I believe in divine healing. I believe in it for three reasons.
• One: I've seen it happen.
• Two: Jesus hasn't changed.
• Three: The Bible explains how healing occurs in answer to prayer.
Before you hit a panic button, let's deal with the theological elephant in the room. Is it God's will to heal? Yes! I say this with certainty because God is good. He loves us and wants us well. God empowers physicians to use their skills to help sick people recover. To quote from the Bible, Jesus came to give us abundant life, not miserable life. Jesus was empowered by the Holy Spirit to deliver people from oppression. From my studies, Jesus spent a great deal of time healing the sick. All of his disciples were told to heal the sick. Logically, if healing were not God's will, then you should not go to a doctor, or else you might be fighting against God, right?
The past 70 years have seen waves of spiritual renewal in the church. Maybe you haven't seen it from where you sit, but a glance at the religious landscape in America shows how things have changed. For instance, mega-churches have sprung up. Some have TV shows. Many cities have them. In addition, global revival has seen the gospel impact third-world nations. Why is this happening?
The Lord is pouring out his Spirit on Christians. One aspect of this renewal is the rediscovery of the Holy Spirit's gifts. I've often held charismatic clinics where Baptists, Episcopalians, Lutherans, and Catholics came to encounter God. Another aspect of renewal is the appearance of neglected ministries: teachers, evangelists, prophets, and apostles. Some evangelists became well known, like Billy Graham or Oral Roberts - two prominent preachers who respected each other. Before his death, Oral Roberts built ORU, the university in Tulsa that bears his name. Both men made their mark on modern Christianity.
There was a period of time in my younger days when the Lord empowered me to operate as an evangelist. I traveled and did the work of preaching the gospel. Since I was Spirit-filled, I not only preached, but I also prayed for the sick. My biggest joy was seeing people saved, turn to the Lord, and be born again. But a lot of folks watching me supposed I was known for miracles of healing. I did have success in that area, but not everywhere, not all the time, and not for everyone. I figured people could go to heaven sick, but they need a Savior for their sin. Nevertheless, this season was satisfying to me.
Later, the Lord shifted me from being an evangelist into being a pastor, something I continued doing for 40 years. I love to teach God's word. While I was a pastor, I enjoyed helping people experience God and learn his word. I was never content to park people on a pew and watch them just wait for heaven. To me, the kingdom of God is now: active, present, and exciting. The Lord wants everyone to find their purpose, engage their gifts, and affect their world in Christ's name. Every vocation can be holy and rewarding.
Not everyone is supposed to be a preacher. How can ordinary people find fulfilling purpose? Only a few are called into vocational ministry. But every believer has a ministry! Everyone is called to present Christ. Your witness can be powerful. How? Begin with prayer. Every believer can pray. Prayer changes things. Your prayers can make a difference. People encounter God, get saved, and often get healed when we pray for them.
-- Ron Wood is a writer and minister. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.touchedbygrace.org. The opinions expressed are those of the author.Editorial on 03/06/2019
Print Headline: Healing and prayer