Healing Those Who Are Afflicted Is Performed Through The Laying On Of Hands
40 At sunset, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying his hands on each one, he healed them. 41 Moreover, demons came out of many people, shouting, “You are the Son of God!” But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew he was the Messiah.
Before any spiritually challenging endeavor, we should prepare. Whether giving speech, teaching a Sunday School class/Lay-person sermon, Vacation Bible School, retreat, etc., we should properly prepare ourselves with the same or even greater time and care that we would for any secular activity.
First, seek God’s kingdom and His righteousness. We should each also be offering our bodies as living sacrifices to God by denying ourselves, picking up our cross, and following Jesus. Next, seek the Father out in prayer, and make sure that there is no unrepentant sin in your life. After any un-confessed sin is dealt with, prepare yourself by reading the word of God. Draw close to the Father in prayer. If possible, fast** in preparation for what is to come.
Jesus would regularly withdraw from the masses with His disciples to spend time with God the Father in prayer. He would also frequently fast:
16 “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer [and fasting*].“
Preparing for what you are about to do is vital to the success of any endeavor. And while many people are able to just “wing it” in their daily lives, God desires us to follow our example, Jesus Christ, in how He did everything.
When Jesus healed, He almost always touched the person that required healing. With some exceptions (for instance the Centurion’s servant and Lazarus), He even physically touched people who, according to the Levitical Law, he should not have touched – those who had leprosy.
1 When Jesus came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him. 2 A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”
3 Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy. 4 Then Jesus said to him, “See that you don’t tell anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”
We now know that some forms of leprosy are transmitted by coming into contact with fluid discharge from a person that has it (a sneeze, or possibly on their clothing or body). Jesus, however, reached out and touched the people that he healed. We should do the same.
Touch is a powerful form of communication. For the outcasts, the lonely, the grieving, and people living on the fringe of society (as well as others), touch has an interesting ability to break down barriers and show that you care for the person. Jesus cared for us so much that He allowed Himself to be crucified. What is a little touch in comparison with that?
Command the Complaint
After laying your hands on the person where the issue is located, using your authority in The Lord Jesus Christ, command what is ailing the person to be healed. In some cases, the issue is that the part of the body that is having issues is not long/large enough. If that is the case, command in the name of The Lord Jesus Christ that the part of the body that needs to grow to grow. You have been given the authority in Christ to do this:
Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.
It is imperative that we are yielding ourselves to the Holy Spirit’s prompting. We are to be attentive to His guidance in our lives, and following His leading as He reveals to us what we should do through the word of God and as He prompts us. We need to remember that we are merely conduits for the power of God to manifest itself. We don’t heal people; God heals people through us. As the Holy Spirit guides you, say what you are prompted to say for the healing to occur.
Please note that you may need to command the affected part of the body more than once to be healed. Ask the person after you have commanded it to be healed to tell you, on a scale of 1 to 10 how the pain/issue is. Tell them to tell you the truth, not what they think you might want to hear. If the pain/issue has not gone (but is getting better), repeat the process until there is no pain. God will reveal to you what you are to do as He sees fit.
Never say No
Jesus never once, as recorded in the Bible, declined to heal anyone. The only passage that would indicate that He did not do all that He intended was because the people refused to have faith. Jesus could have healed them, but they were not open to it. If a person is in enough pain, they will be open to being healed.
Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.
Word of Warning
When you endeavor to step out in faith for the kingdom of God, you are putting a target on your back. You will encounter people who have demons. Stand strong, and use your authority in Christ to bind the demon(s). Ask them their name first, then command them by name or type (“demon of <fill in the blank>”) to go to the feet of Jesus and to never return. Not all sickness is demonic, but some is, and you will encounter these issues, just as Jesus did. Don’t let this dissuade you from what you are called to do. Just be aware, and be prepared.
A Qualifying Question
Let’s ask a question: With regard to my authority in Christ, am I taking God’s word at face value?
A short prayer of preparation:
Father in Heaven, You continually amaze me in that You have saved me. Father, please help me to understand my authority in Your Son, Jesus Christ. Help prepare me to live out the holiness that You have imparted to me through the righteousness of Jesus. Help me to walk in humility before You, and to keep myself clean through repentance. Help me to be yielded to the Holy Spirit that I may more fully yield myself, my life, and all that you have placed me in charge to His authority for Your glory. Give me more boldness that I might do the works that Jesus did during His ministry, and help me to reach the lost in a more powerful way. Help me to understand what You meant when the Apostle Paul said that I have been blessed with every spiritual blessing. This I ask in the precious name of Your Son, Jesus Christ, Amen.
Want more? Why not try A. B. Simpson or A. W. Tozer?
Notes: This blog has been updated to include the second reference to the fasts that Daniel undertook.
*This part of the passage does not appear in all of the texts. If it helps, I can personally attest to the power of fasting when confronting the enemy successfully when previous attempts without fasting were unsuccessful.
**Due to medical issues, many people need to eat regularly. If you are unable to fast, try a juice fast (consult your doctor first). If you need to eat food, try a Daniel fast.