What is healing prayer and why do some sick people get healed while others do not? This is a complex question with lots of answers but one of the most important factors is prayer.
In the words of Apostle James, we have not because we ask not (James 4:2-3). But it is not just enough to pray a healing prayer; you must make sure you are praying it the right way.
So how exactly do you pray for healing? Here are a couple of helpful pointers.
1. Pray in faith
Faith is the most important component of prayer. Jesus taught it over and over again. Without faith, your prayer is empty and powerless. The Prayer of faith is one that gives no room for doubt.
A person who is praying in faith has complete confidence that God will answer them. The best illustration of this is given in Mark 11 when Jesus spoke to a fig tree. He had just come into Jerusalem when he noticed a fig tree at a distance. He was hungry so he approached it to see if there was fruit, but on reaching the tree, he didn’t find any fruit on it. So he turned to the tree and cursed it. The following day, the disciples were shocked to see the tree dried to the roots. (Mark 11:22-24).
The lesson Jesus was communicating to his disciples was faith was all they needed to achieve the impossible. If you are praying a healing prayer for a loved one, you must do it in faith or else the prayer will not yield results.
2. Pray with compassion
Jesus always got his prayers answered. Whether he was praying for the sick or some other miracle, he always got results. What was his secret? His prayers were full of compassion. He prayed for the sick because he empathized with them. He hated to see the people suffer and he wanted nothing less than good health for them. When he ministered to the sick, he was doing it with compassion. We see this truth revealed in Mathew’s Gospel.
But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Mathew 9:36
If you have genuine love for the person you are praying for, you can expect your healing prayer to work. Apostle Paul explained that any spiritual activity that we engage in without love is useless. He went on to compare someone that was praying in tongues without love to a noisy gong or a clanging bell (1 Cor. 13:1).
Before you embark on praying for the sick, check your heart to see if there are any unresolved issues. Jesus made it even more dramatic. He said to leave the sacrifice on the altar and go resolve any dispute first. He understood that a prayer made in strife cannot work. You need to ensure you are praying in love.
3. Pray without ceasing
In Luke 18, Jesus gave a parable that shows the importance of persistence in prayer. He finished the parable by asking a rhetorical question – “when the son of man comes, will he find any faith on earth?” That’s because praying in faith often means praying consistently and persistently.
You do not make one prayer for your loved one and then leave the rest to God. On the contrary, you keep at it until you get the answer. Or as Mathew put it, you keeping knocking, seeking and asking until you get the answer (Mathew 7:7). That’s the real measure of faith.
Healing miracles happen differently and we may never completely understand why. Sometimes, you make one short prayer and the sick person recovers from the sickness. Other times, you have to pray over and over again before you see the answer. Sometimes, God heals people instantly and sometimes, the healing takes a while to manifest. This is why you must be committed to praying for your loved one until you get the answer to your prayers.
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4. Laying of hands
The doctrine of laying of hands is a sound biblical truth and you shouldn’t shy away from it. There are many scriptures that illustrate this. Here is one of the many instances in the Bible where Jesus laid hands on the sick while praying for them. While the sun was setting, all those who had any who were sick with various diseases brought them to Him; and laying His hands on each one of them, He was healing them. Luke 4:40
And no, it was not only Jesus who laid hands on the sick. Even his apostles did it. Paul is one apostle that regularly laid hands on the sick. Here is one reference. And it happened that the father of Publius was lying in bed afflicted with recurrent fever and dysentery; and Paul went in to see him and after he had prayed, he laid his hands on him and healed him. Acts 28:8
Laying of hands works hand in hand with prayer and God uses it to heal the sick too. As you pray in faith, compassion and without ceasing, do not forget to lay your hands on the sick. You may not fully grasp how it works but the important thing is that it works. Just do it and believe God for the miracle.
5. The anointing oil
Like laying of hands, the anointing oil also works hand in hand with prayer. Even though the anointing oil was not always used when praying for the sick in the Bible, the Bible teaches that God can use the anointing oil to heal the sick too. The following are two scriptures that illustrate this truth.
And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing. Is any sick among you? 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 (James 5:14).
It is worth noting that it is not actually the anointing oil that heals the sick. The anointing oil is just an emblem that represents the power of God. In case you are wondering how and where you can get anointing oil, it doesn’t have to be some special oil. You can just buy ordinary olive oil and then consecrate it through prayer and fasting. Even though olive oil might be a bit pricey compared to other oils, you won’t need it frequently. In the long run, it will actually prove to be very inexpensive.
So there you have it – some simple tips that can help you to pray for your loved ones whenever they get ill. Do not hesitate to start praying the healing prayer right away. Remember, the sooner you ask God for healing, the sooner your loves get healed.