• johned@aibi.ph

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Eternity 13 - Prayers That Work - Praying For Healing

The Bible tells us to pray for the sick and gives many examples of healing throughout the gospels and Acts and many allusions to healing in the epistles. But..... we soon get disillusioned with the results we get when we try to pray for healing. This is the story about how that got changed!

For most of my Christian life I would go and pray for the sick and they would politely say "thanks so much pastor, that was a real help" - and then nothing would happen. People stayed as sick as ever. For twenty years I had no miracles to report. I read all the books on healing (I have shelves of them) knew all the bible verses on healing, preached sermons on healing and truly earnestly believed in healing. But nothing happened.

Towards the end of this time I was so dejected that I used to say, as my standard response - "Don't ask me to pray for your healing, I'm no good at it, you will probably drop dead.." I was beaten, and frustrated and despairing.

Then I noticed a few key verses in the gospels:

(Matthew 9:6-8 NASB) "But in order that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins"-- then He said^ to the paralytic-- "Rise, take up your bed, and go home." {7} And he rose, and went home. {8} But when the multitudes saw this, they were filled with awe, and glorified God, who had given such authority to men.

(Matthew 10:1 NASB) And having summoned His twelve disciples, He gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness.

(Matthew 28:18 NASB) And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.

(Luke 9:1-2 NASB) And He called the twelve together, and gave them power and authority over all the demons, and to heal diseases. {2} And He sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God, and to perform healing.

(Luke 10:19 NASB) "Behold, I have given you authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall injure you.

These verses are among the clearest ones that connect the word AUTHORITY with the word GIVE. It is plain and clear that authority over demons and sickness and disease and all the power of the enemy is a GIFT not a right and that God gives this gift to whom He chooses (by grace).

In Matthew we see authority given to Jesus in chapter 9 then He passes this authority on to the apostles in chapter 10. First the authority comes to Jesus - then it comes to us - because we are in Him. In Matthew 28 Jesus claims that ALL authority in heaven on earth has been given to Him. Matthew 28 concludes with Jesus and all His authority being always with us to the end of the ages. This surely includes authority over sickness and disease.

Other verses in the NT that connect the words "give" and "authority" or "power" include John 5:27, 17:2, Acts 8:19, 2 Corinthians 10:8, 13:10, and Revelation 2:26.

So it was plain to me that I did not possess authority over sickness and disease. I lacked spiritual authority in this area. I had no trouble casting out demons - but sickness defied me. So I spent 6 months praying some other pastor in the city would be given authority over sickness. I desperately wanted Christians healed but the thought of having huge authority over sickness seemed impossible for me and brought up visions of crowds of sick people lining up outside the door. But God "got me good!".

On the 12th October 1998 I was preaching in the evening service of a small charismatic Anglican church about the laws of faith and in-passing I mentioned my research on authority over sickness and prayers of command "rise up and walk etc". After the service, much to my horror I had the front of the church filled with people wanting prayer for healing.

I was stuck, so I had to pray with authority and use prayers of command. I did -and they started getting healed. No-one was more shocked than myself. I had never seen a real healing before let alone one through my own hands. Five people were instantaneously healed.

Since then I have seen a steady stream of middle level healings - no terminal cancers or paralytics but plenty of fevers and headaches and frozen arms and bung shoulders and vein diseases and even a case of multiple sclerosis. I still need more faith and more authority from God!

This is how I now pray for the sick:

I ask God for the gift of authority over the disease.
I pray Scriptures about healing and about God having authority over all things and His will being done on earth as it is in heaven -where all are healed.
I picture the solution - the desired end state.
When I sense the time is right I issue a firm command of authority in Jesus name bringing the desired end state into being - "In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk".'Lazarus come forth" Peace be still" , Little girl arise" etc..are biblical examples.

About one third of the people I pray for see some measurable and immediate relief. Some more report healing the next day. Thirty percent isn't amazing but its a whole heap better than zero percent.

On a final note .."Why isn't everyone healed?" can be rephrased "Why don't all Christians have the power to heal all diseases with a single prayer" because for everyone to be healed that is what would be required. We lack power and authority, we are average, we stumble along as best we can under grace. We also often only pray for healing in the toughest and most desperate cases such as terminal cancer. We try to start our healing ministry by lifting the Brooklyn Bridge.

So start small, start safe - in a small group of believing friends, practice often ,ask for more authority, keep trying, celebrate the successes, don't worry about the "misses". A little power is better than none, we can't all be super-apostles. A famous baseball player said something like "I only hit 30% of the balls I swung at but I missed 100% of the ones I did not swing at". Keep swinging!

(James 5:14-18 NASB) 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; {15} and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. {16} Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. {17} Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain; and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. {18} And he prayed again, and the sky poured rain, and the earth produced its fruit.


John Edmiston


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