Have you wondered if Jesus still heals today? In the Gospels, He initiated healing with some and healed others because they asked. Some were healed with just a word; others had to participate in their healing, such as wash in a pool or pick up their mat and walk. Does He heal today? And if so, how?
My father-in-law experienced spontaneous healing from chronic back problems. He was working in the back of his small grocery store one night when an inexplicable current zinged down his spine. His back pain vanished. After bending and twisting without pain, he strode over to the meat locker for the ultimate test. He put his arms under a hanging beef hind quarter and lifted it!
The pain never returned. Ed Wilson’s healing didn’t come in response to a healing service, but it did follow an extraordinary act of obedience.
Grocery stores make more profit from non-perishable items than from perishable food. Cigarette sales generated significant income for his small store and took up relatively little space. Before the FDA warning on cigarettes, a conviction grew in him not to sell cigarettes anymore. People thought he was crazy. But he couldn’t shake the conviction.
One night, instead of letting the cigarettes run out, he loaded up his store’s supply and took them out into the Arizona desert to burn them. My husband never forgot how sick the family was the next day—or his father’s sacrificial act of obedience.
The next week Ed’s back was miraculously healed.
Should We Ask for Healing?
James tells us to pray for healing.
Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” (James 5:14-16 NIV).
Last week, our Bible study gathered around our sister to pray. Before we prayed, I read and discussed James’s instructions.
- “Is anyone among you sick? Let them call.”
The sick person had asked for prayer.
- “Call the elders of the church to pray over them.”
The church is not a building but a body of believers—“the called-out ones.” The Bible calls believers a royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9). We have the authority to pray for one another. Paul reminds us there is neither Jew or Greek (not based on ethnicity or physical birth); nor slave or free (not based on socio-economic standing); nor male or female (not based on gender) (Galatian 3:28). We are one in Christ Jesus.
- “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”
Who can call themselves righteous? Righteous means we have right standing before God. This is based on what Christ has done, not on our worthiness. We are righteous in His eyes because of our faith in Jesus.
- “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.”
We took a moment and bowed our heads to allow the Lord to search our hearts so that we could come before Him with clean hearts (1 John 1:9).
- “Pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord.”
Oil, in the Bible, often symbolizes the Holy Spirit. “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty” (Zach. 4:6 NIV). Humans don’t have the power to heal, but nothing is impossible with God. I anointed our sister with a small amount of Frankincense oil on her forehead and wrists and quoted Isaiah 53:5, “by his wounds we are healed” (NIV).
- “And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up.”
We gathered around her and prayed over her in Jesus’ name. Our sister prayed too. She thanked God for her healing. Whether here or in heaven, she would be healed. We ended singing, “Amen, amen…”
None of us will soon forget that holy moment when our prayers and tears mingled as the presence of the Holy Spirit poured over our sister. Jesus heard us, and we trust Him to do more than we can ask or imagine.
If Jesus didn’t still heal today the Bible wouldn’t tell the sick person to ask for prayers. So let’s continue to pray for one another in Jesus’ name.
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Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” (Ephes. 3:20 NIV).