say. I refused to believe or admit that I had a herniated disc—even though the symptoms felt exactly like it.
I also learned that although we might see the complete removal of a spirit and the symptoms it causes, it doesn’t mean they won’t return. And if the symptoms return, the strategy that worked the first time can be used again, as often as needed, until the spirit realizes we aren’t going to allow it to afflict us.
I’ve used these principles many times since then. Whether it’s a headache, cancer, a sprained ankle or some other sickness or injury, the authority we’ve been given by Jesus over sickness and evil spirits works as well on us as it does on others.
If you’d like more information on healing, you might check out my book Divine Healing Made Simple.
In my latest interview with Sid Roth, we discuss hearing God’s voice and the dreams God has given me about President Trump.