In the early 1980’s while I was a college student in Fresno California, I attended a church where the pastor taught that believers are to pray for the sick. In those days, the idea that all believers are to heal the sick was unacceptable to many. That became the beginning of a journey of learning to partner with God in the work of his kingdom here on the earth. Followers of Christ are expected to do the same things Jesus did while he was here on the earth. Here are some things I’ve learned about praying for healing:
1. Use every opportunity to pray for healing
I realize that the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Evil are in conflict and not everyone will be healed. But until the fullness of God’s Kingdom comes, I want to take every opportunity to pray for healing. I’d like to take the challenge in engaging in another battle for the Kingdom (unless I have clear direction from God that there will not be healing in a particular situation).
2. Listen carefully to the person and the Holy Spirit
Ask the person where the pain is and listen to them carefully. Value them as a person to listen to the expressions of their hurt and the pain of their hearts as well. While you listen to them, listen to the Holy Spirit. The Spirit will give you direction on how to pray for them.
3. Identify the symptoms
By asking appropriate questions, clarify where the person experiences pain. Do they experience the pain at all times or only at certain times of the day? Is the pain more when they do some kind of physical activity like standing, sitting, bending, kneeling, or other activities.
4. Pray with faith
Begin with the understanding that the “war” of the Kingdoms has already been won with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Have faith in God that He can and will accomplish the task of healing. Sometimes it happens gradually, so you may need to pray several times. At other times, the healing is instantaneously.
5. Keep your eyes open
While praying for healing, it is a good practice to keep your eyes open. You will be able to see the effects of the Holy Spirit on that person. Ask the person to keep their eyes closed so they will have better concentration. But you need to concentrate on the entire process of prayer and healing. For that, your eyes need to be open. Sometimes you will see manifestations of the Holy Spirit, and at other times you will see demonic responses on the person.
6. Be interactive with the person and the Holy Spirit
During the prayer, continue to listen the the voice of the Spirit. Along with that, interact with the person and ask if there are changes in their physical situation. Be in constant communication with the Spirit and the person. This will help to guide your prayer time and make it more effective.
7. Give final encouragement and instructions.
Whether the person is completely healed or not, make sure to encourage the person with some instructions. Maybe you can direct them to stay focused and maintain their healing. Maybe there is sin to avoid or habits to be changed. Help them to get set on the right path.
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