How should we go about praying for healing? Do we need to go to a special healing service and follow a set process? Here’s some notes and then the #AfternoonTea conversation on praying for healing and also our response when the prayer is answered.
- Anyone can pray for healing for themselves and for others. The best thing is to simply, very naturally ask God for what you would like to see happen, trusting him to do what is best for his glory and your/their good.
- There is a risk with healing services that they create the impression that we need special priests to mediate for us.
- 1 Corinthians 12 does talk about people with the gift of healing. This may refer to someone having particular faith to ask God for it and discernment to spot what is happening and know what to ask for. I also think that it includes people with medical gifts and insight.
- Just as we expert preachers and pastors to train and prepare, I believe there should be training in other gifts!
- James says that we should come to the elders for prayer if we are sick. Note however that there is a specific focus on sin here where sickness is a direct consequence of someone’s wrong-doing.
- There are benefits to praying with/for someone else. First it shows that we stand with them. Secondly, another person may help the unwell person think through the wider options. I will usually talk with someone about praying. I will ask them where they are with the Lord, we will talk both about experiencing healing and living through sickness. We may talk about what it means to be ready to go home to be with the Lord too (especially with serious sickness and with the elderly). I then ask them what they would like me to pray.
- When we do receive healing, we should be thankful to God. We should not however let the healing dominate our own experience of God so that we hold onto it as the one special thing in our life. It should not become our testimony – we should keep pointing to Christ and the cross.