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How to Minister Healing


"The Bible tells us very plainly how to minister healing by prayer. This page gives guidance on what you can do to help someone get healed. This was produced in response to a request for prayer for healing."


A visitor to this web site wrote:

Pastor Simon: Please pray for Lucy, who has bone cancer and many complications from that. She is a long time Christian and her life has borne fruits that she walks with God. Would that I had the gift of healing. Thanks, Linda.


I responded:

We will certainly pray for Lucy. Our church prayer meeting is tomorrow and we will pray together for her. If I may, I'd like to offer some scriptural counsel which you may or may not know about.

The Bible gives very specific instructions about prayer for the sick - both for the sick of the world and of the church.


Jesus expected all believers to minister in the world as He ministered - see John 14:12. After the resurrection - as part of His commission to His disciples - He gave this instruction,

"And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will...lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."

Mark 16:17-18 - NKJV


We need to apply this to ourselves in our desire to see those who are sick healed.

I can best explain this with a personal illustration. My son recently came home from a week away on a course. He said his room mate was ill from the first day and eventually had to go home. I asked him if he had prayed for his healing. He answered, "Yes".

"I am surprised he wasn't healed," I replied, "Did you lay hands on him and pray in the name of Jesus?" "Oh, no," he answered. So I said, "Well, there's an important lesson, Ben. You really need to follow the scriptural exhortation in these things. I'm sure if you had laid hands on him in the name of Jesus he would have recovered and been able to stay on the course."


Now please understand, I am not saying the extraordinary gift of healing by the Holy Spirit isn't necessary. I want just to show you that, as believers, we are all commissioned and instructed to pray for the sick that they may recover.

If someone is available who has the extraordinary gift of healing by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor.12:9) have him or her pray but, otherwise, let's not wait for someone to arrive or for ourselves to get this extraordinary gift. Let's pray in the manner Jesus instructed us in the passage I quoted above from Mark 16:17-18.


This, so far, is really about ministering healing to people in the world. The Bible has other very specific instruction for healing being ministered in the church. James writes to the church,

"Is anyone 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. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven."

James 5:14-15 - NKJV


This is scripture passage is wonderfully exciting because it provides a precious promise and is marvellously specific at the same time. It means we need to do some things so that through it healing can be ministered to the sick.

Firstly, we need to exhort a brother or sister who is sick to call for the elders of the local church. Secondly, once he or she has done this, we need to arrange for the elders to come ready to pray in the specified way.


This can be a challenge. In many of our churches the elders aren't prepared for this. We will have to pray they get prepared. They need to be prepared, not just in willingness to follow the instructions namely, 1) pray over him, 2) anoint with oil, and 3) do it in the name of Jesus but also prepared to pray a prayer of faith.

A prayer of faith, in this case, means a prayer prayed believing in your heart without doubting that by asking with your mouth for healing it will be given - see Mark 11:24. The preparation needed for this is given to us in Romans 10:17, "So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God." The one who wants to be able to pray the prayer of faith for healing must be hearing and hearing the word of God on healing so that faith comes until there is no more doubt about it in his or her heart!

Challenging but possible! See Matthew 19:26.


If all this has been done and the sick one has still not been raised up in health then it's time to get that person to a minister with the extraordinary gift of healing by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor.12:9). It may be those who have prayed - including you and me - are still like the disciples who prayed for the deaf and dumb son and the son did not get delivered - Mark 9:14-29. Jesus - who had the Spirit without measure - had to come and deliver him. Perhaps what is needed for that sick one to be raised up is for someone who walks in a greater manifestation of the Holy Spirit and an extraordinary gift of healing to pray over him or her.

Never let up on your determination to see the sick healed. God wills it for them - Matthew 8:3 - and He wants you to be His vessel on Earth doing all you can to get this will for them into their lives!


Let me share with you something of how I go about staying personally in the health Jesus provided us with at Calvary. (Isaiah 53:5)

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. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up.

James 5:14-15 - NKJV


This scripture gives you step by step directions on what to do if you're sick. Acting on this counsel is being practical about your spirituality. This is what I do. If I'm under any degree of attack from any kind of sickness I pray for myself. I lay hands on the afflicted area, I claim a precious promise and I follow a scriptural pattern for prayer.

This is usually all that's needed and there is a re-establishment of my health. Sometimes though, I sense more than this is needed. I call my wife to pray with me. This makes two of us agreeing together on my good health. Normally this does it. There are times though when I recognise more than this is needed. I call for the elders of the church! I've got some faithful elders. They will travel all the way across town to pray over me. I've had some wonderful healings this way!


One of my daily devotional messages is a message about spiritually defending one's health. When this message was sent out by email it brought the following reaction from a reader:

"You missed out going to the doctor! Surely they too are a God given gift to all people?"


You'll find my reply below. It includes a testimony of my wife's blood pressure returning to normal after prayer and Spirit-led action.


My message was about our primary line of defence for us as Christians. For Christians who are praying according to the precious promises of God found in the Bible doctors are a second line of defence.

We resort to a doctor or other health practitioner when we are puzzled about a ill health condition that appears to continue after the prayer of faith. The doctor or other health practitioner may provide us with valuable information regarding action we need to take in order to receive the healing we have looked to the Lord for. We listen to their counsel and then we return to the Lord in prayer for His take on what they have counselled. Afterwards we take action accordingly.


I'll tell you, as an example, what happened when my wife's blood pressure reading was found to be high. We discovered this at a health check up we both went for at the doctors.

Seeing the reading the nurse advised an appointment with the doctor so that he could prescribe medication. My wife replied that she would first like to implement life-style changes first and see what impact that would make. At home we then took the problem to the Lord in prayer requesting healing and asking for guidance on what actions to take. Among other things, my wife started exercising more regularly.

Reduction in blood pressure didn't happen fast enough, though, so we looked to the Lord again. Shortly after this, I was at the osteopath for a sport's injury my son suffered and I was led to ask about treatment for high blood pressure. Subsequently, the osteopath found my wife had very restricted movement of her lumber vertebrae. Treatment of this condition saw her blood pressure reading fall progressively at every treatment. Her blood pressure reading is now down to normal. Praise the Lord.


A similar testimony of healing through a practitioner following prayer came in to my ministry via email.

David wrote in, "Further to my posting I am 72 hrs from departure for the School of Ministry in Toronto for a month but I hurt my lower back at church today very badly. Much prayer and laying on of hands has brought some relief but it is still very bad. Please pray for my healing."

I prayed and wrote back, "As I read your request and reflected on it two scriptures came to me in this order - 'As they went they were healed (cleansed)' Luke 17:14 and 'They will lay hands on the sick and they will recover.' Mark 16:18."

David replied, "From Toronto: The month has been fantastic. You may recollect that before I left the UK I asked for prayer for a back injury. The prayers were answered in (firstly) that I got here then the Father gave me a room-mate who is a chiropractor - one who asks for God's guidance before starting work - he has re-set my back and I am completely pain free for the first time in years! Praise God!"

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