At some point, we will grapple with what we think about physical healing – if not for our own, then for someone else’s.
“Do we pray for healing? How do we pray? How do we know if God will heal?”
For one, our answers emerge from our theology – what we believe about God (theos) through our study of Him.
Our theology informs how we think about God, how we respond to events in our life and how we pray.
Several months ago, I asked Wilson Barnabas Koh about his personal journey.
“The doctor couldn’t do anything about my sickness… it was so severe and they wanted to put me through a special treatment that will cost about $3,000-$4,000 a month,” he told me.
The treatment costs for his autoimmune disease were too expensive for him at that time, so he turned to his Bible and looked at everything it had to say about healing. And he meditated on one verse every day.
“It came to a point when every symptom (of the disease) slowly began to vanish. Finally every symptom left, and I stopped all medication.”
God’s heart to restore and heal is shown through Jesus.
Even his doctor was surprised when the results of his blood work showed that the disease was gone.
Amazed by how he was completely healed, he went back to his Bible and read the 4 Gospels – the accounts of Jesus as written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John – again to see what Jesus did and said.
Jesus – the Son of God – was well-known among the people as the one who healed (Mark 1:32-33). People braved crowds to see him, even just to touch a corner of his cloak so that they may be well again (Mark 5:28-29).
“When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. ‘This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: ‘He took up our infirmities and bore our diseases.‘” (Matthew 8:16-17)
God’s heart to restore and heal is shown through Jesus, who is the exact representation of God’s nature (Hebrews 1:3), Wilson shared.
“It’s so clear in the Scriptures that God wants to heal.”
Convinced that God wants to heal, Wilson took to the streets to pray for anyone who had an obvious need for healing. But for months, he saw no miracle – nothing happened.
He continued praying.
Then the first breakthrough came. Wilson was ministering to a youth leader in church who had injured his ankle while playing football.
“I was so shocked when he saw improvement, and I was so excited. We ministered two more times and he was healed completely. He ran around the room and jumped around,” he shared.
Curious, I asked Wilson what changed. He said it was his unwavering belief in God’s Word despite the lack of results.
“It came to a point when I did not let what I did not see affect what I did see in the Word,” he explained.
Since then, Wilson has witnessed a lot more people being healed from their sicknesses. “I’ve seen a lot, but there are still stuff I’ve not seen… I’m still pressing in for more.”
Still pressing in for more. What an attitude to have.
Wilson said: “I believe it all has to do with identity. We don’t have to make it so complicated. The Bible says that for those who believe, lay hands on the sick and they will recover (Mark 16:17-18).
“If you don’t know your identity – you can shout, you can raise your voice, and you think that’s authority but nothing happens.”
God can heal in several ways today:
- Through a supernatural miracle.
- With the help of doctors and medicine.
- He takes us home and heals us there.
“But whichever He chooses to do, it is His business. He is God, and I am not. He is sovereign, and He will do whatever brings Him the greatest glory,” says preacher Christine Caine.
Part of the prayer that the disciples learnt from Jesus was this: “Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:9-13)
For God’s will to be done here as it is in Heaven, God has designed that his disciples’ prayers will be a key component. If we never pray because we are never sure if God wants to heal then our will shall be done.
Our act of asking is a mark of our desire for healing that is fuelled by compassion for the hurting.
If we are convinced that God does heal and He wants to heal, then we will pray in faith for people who are in need of healing; how He heals and when He heals are not in our hands.
“And if they are healed, I give God the praise. If they aren’t, I still give God the praise, and continue to look for people to pray for. I learnt a long time ago that more people are healed when you pray for more people!” said Bill Johnson, Senior Pastor of Bethel Church.
Neither the right stringing of our words nor the volume of our prayers is key, but God’s grace and mercy is the basis of our faith when we pray. Nonetheless, if we never ask, then we will never receive.