God’s Answers for Your Healing #6 Common Methods of Receiving Healing

A Bible Message by Bayless Conley
Copyright © 2005 Answers with Bayless Conley

Turn to Isaiah 53:4-5. These are a couple of our key verses. They are prophetic, speaking about the Lord Jesus Christ and His sacrifice. It says, 4 ¶ Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. Now you have to misquote that to leave yourself out. Verse 5 basically takes care of every aspect of our existence. There is “wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities.” That takes care of salvation for our spirit… forgiveness of sin. “The chastisement for our peace was upon Him.” Well, that takes care of peace for our mind. Actually, the word “peace” here is the Hebrew word “shalom,” and it has a far greater meaning than just peace of mind. It actually deals with all of the outward things that bring peace, as well. The same word is translated prosperity where it says, “The Lord has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant,” that is shalom, the well being of His servant. Well, the chastisement…(i.e. for you to have well being, both inside and out)… was upon Him. Finally, by His stripes, we are healed. We have talked about the previous verse in some of our last lessons, verse 4, it says, “Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows. The Hebrew word for “griefs” is actually the word for sickness. “Sorrow” is the Hebrew word for physical pain. Surely He has borne our sicknesses and carried our pains. Look at the Holy Spirit’s commentary on that verse in Matthew 8:16-17: 16 When the evening was come, they brought to Him many that were possessed with evil spirits. He cast those spirits out with His word, and He healed all that were sick 17 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet saying, “He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses.” So the Holy Spirit’s commentary in the New Testament on this verse is talking about physical ailments and sicknesses. And I do want you to take note: It says, “Surely He has borne our sicknesses and carried our pains.” That is the Old Testament promise: Isaiah, looking some 700 years into the future at Christ’s sacrifice, predicted what it was about. Isaiah was looking into the future at something that was going to happen. In 1 Peter, chapter 2, Peter is looking into the past at something that has already been accomplished. First Peter 2:24, speaking of Jesus: 24 who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness--by whose stripes you were healed.


In God’s ledger, it is an accomplished fact in the sense that Christ has already paid the price. By His stripes we are healed in Isaiah; by His stripes you were healed, in 1 Peter 2:24. The word “healed” here is used throughout the New Testament exclusively in connection with physical healing. It is never used in the sense of spiritual healing anywhere in the New Testament, though some people will argue, “Well, it means we are healed spiritually.” Well, maybe we are, if you want to use the word that way, but that is not what this word means. By whose stripes we were healed. And somebody says, “Well, if we were, then how come I’m not?” Well, just like the scripture said: He bore our sins in His own body on the tree that we, being dead to sins, might live unto righteousness… we might live holy and right lifestyles. The potential is there because Christ defeated the power of sin. The Bible says in the Book of Romans, “Sin shall not have dominion over you.” So the power of sin has been broken. The potential is there for us to live a life of holiness and uprightness before God; yet, to this day, I have still never met anyone who has batted a thousand. The potential is there, but sometimes we live short of our potential. Sometimes we live short of the promise. Even though the provision is there, we do not always walk in its fullness. Well, the same thing is true with healing. The provision is there for healing; and, yes, many times we may not walk in the fullness of what has been provided, but we are on our way. We are learning, we are growing, and that is where I am. I have not arrived yet. I have not always made it perfect. In fact, this morning I didn’t come to devotions. We have devotions every Wednesday morning. I just didn’t feel right in my body last night, and I told my wife, “You know, I feel like I need to get some extra sleep. I don’t feel good.” I prayed, and I went to bed, and they prayed for me this morning at devotions. I feel great right now. All right, well, I didn’t feel great last night; I feel great tonight. So, you know, we are growing. We are learning. We are reaching out for the potential and the promises that belong to us. What we don’t want to do is pull our theology down to the level of our experience, because if we are going to do it in one area, we may as well say, “Well, we do not have the ability to live unto righteousness then.” So as we learn and grow, as we feed on the sincere milk of God’s word, and as we grow close to God, we are lifting the level of our experience to the level of God’s promises and the potential that is there. TWO COMMON METHODS OF RECEIVING HEALING What I want to talk to you about tonight are common methods of receiving healing. We are going to talk about two common methods to receive that which has already been purchased and provided by Christ. Then I am going to talk about three persons involved in your healing. With the work having been accomplished by Jesus, the potential is there, the promises are there. So how do we receive? If you think about it, the Scripture says that the wages of sin is death and that through Christ’s death, He paid for our sins. That is good theology. Yet Jesus suffered incredibly. He took the stripes on His back and the crown of thorns on His head. He was beaten repeatedly. Jewish historians tell us of the accounts that were written of people who witnessed Roman scourgings. They are horrific! If His death paid for our sins, then why did God allow His Son to suffer so? He could have died a relatively painless and a very quick death and paid for our sins. He suffered because, through His suffering, by His stripes, we are healed. God is interested in our bodies. The Lord is for the body, and the body is for the Lord, the Scripture declares.


