Prayer and the Gift of Healing
Of Jesus, it is
written that He went about all Galilee,
teaching in the synagogues, and preaching the
gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner
of sickness and all manner of disease among
the people. Matthew 4:23. When He
had selected the Twelve, He gave them
power against unclean spirits, to cast them
out, and heal all manner of sickness and all
manner of disease. Matthew 10:1.
And they went out, and preached that
men should repent. And they cast out many
devils, and anointed with oil many that were
sick, and healed them. Mark 6:12,13.
Jesus gave them power and authority
over all devils, and to cure diseases.
And they departed, and went through the
towns, preaching the gospel, and healing
everywhere. Luke 9:1,6.
These references show
that healing is an integral part of the
gospel. As Christ and the apostles preached
repentance from sin, they also touched
mens bodies and made them whole. In
doing this, Christ honored the body and
taught men that religion is not confined to
certain theological concepts, but is intended
for the whole man, and that all might have
healing of bodily infirmities as well as
forgiveness of sin.
The gift of healing
is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit (1
Corinthians 12:9,28), and is to be
distinguished from prayer for healing. All
Christians have the privilege to pray for
healing; but the gift of healing is given to
but a few to use in their ministry and is
accompanied by the gift of discernment, which
is necessary that they may know who is worthy
of healing and who have the necessary faith.
As the disciples
exercised this gift and people saw healing
take place before their eyes, naturally, the
news spread quickly, and multitudes assembled
to see miracles being done. This provided an
audience for the healer, which is one of the
objects God has in mind in giving men the
this method in His work. When He commissioned
the seventy to go out, He sent them
into every city and place, whither He
Himself would come. Luke 10:1. They
constituted an advance army, heralding the
fact that Christ would soon come to their
city, perhaps even announcing the time when
He would come. They were to heal the
sick that are therein, and say unto them, The
kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.
Verse 9. As they came to a town, it is easy
to imagine the stir their arrival would
cause. They had power not only to heal the
sick, but also to cast out devils, to
tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all
the power of the enemy. Verse 19. When
they had healed the sick and drove out devils
they did not take the honor to themselves for
these miracles, but gladly acknowledged,
The devils are subject unto us through
Thy name. Verse 17. For every healing
that took place, Christ was given credit, and
thus the way was prepared for Him when He
should shortly arrive. The people rightly
wondered if the servants could do such
wonderful miracles, what might not the Master
do when He should come. With such an
advertising vanguard, the multitudes were
ready for Christ when He arrived.
The gift of healing
served as a strong factor in spreading the
news of the gospel to many who would not
otherwise be attracted by an unknown preacher
just passing through the town, and a means of
restoring health. Furthermore, it served as a
sign of Gods approval of the men He
used, God also bearing them witness,
both signs and wonders, and with divers
miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit,
according to His own will. Hebrews 2:4.
It was Gods testimony to the
credentials of His servants; it was His seal
placed upon the faithful laborer, giving him
standing in the eyes of the people as
approved of God. In Christs day, the
work of the seventy was a vital factor in the
success of the Masters mission. It gave
Him an enthusiastic and respectful hearing in
many places where His visit of a day or two
would otherwise have been insufficient to
accomplish what He wished.
Prayer and Gift of Healing
Working as a healer,
Christ did not pray publicly. In healing the
centurions servant, we do not find
Christ praying or saying anything to the
centurion. But they that were sent out,
returning to the house, found the servant
whole that had been sick. Luke 7:10.
When Christ raised
the widows son from death, He did not
pray, but merely said, Young man, I say
unto thee, Arise. And he that was dead sat
up, and began to speak. Verses 14,15.
When Christ met the
man who was full of leprosy and
who asked Christ to heal him, Jesus put
forth His hand, and touched him, saying, I
will: be thou clean. And immediately the
leprosy departed from him. Luke
To the man sick of
the palsy Christ said, Arise, and take
up thy couch, and go into thine house.
