Wednesday, May 16, 2018

4 Keys To Healing Prayer

Dear Friends,

One of the most important things we do at the Abbey Road residential care home is to pray for those after the service, and in the photo, Tita, Meltonia and Leo pray for Kenneth. Praying for the physical healing of another person can be one of the most rewarding and yet one of the most difficult things for us to do. Among some of the reasons we hesitate to pray for the healing of others are that we’re just not sure what to say, we don’t believe we have the “gift” of healing or perhaps we are not even sure that healing prayer works. Probably the most freeing truth, when it comes to praying for another’s healing, is that you have absolutely nothing to do with the outcome! 

I do not have the “gift” of healing and yet God used my prayer to reverse the process of death in a man who had been given only a few hours to live by the ICU doctors. God could have also used your prayers just as well. Our prayers for another’s healing simply connect the other person to God’s grace. Our job is to just plunge on in and pray with “shameless audacity!” Don’t worry about using the “right words” or trying to imitate the prayers you may have heard in church or on TV. There is no one right way to pray for healing.. No formula.. No magical incantation that will add power to your prayer.. Let the Holy Spirit guide you and any healing that takes place in response to your petitions will not be because of your awesome prayer, but because of His amazing grace. If you are not certain that we should pray for the healing of another person, go fetch your Bible and read what James says and then make up your mind. James 5:13-18

If you make yourself available to God, He will use you 
and here are the four keys to healing prayer:

PREPARE: We sin daily in thought, word and deed and that means that daily we need to confess, repent and receive His forgiveness. But if we are carelessly or cavalierly wallowing in unrepentant sin, God won’t hear our prayers. “If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.” Psalm 66:18-19 NLT and John 9:31 The first step is for us to get “right” before the Lord. The sincere prayers of a righteous person are powerful! James 5:16 I need to care for my own spiritual health first! When I’m going to visit someone who needs prayer for healing, I’ll prepare by praying for that person ahead of time. But many times we are asked to pray for another without any warning. That’s why we need to always be “prayed up!” Those times when I’m unexpectedly asked to pray and don’t know what to say, are when I am most conscious that the Holy Spirit is giving me the words and just using me as a conduit between God and the sick person. 

DISCERN: Listen carefully to the person and be alert to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes what the person has asked prayer for is not what God would have us pray. A woman asked me to pray that God would heal her of cancer. As I began to pray, God gave me words that prayed for her to receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. She instantly received the Holy Spirit and was strengthened and comforted by Him as she lived the last six months of her life.

LAY ON HANDS: Jesus said, “..they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” Mark 16:18 Lay hands on the affected part of the body if the person gives you permission to do so. Laying hands on the head, shoulder or arms is often both comfortable and comforting for the person being prayed for but use wisdom. Most of the times when I pray for a woman, I’ll only lay hands on her head. People will often say that they feel a tingling or a warmth radiating from the hands. What they are feeling is the healing power of God. 

PRAY: Intersperse praise and thanksgiving to God throughout your prayer. Don’t worry if you are not verbally articulate or that your words may be theologically imprecise. Thou dost not even have to prayest in the Elizabethan English that was popular in the late 1500's! God doesn’t care about any of those things. But do call on the Holy Spirit to give you the words to pray. Pray that God will miraculously intervene and heal the person or that He will use doctors and medication to successfully treat the illness. Pray that doctors are given the wisdom to determine the right diagnosis and treatment plans. Pray that surgeries and hospitalization would leave behind no infections. Pray that any negative words spoken by doctors, well-meaning family and friends are cast off and do not give place to fatalistic thinking. God always has the last word! Pray that the person would come to know and love God more each and every day. Pray for God’s blessing, strength and comfort. Pray words that create trust in God and hope. Prayer works and God still heals today. That’s why we pray boldly and with shameless audacity for the person’s healing! Amen?

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