The Gift Of Healing

Acts 5:14 – 16 – “Yet more and more people believed and were brought to the Lord—crowds of both men and women. As a result of the apostles’ work, sick people were brought out into the streets on beds and mats so that Peter’s shadow might fall across some of them as he went by. Crowds came from the villages around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those possessed by evil spirits, and they were all healed.” NLT

It does not say some were healed but all. Scripture says that the sick and those possessed by evil spirits from the cities surrounding Jerusalem were brought into the streets to be healed. What the apostles were doing was exactly the same thing that Jesus had been doing. God was giving a sign to all who would believe that Christ was the Son of God. His followers were there to carry on with His ministry and had been given many of the same supernatural powers.

The apostolic gift of healing, meaning everyone was healed that they touched without exception, is no longer available in the church today. We know of no one who has the gift of healing as described in Acts. We know some have a gift of healing but their gift is limited. Otherwise, they could go into every hospital world-wide and heal the sick and demon-possessed.

James 5:14 – 16 – “Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord. Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven. Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” NLT

Why do you think the Bible says to call for the elders of the church to pray over the sick? Do they have a special gift for healing? Maybe it is to emphasize that the sick person must have the faith and believe that they can be healed.

Scripture said that people would come to Jesus or to the apostles to be healed. Should we believe what James is telling us? What are we to do when we are sick? Maybe James meant it was only for those in the early church when he said their prayer offered in faith will heal the sick and the Lord will make you well. We then must ask how important is confessing your sins to each other so that you might be healed? He finishes with: “the earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results”.

Many believe that God has given the ministry of healing to church elders. The elders are told to anoint with oil. Oil in Scripture was often symbolic or sacramental. Kings were anointed with oil as were prophets & judges. Jesus also was anointed with oil. (Luke 7:46) Oil has a purpose and may be more than symbolic. Oil in the Old Testament was also symbolic with the Holy Spirit.

Does everyone who is prayed for get healed? Yes but often times in different ways. I have been told by some that the Holy Spirit took away all fear when they went into surgery. They were healed through surgery as most are and we shouldn’t believe prayer always takes the place of surgeries and doctors. Others have said God gave them courage to battle through some tough times and they came out healed. Others have had life changing, miraculous healing experiences. Some were taken to heaven where there will no longer be any tears or pain. Once we have done what Scripture tells us to do, we must expect God to answer prayer and we are to accept His will; whatever it may be.

I had an aunt who was completely committed to the Lord. She was in a car accident and was in critical condition. Her son said: “Mom, don’t worry. Hundreds of people are praying that God will heal you.” She replied, “Tell them to stop praying, I am praying that God takes me.” He did!

I personally have been healed from a heart attack a number of years ago. After by-pass surgery you will never convince my family or me that it was not divine intervention and God’s healing. My attending physician when he was going to be operated on for a hip replacement asked that I pray for him. He must believe in prayer after what he saw God do for me.

If we accept what Scripture is saying we must either come for prayer or we are to call an Elder if we are unable to attend a service. It is my belief that elders may be classified as church leaders. However, many do not agree that it would include those who are licensed ministers as well as church board members.

Medical statistics prove that those who are committed believers in Christ and believe that prayers heal and have Christians praying for them have a greater chance of being healed and recovering faster. Statistics also show that those who do not believe in prayer have poorer results.

Don’t let pride stop you from asking to be anointed with oil and prayed to be healed. The sick person or family it seems is obligated to make the effort. (“Crowds came from the villages around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those possessed by evil spirits, and they were all healed.”)

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1 Comment

  1. Can I hear an amen? Truly, good words written relating to the relevance of God in the healing ministry today. We are His!


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