Collaborating In Physical Healing

28 Years ago I, a twelve-hour-old Christian, was obediently praying through a list of politicians given to me by my new pastor Carl Branford. (1 Timothy 2:1-2) After I finished that list, I started to pray for my family, friends and enemies. I then prayed for every person I saw walk by the church. Why was I praying with such fervor and belief? I simply believed that Jesus was very real and that prayer with Jesus worked. My belief was founded in reality, in actual experience that had happened the night before. Only later did I realize that it was founded in Scripture, also. "Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it." (Joh 14:12-14)

The previous sleepless three days and nights I had been locked in an incredible battle for my life, soul and salvation with powerful demons. I was absolutely overwhelmed with fear. Through special circumstances the Lord brought this new pastor into my life, and I was healed by his obedience to the voice of God. The Lord spoke to him about me, and Carl then had to do his part. He invited me, a complete stranger, into his home. While sitting on his couch listening to him sing old hymns from the 18th century all of the sudden an evil force surged up my back and arms . It took me over with an evil power and fear surged through me. I sprang to my feet and started screaming at him that he was Satan and the devil! Completely overwhelmed by fear I ran for the front door. Half way across the living room he said, "In the name of Jesus free this man." I stopped. Suddenly it felt like something had fallen off of me and I was in my right mind. He had confronted my demons when they manifested and told them to go to the side and release me. He then told me that I could go or stay but if I left his door would always be open to me. This incredible demonstration of love through God lead hospitality melted my heart. I returned to the couch and He prayed with me to receive Jesus as my Lord and Savior. He then fed me, bathed me and put me to bed. I had not slept for three days. My second prayer that night was to sleep. Immediately after asking God to grant me sleep I had a most powerful encounter with the Holy Spirit. I slept as I never had slept before or since in my life. My first prayers had actually been answered and experienced.

Now Pastor Carl had me exercising my new found faith by putting me to work after 12 hours of salvation by having me pray for politicians. He showed up and told me it was time now to go home for lunch. It was amazing the past four hours felt like 40 minutes of time. But before lunch we made a stop at the hospital to visit sick people. When we arrived, he told me to pray for each sick person. He did not pray. Instead, he had me pray, a twelve-hour-old Christian, who was freshly initiated in the battle! As I would approach the sick person Jesus just told what to do! Carl took me to an elder of his 3,000 member church who was deathly sick. I prayed for this elder. He was physically healed! I thought this was normal… till I went to church. But I have discovered it is normal in the kingdom of God!

My authority to collaborate with Jesus in healing was not based upon my maturity as a Christian or upon a profound intellectual knowledge of Christ. It was based on my new found intimacy and a simple obedience to follow Jesus and to do what He did. Apparently I had the faith of a mustard seed. It is His job to heal. It is my job to pray and collaborate with Him in finding the deeper reasons why people have not been healed.

If I actually pray for people, this increases the odds greatly that God will collaborate with me to heal them physically. The more people I pray for, the odds increase that some will be healed. Jesus wants to share His authority with us, with all of us who put our faith/trust in Him. If I do not pray, I miss an opportunity to see the Kingdom of God manifest! (Luke 4:18, 19) "When Jesus had called the Twelve together, He gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and He sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick." (Luke 9:1-2) He later also sent out the "second team", the 72, to do the same thing. (Luke 10:1-21) I find it amazing that Jesus' instructions were so simple--cast out demons, heal and communicate the kingdom of God. Perhaps these three simple commands are very important to Jesus and the advance of the Kingdom of God. In Matthew 28:20 Jesus says, "[teach] them to obey everything I have commanded you." So if I cast out, heal and communicate the Kingdom of God, I am being obedient to follow Jesus' commands. Jesus says that those who love Him will obey Him. It is an act of love toward Jesus and those you are praying for by praying for the physically sick.

Quite often the sick are not healed with just simple prayer but by looking at deeper issues in the person's life that go beyond just materialistic explanations. Doctors say that 80 to 90% of illnesses are caused by psychological or emotional reasons. There can be multiple reasons for physical illnesses--false religious dedications or pacts, curses, inner vows or self cursing, generational transferences, emotional woundedness and even abuse. These deep causes may be manifesting on the surface level as physical illnesses. If we just pray for the physical symptoms, often we do not see a healing. I have found that when I pray for deeper emotional/spiritual issues, the physical symptoms are often healed. We see Jesus in Luke 13:10-16 actually dealing with a spirit that has caused a believer, a "daughter of Abraham", to be crippled and bent over for 18 years. As He laid hands on her, the spirit left and she was healed. He did not pray for the infirmity, per se, but went to the deeper, real issue. When counseling/praying with people I ask, "What else was going on when this problem started?"

A woman came to a ministry team I was on with tumors in her breasts. Through a word of knowledge we discovered she had been incested by her father when she began to have breasts as a young woman. As often happens to victims of sexual abuse, she cursed her breasts (herself) for having them because, as the demonically inspired logic goes, if she had had no breasts, she would not have been incested. She also had several other levels of woundedness that had followed this event. Through inner healing she was able to forgive her father, to confess her sin of cursing herself, to forgive herself and to forgive every person she had had a sexual relationship with. We cast out many demons after this process of inner healing. She returned weeks later with x-rays showing that the tumors had disappeared. We had never prayed for her breasts.

In another interesting case, a former Muslim and animist who was now an African pastor came to me with a terrible rash over half of his body. No medical attention had helped him or even Christian prayer. Through a word of knowledge I sensed that he had a sexual spirit visiting him at night. I asked him, and he acknowledged that indeed a ginn (demon spirit-succubus) had visited him every night throughout his life. He confessed his sexual participation, and he renounced verbally the declarations of Mohammad that every Muslim would have a spirit visit with them from birth on. The demon's power was broken, and we cast it out. The rash disappeared immediately. He was healed!

The physically ill are often healed through a process. This happened in the case of my wife's sterility. Some of the best doctors told us we would never have children. Over a period of five years we prayed, and then a "breakthrough" came at the hands of a pastor friend of mine as she was powerfully touched by the Holy Spirit. This obviously was in God's timing. We now have three children.

When starting out in praying for the sick, I would encourage you to start small and simple. Here is a case of thousands that I could share about simple healing ministry. I was at the lumber yard, and the cashier attending me complained of a bad cold and a terrible headache. I asked him if I could pray for him in Jesus' name. He gave me a strange look but said "yes". I commanded the headache to stop. He had a surprised look on his face and said that the headache was less. I commanded again for the cold virus to die and for the blood vessels in his head to open. I also said that if there were any spirits behind this that they stop. He really was even more surprised and said that the headache was completely gone! I left him my card and encouraged him to read the Bible. I have won many people to Christ in such natural and simple healing encounters. Doing such will increase your faith. As you obey in the simple, the Lord will give greater challenges.

Just like me, that twelve-hour-old Christian, God would like to use you in physical healing. If we step out and try, He will often back our simple faith because He backs obedience to Him. The Holy Spirit will teach us as we go along, and often the healing prayer will be a process. We need to look for deeper issues, and we should be open to opportunities no matter how small to pray for peoples' healing. We are usually taught by Jesus in the moment when we step out and actually do "the stuff" of the Kingdom!

"The end of all things is near; therefore be serious and discipline yourselves for the sake of your prayers." (1 Pe 4:7)