What can I say about the gifts of healing? Well, the first is to say that it is a plural, and I would say that I have seen that reflected over the years. Perhaps someone is particularly able to pray for, say, depressed people and see them healed. I remember a couple of guys who seemed to be able to pray for people with bad backs and see healing on a regular basis. I don’t understand why that should be, but I am reporting what I have seen.
Personally I have seen many healings, not all of them complete. One example I will never forget is the woman with Parkinson’s disease whom I took to a healing meeting in a tent. She shuffled in, with a flat expressionless face. She walked out with a beam and no shake. I know this lady, and her physicians were amazed, and her medication was reduced and reduced until, at a lower level of medication, a few symptoms returned. So, she was not totally healed, but her symptoms massively abated.
Often associated with the word of knowledge, the gifts of healing are among the gifts that I believe we should seek and pray that God will grant to His Church. There does seem to be a concentration of this gift in certain individuals and in certain areas of the world. We should not look to this gift as the exclusive answer to our desire for the Church to grow. If the example of Jesus is anything to go by, we should not think that God healing the sick will lead to everyone who hears of it suddenly believing!
It is vitally important in considering this gift to remember the sovereignty of God and the “now but not yet” tension we live in. For, when we pray for healing for a dying Christian and that Christian dies, surely our prayers have been answered. For that person, there will then be no more sickness or pain. Thus, I am not one of those who believes that all Christians should always be free of all sickness. Nor do I believe that if a person is not healed it is clear proof that the sick person or the one who laid hands on the person didn’t have enough faith.
Many healings reported in the New Testament happened not to Christians, but to non-Christians. Oh for a return of the time when the church was known as a place where even if you were not a Christian you could go for healing prayer and expect at least the possibility that you might be healed.
God is able. God is willing. So let’s dare to believe that just maybe He will act. Even if our prayer for healing is a bit like the prayer of David for his sick and dying child, who God had SAID would surely die, let’s pray. Let’s pray until the end. For who knows, maybe God will act and heal. And even if He doesn’t, it is good for us to pour out the desires of our heart to our loving God.
The world is not as it should be. Sickness will remain until Christ returns. But that is not to say we shouldn’t fight it, and cry out to God for the “powers of the age to come” to break into our daily experience and for the God of the Bible to leap off the pages and demonstrate His power and glory in our experience.
Blogging the gifts series
Blogging the gifts – healing part one
Blogging the gifts – faith
Blogging the gifts the word of knowledge
Blogging the gifts – the word of wisdom
Blogging the gifts – some sermons to keep you going
Blogging the gifts – more on the Holy Spirit
Piper on using charismatic gifts today
Sola Scriptura and the gifts
Blogging the gifts – an interlude on receiving the Spirit
Blogging on the gifts 1 Cor 12 part 3
From a reader on gifts of the Holy Spirit
Blogging the gifts 1 Cor 12:1-3
Blogging the Gifts 1 Cor 12:1
On being a Reformed Charismatic
2000 posts and a big thank you to The Doctor
Martyn Lloyd-Jones on the vital place of joy in the Holy Spirit
More from Lloyd-Jones on the baptism of the Spirit
Lloyd-Jones on Baptism with the Holy Spirit
Apostles are meant for today
Has the Holy Spirit rushed on you?
What is a reformed Charismatic?
Its all about you Jesus……calvinism and worship