Verse 24. To the spirit of an unclean
devil who possessed a man, Christ said,
Hold thy peace, and come out of
him. Luke 4:33-35. At another time
Christ rebuked the unclean spirit, and
healed the child. Luke 9:42. To the
woman who had a spirit of infirmity
eighteen years, He said, Woman,
thou art loosed from thine infirmity.
Luke 13:11,12. To the ten lepers He said,
Go show yourselves unto the priests.
And it came to pass, that, as they went, they
were cleansed. Luke 17:14.
followed the same practice. To the lame man
at the temple gate, Peter said, In the
name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and
walk. Acts 3:6. Paul, healing a
certain man at Lystra, impotent in his
feet, being a cripple from his mothers
womb, who never had walked
said with a
loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he
leaped and walked. Acts 14:8-10.
To this custom of not
praying at the time of healing, we find two
exceptions: At the grave of Lazarus Jesus
offered a brief prayer of thanks, stating
that he did so on account of those who stood
by. Then He cried, Lazarus, come forth.
And he that was dead came forth. John
11:43,44. After the death of Dorcas, Peter
put all the people out of the chamber
and kneeled down, and prayed; and
turning him to the body said, Tabitha, arise.
And she opened her eyes: and when she saw
Peter, she sat up. Acts 9:40.
The common practice,
therefore, seemed to be that whoever had the
gift of healing spoke directly to the sick,
and the person was healed. We can account for
this on no other grounds that that the healer
had such close contact with God that he could
speak for God, knowing just what God wanted
him to do. Moreover, that was what he
proceeded to do. God reposed complete trust
in him and gave him divine powers. He did not
pray Thy will be done. He knew already what
was Gods will, and God trusted him.
A study of the cases
here mentioned shows that generally the
healing had the effect of creating a
widespread interest and that many were thus
brought in close contact with the gospel by
learning what it could do for men. The
curiosity aroused was used by God to bring
His message to the world. Thus, the healing
of the blind man recorded in the ninth
chapter of John served to stir up the
interest of the people as well as of the
scribes, Pharisees, and priests.
When Peter healed the
man at the temple gate, All the people
ran together unto them in the porch that is
called Solomons Acts 3:11. When Paul
healed the lame man at Lystra, the people
became so stirred up that they believed the
gods had come down to them. Acts 14:11-18.
God had means then of stirring up the people.
He has means now.
We are told that
Satan always attempts to imitate the work of
God for the purpose of deceiving the people.
When we, therefore, read that Satan will
cause miracles to be wrought, and the
sick will be healed, and many undeniable
wonders will be performed, we know that
this will be because Gods people will
have received the power they should have had
long ago. As Satan cannot imitate without
having something to imitate, we know that
Gods people will have the power
promised the early church. See the Great
Controversy, page 588. According we read:
Miracles will be wrought, the sick will
be healed, and signs and wonders will follow
the believers. Ibid., p.612.
God hath set
some in the church, first apostles,
secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after
that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps,
governments, diversities of tongues. 1
Some churches claim
the gift of healings, others of diversities
of tongues, others of prophets, and others of
apostles. We cannot believe that God intended
that these gifts should be divided up among
the different sects. Rather, Gods
church should have all of these, and not one
or two. It is not the time that Gods
people awake and claim the powers God has for
The field is still
open. While there are churches that claim to
have certain gifts, it is doubtful that their
claims will stand the test of investigation.
And investigation there will surely be. When
the time comes, Gods church should be
ready to step in and take over,
God also bearing them witness, both
signs and wonders, and with divers miracles,
and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to
His own will. Hebrews 2:4.
It is too late in the
day to make excuses to the world for the lack
of power in the church. We need to make our
confession to God, to be watchful, and
strengthen the things which remain
(Revelation 3:2, and God will yet
restore to you the years that the
locust hath eaten (Joel 2:25).
out and preached that people should repent.
They drove out many demons and anointed many
sick people with oil and healed them.
Mark 6: 12,13.
the Great Tribulation, do you think you can
tell the difference between Gods
servants and the devils false prophets?
2. Do you
personally know what Gods will is for
you today? Explain.