Jesus said “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible” (Matthew 17:20 NLT). Faith is indispensable for healing. Jesus clearly expects us to believe that something will happen when we pray.
This truth has been misapplied by some and has been the reason for confusion for so many. The “hyper-faith” approach has put undue pressure on the person receiving prayer. If the person was not healed, they were told their faith was insufficient. While that may be true, they have failed to acknowledge that there may be many reasons why people do not receive healing.
The items below are factors that are important for healing to occur. Sometimes only one or several of these factors are active. But God in His mercy provides healing in spite of our low or lack of faith.
Faith of the one who prays
Jesus told the disciples that if they had faith even as small as a mustard seed, they could see the miraculous happen. This is clear that the people who pray need to believe that something will happen as a result of their prayer.
When the disciples took a paralyzed man and let him down by ropes through an opening in the roof so Jesus could heal him, there is no indication about the faith of the man being prayed for. But the people who took him and Jesus certainly had faith and believed that something will happen.
Faith of the one who receives prayer
When two blind men came to Jesus to be healed, Jesus asked them, “Do you believe I can make you see?” “Yes, Lord,” they told him, “we do” (Matthew 9:28 NLT). Then Jesus touched their eyes and said “It shall be done according to your faith.”
The above conversation implies a direct link between the faith of the two men and their healing. When the one who receives prayer has faith within them, I have observed that the healing happens quicker and is more complete. But when the person does not have faith, the chances for healing are much less.
But this does not imply that everyone who is not healed does not have faith. There are many factors that can be a hindrance to healing, including God’s desire to wait or not heal for some other unknown reason.
Faith of others in the room
When people in the room who are mere observers lack faith, this may also have an impact on healing. In Matthew 9:24-25, Jesus went to the home of the synagogue ruler because his daughter had just died. But when he went there, he told the mourners to step outside. Once they were outside, he took the girl by her hand and she rose up.
The people he removed from the home were probably professional “mourners” who were hired to mourn for the dead. They just laughed at the thought of someone coming to raise the dead, especially when Jesus said that she is only sleeping.
There were times when Jesus could not do any miracles because of their lack of faith. It is clear that he performed some healings, but it was severely limited. Mark says: “And because of their unbelief, he couldn’t do any miracles among them except to place his hands on a few sick people and heal them” (Mark 6:5 NLT).
It is hard to imagine that such an impact is possible in Jesus’ ministry, but since he was operating with the same parameters that are available to us, this was his reality. The lack of faith of those in the room may have a direct effect on the possibility for healing.
Faith present in the environment
During times of prayer for healing, I have observed a greater flow of healing when there is an environment of faith. This is best seen where people are open and expectant of God’s work. If the people have an expectation that God will hear our prayer, and that He is about to do something, there will be more results.
Of course, we have the knowledge that God heals people and that all things are possible with God. But in this situation, the hearts of the people are open, and in their minds, there is an expectation that God is about to do something. Or at least, there is a question in the minds of the people: What is God about to do here? I see this as the presence of faith in the environment.
As we look at the various factors above, know that each has an impact on the healing process. But ultimately, this is not a formula. Healing is a work of God and He is the one who acts on our behalf. Our task is to be faithful to pray for healing and believe that God is faithful to work.
In the following weeks, I hope to present more posts with this theme of healing, and the various dimensions for healing. Please look for the weekly posts on this topic. On the website barnabas.in, you can click on the “healing” category on the right hand column, and all of my posts on healing will show up as a list.
Join the discussion and add your thoughts. What have you learned?
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