1. HEALING CAN BE RECEIVED THROUGH THE WORD How can healing be received? First of all, healing is received through the word of God. Proverbs 4:20, 20 ¶ My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. 21 Do not let them depart from your eyes; Keep them in the midst of your heart; 22 For they are life to those who find them, And health to all their flesh. God’s words are life to all those who find them. The word “find” means to acquire or to get hold of, which tells you that there is going to have to be some searching involved. A little bit of effort must be put forth. It could be translated, “Those that search for my words and find them and then lay hold of them, it will be life to them.” Then it says, “And health to all their flesh.” How much of their flesh? All their flesh. Does that mean your eyes? Your ears? Your skin? Your heart? Your lungs? Your feet? Your bones? All of your organs? Your eyes? All of your flesh. Health to all your flesh. The word “health” here can also be translated “medicine.” God’s word is His medicine. Those verses we were reading in Isaiah 53:4-5 and 1 Peter 2:24 were God’s medicine for our physical bodies. Have you ever purchased a prescription for medicine? You get a little bottle. Maybe it has some pills in it, and it will say on the directions, “Take two pills three times a day,” or “Take every three to four hours.” Well, if you are ill, and you go to a physician, the physician will examine you, and the doctor says, “Look, this is what’s wrong with you. Here, I’m going to write you a prescription. It ought to last you about three weeks. That ought to take care of the condition.” So he writes you a prescription; you go to the pharmacy and get that prescription filled. About a month later, you are upset because it hasn’t worked. So you call the doctor, and you say, “Look, Doctor, you told me about this prescription. You said I’d be better, and I’m not any better, and I’m upset. It was just a waste of money.” And the doctor says, “Well, I don’t understand. You got the prescription filled?” “Yes, I got the prescription filled.” “Well, did you take it according to the directions?” “No. I haven’t taken any yet, but I’ve got it right here on the table next to my bed, and it just hasn’t worked! And, Doctor, I’m upset!” The doctor is going to say, “It only works if you get it in you. You have to take it according to instructions.” Well, God’s medicine only works when you get it in you. The verses we read are God’s instructions for taking His medicine. These are God’s directions. So here is how you take God’s medicine. Here is how the word becomes life to those that find it and health to all your flesh. Listen: Whatever you have wrong with you tonight, whatever it is, if it has to do with your flesh, God’s word can heal it. You have to get the medicine in you. Here’s how you take it. Back up to verse 20, “My son…” First of all, if you belong to God, this medicine is for you. Generally, on a little prescription bottle, it has your name on it so somebody else doesn’t take it. If you are a son or a daughter of God, this is yours. “My son, give attention to My words.” That is, undivided, undistracted attention. Focus on the word of God. Now you may be great at multi-tasking. It’s a very popular word these days, but this is not just another ball that you add to all the other balls that you are juggling in your life. When it says, “Give attention to My words,” that means give undivided, undistracted attention. Put God’s word first.


