This article is part 2 of a series. Part 1, myths 1-3 can be found here.
Written by Doug Balzer
In the past 6 years I have had the privilege of being present to well over 1000 experiences of divine healing, some complete healing and others partial. Most of these were within “the church” and some outside the church with people who did not yet know Jesus. Likely more than 95% of these healings were realized not under my hands but under the hands of God’s people who had rarely, if ever, seen God heal people. Yet these folks had chosen to make the necessary shifts away from myths and misbeliefs and towards God's truth regarding God’s heart to see people healed and restored. This blog series is devoted to busting the common myths I have observed surrounding the subject and would commend the intercessors and leadership teams of every church to consider these.
Myth #4: Always Pray, “If it’s God’s Will…”
Jesus never used this term when he healed people and nor should we. In one sense, the macro sense, it is God’s will that all of creation will be healed. On this side of the grave, however, we see this still being realized, which is the advance of the Kingdom of God. I am convinced that many people use this caveat when praying for healing out of fear that 1) what if it doesn’t happen and 2) what does it say about “me” if healing doesn’t occur? That I don’t have enough faith? Jesus never intended us to wrestle with the question of whether healing is God’s will or not. He viewed the advance of the Kingdom of God through a different lens.
Did Jesus heal everyone in first-century Palestine? No. Did he heal everyone the Father directed him to? Yes. He only did what he saw his Father doing and he only said what he heard his Father saying. In his Spirit-anointed humanity and out of a place of intimacy and listening to his Father’s voice, Jesus demonstrated the coming Kingdom to many, most tangibly through their broken bodies being healed. Repeatedly Jesus commanded his followers (and still does) to proclaim the gospel, heal the sick and free the captives. We never wonder if it is God’s will to preach the gospel. We should not wrestle with the same for healing.
Myth #5: We Need to Beg God to Heal People
For years my prayers for healing sounded more like I was begging God, trying to get his attention, attempting to convince him that healing this person would be a good idea. I never once saw someone get healed in this manner and, more tragically, my prayers made me appear more compassionate than God himself. Ouch! Jesus didn’t give us specific prayers to pray but rather his healing presence to release upon people. Peter healed a lame man in Acts 3:6 not by begging God but by releasing the healing presence of Jesus. “Silver or gold I do not have but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Because Peter possessed the Spirit of Jesus, he also possessed the healing power of Jesus and this was meant to be given away to others. In the words of the Canadian Blood Service, It’s in You to Give.
I no longer attempt to beg God to heal people. But I do give away his healing presence. I do, in Jesus’ name, release his healing presence upon the brokenness in people bodies and minds. It is also interesting to note that in the accounts of healing in the Gospel’s and Acts, healing prayer is typically in the form of spoken declaration and command rather than petition (asking). “Be healed.” “Rise and walk.” These are prayers of releasing the Kingdom of God (which we possess, in Christ). As Christ followers, we have far more to give away than we know. Check out this 2 minute video of healing prayer of releasing and command, rather than begging.
Myth #6: Follow a Specific Method
Healing prayer is not about a certain method or ritual. Jesus’ healings were unique to each person and this personalized approach was part of God demonstrating his personal love to each person. Can you imagine if we were to follow Jesus’ methodology from how he healed a blind man using his saliva and dirt to make mud? If there was any method for Jesus it was the method of walking intimately with his Father and serving others from this place. Jesus lived a life of prayer and humility, being completely content to do the will of his Father, nothing more and nothing less. When we pray for the healing of others, we have the same privilege to listen to the same Spirit to see what the same God is up to. Sometimes, as we pray for healing, pain needs to be rebuked. Sometimes restoration needs to be released. Sometimes the person needs to be reminded of God’s love for them. Sometimes the person needs to be encouraged to renounce falsehoods; lies of condemnation or unworthiness that they have come to believe.
Too many people approach healing prayer feeling a great pressure to perform or generate something. Nothing could be further from the truth. Once realized, participating in healing prayer is a light and completely free experience. In and of ourselves we bring absolutely nothing to the table. And yet in Christ, who dwells in us and reveals to us the Father’s heart, we too can do what we see the Father doing and say what we hear the Father saying. Out of this place of intimacy and our obedient response we get to see his Kingdom advance before us in the lives of others. There is no pressure or stress in this. His yoke is easy and his burden is light…and oh yes, those who remain connected to the vine will bear much fruit.
Watch for part 3 in this series when we will continue to explore myths 7-10 that need to be debunked. For a deeper dive on this subject matter check out Doug’s book, The Empowerment Pivot: How God is Redefining Our View of Normal.