As we pick up the torch of healing and pursue the ministry of Jesus, we will face many obstacles and much opposition. It will take perseverance and an attitude of steadfast faith in order to see this ministry restored. There will be many opportunities to give up the fight; it truly is a battle to take possession of our spiritual inheritance. Studying the example of Christ will give us more understanding for how to heal the sick and help us to persevere when the times get tough. Because He was so Spirit-led, I hesitate to even use the word model when describing Christ’s ministry of healing. But there are some principles that we can learn and apply as we seek to follow in His footsteps, take the torch of healing, and begin to heal the sick. The following is an excerpt from my book Restoring the Ministry of Jesus which expounds on different facets of Jesus’ healing ministry.
We often use the term praying for the sick, but technically speaking this is not accurate. Jesus did not pray for the sick; He healed the sick. You cannot find one instance in the gospels where Jesus asked the Father to heal somebody. Instead, you will see Him making authoritative commands and pronouncements of healing or simply placing His hands on the person to heal them. He healed a leper by speaking the words “be cleansed.” He healed a paralytic by commanding him to “rise up and walk.” He raised a young girl from the dead with the command “little girl, arise.” Sometimes He healed a person by casting a demon out of them. Sometimes He used unorthodox methods like putting mud on a blind man’s eyes. Not once do we see Him petitioning God to heal.
When you survey the healing ministry of the early disciples, you will find very similar methods being used. Peter spoke to the paralyzed man at the temple and commanded him to “rise and walk,” and he once raised a woman from the dead with the command “Tabitha, arise.” Paul also healed a paralyzed man with a similar command and sometimes used unusual methods such as taking handkerchiefs to sick people. The early church healed the sick the same way that Jesus did.
We know that no human being has the power to heal anybody; Jesus is the Healer. However, we are so intimately involved in the process that the Bible actually says that we are to heal the sick. In Matthew 10:8 Jesus commissioned the twelve apostles, telling them to “heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons.” Mark 6:13 says, “And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick, and healed them.” We need to move beyond praying for the sick and into healing the sick.
Whenever I am ministering to a person in need of healing, I will generally do two things. First, I will welcome the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. Then, I will make authoritative commands based on the specific situation. I was the guest speaker at a retreat once and on the final night I had a word of knowledge that somebody needed healing in the hip area. During the prayer ministry time, a young lady came up to me and told me that she had a problem with her hips; they were unevenly aligned and this was causing her to have pain in her back and giving her other problems. She sat down in a chair, and my wife laid hands on her hips. I then welcomed the Holy Spirit and began to command her hips to come into proper alignment. As soon as I gave the command, her whole body jolted, her hips lifted off the chair, and then shifted into place. Just like that she was healed.
It is not that we should never use the word pray when referring to ministering to the sick; it is just that we need to make commands instead of petitions. When we make authoritative commands for healing we need to realize a few things. First, we are not commanding God. In Mark 11:23 Jesus said, “For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.” Jesus said that we are to speak to the mountain—the specific problem or situation—and command it to move, but we are never to command God Himself. Secondly, this authority is not of ourselves but belongs to Jesus Christ and must be done in His name. This type of authority comes from being in Christ and having total faith in His Word.
The more anointing and authority we walk in the simpler the ministry of healing will become. As we take back more and more ground in this area, we will spend less time praying and interceding and more time healing and commanding things into God’s order. After all, Jesus has already paid the price for the healing of mankind. I long for the day when we have meetings in which every sick person gets healed. “And great multitudes followed Him, and He healed them all” (Matthew 12:15).
Everywhere Jesus went, people were miraculously healed, set free from evil spirits, and transformed by powerful teaching and preaching. Restoring the Ministry of Jesus calls us back to the foundation of walking like Jesus walked and doing what Jesus did. It shows how to bridge the gap from our current condition to walking in our inheritance in Christ. As you read, your heart will be stirred to seek God’s face and go after all that He has for you and the church today!