I received a call a year ago to visit a man in the hospital. I knew his sister-in-law very well; I knew his wife a little bit, and he was from a Bible-believing, spirit-filled church. Yet he was in the hospital with terminal illness. The doctor said that there was nothing more they could do for him. So I went to the hospital. The family asked me, “Will you please go and share with him and pray for him?” He believed in healing. I walked into the room, and he was in there in the bed with the television set going. I said, “Hi.” He says, “Oh, Hi, Pastor,” and he was watching the TV. He never turned it off the whole time I was in there. I said, “You know, I’ve come to share a little bit with you, and to pray for you. I know what the doctors have said, and let me share a little bit.” He says, “Oh, okay,” and he is just watching the TV the whole time. He barely paid any attention to me. I read a whole bunch of Scriptures, and I talked to him. He was listening about halfway, and I realized right then and there he was not ready to be prayed for. Imagine that: Having a terminal illness, and someone is coming. They are sharing God’s medicine with you, and you are glued to the television set. I said, “I’ll tell you what: I brought a little book with me. It’s about healing. It’s full of verses from the Bible on the subject of healing. What I want you to do… it’s a quick read. It will take you about 20 minutes to read it. I’m going to come back in three days and pray for you. What I want you to do: Read this book several times every day. “Oh, okay. Thanks, thanks.” He sets it down on the table. “See you, Pastor! Thanks for coming.” He’s watching the TV. I left just sort of shaking my head. Well, I came back three days later. He says, “Oh, hi, Pastor! How are you doing?” He’s got the TV on again. I said, “Hey! Did you read that book I gave you?” “Oh, oh, what did I do with that thing? Where is it? I think I started to. What did I do with it? Maybe I… is it there on the table?” I wanted to cry. Now I prayed for him out of courtesy, but there was no connection at all. Thank God he went to heaven. To live is Christ; to die is gain. You know, it’s graduation when a believer dies, but he never even gave God’s medicine a try. In fact, if you think about it, some of you are pretty diligent when it comes to physical medicine… and that’s great. Thank God for the people in the medical field that operate in our church. We have a whole medical ministry. We love it. My wife is a registered nurse, though she has not served in that capacity in quite a few years. Maybe, when you are sick, you will take time off of work and go to the doctor’s office, and you have a half hour drive. Then you sit in the doctor’s office out in the waiting room for 30 minutes, and then they call your name, and you get to go in a little room where you sit for 20 minutes. Then the doctor comes in and sees you and examines you and maybe gives you a prescription that you have to take every four hours. Then you drive all the way to the pharmacy, if there is not a pharmacy right there where you are, and depending on whether you have insurance or not, you actually pay money. You set your clock, and take the pills like clockwork. The doctor says, “I want to see you back here in a week.” So you take time off work again, you make the drive, and the doctor says, “Look, I need to see you in another week,” and you go through the whole thing again. It just may be, from a natural standpoint, that you have given hours and hours and hours because you are interested in recovering, and you are to be commended for that; but when it comes to God’s medicine, we do not give God one tenth of the time and the energy and the attention that we give to men. We need to get His medicine in us.


A. Incline Your Ear to the Word Make a concentrated effort to hear from the Holy Spirit The second direction for taking His medicine: In Proverbs 4:20, He said, “Incline your ear to My sayings.” That word “incline” means to “lean out.” So the scripture is saying to lean out to hear. Make a concentrated effort to hear. There are two applications there. First, be attentive to the Holy Spirit’s voice as you read the Bible. You know, in the Book of Proverbs it says that this word will lead you, and it will speak to you. The Holy Spirit speaks to you as you read the Bible. As you are reading the promises on healing or read through the gospels about how Jesus healed the multitudes and how He showed mercy and revealed the Father to people, the Holy Spirit will speak to you through the word. Something happens when He speaks to you. Faith is born in your heart because faith comes by hearing. So we need to incline our ear.

Speak the Word aloud Then from the natural standpoint, the second application: Speak it aloud so you can hear it, yourself. If you are going to incline your ear, read the promises out loud. In fact, we find that incredible word “meditate” in the Bible. God told Joshua, “Meditate in the law of the Lord day and night. Then you will make your way prosperous. Then you will have good success.” Psalm 1 says that blessed is the man who meditates in the law of the Lord day and night, and then he is like that tree planted by the rivers of water with green leaves and fruit. The Hebrew word “meditate” literally means not just to reflect upon and to go over in the mind, but it carries with it the very definite thought of speaking. It means to mutter or to murmur repeating to yourself over and over. God tells us in Psalm 1, as we speak His word over and over, something happens. It causes us to be successful, prosperous, fruitful, and healthy like that tree that is planted by the rivers of water. So to incline our ear, we need to listen to God’s word. B. Do Not Let the Word Depart From Your Eyes Continually read and look at the promises In Proverbs 4:21, Soloman said, “Do not let them depart from your eyes.” Again, two applications: First, continually read and look at the promises. Read them over and over and over and over. In Romans, the fourth chapter, where it talks about Abraham and gives that great lesson of faith for us, the American Standard versions say, “Abraham grew strong in faith while looking onto the promise of God.” Where you keep your eyes is very, very important. Imagine yourself healed and healthy Words create pictures. Just imagine a brown and white cow in the midst of a field of green grass wearing a blue Dodger’s hat. Can you see that? Words paint pictures. As we read God’s word about healing, we begin to see ourselves healed and healthy. If you no longer see yourself healed, what has happened is His word has departed from before your eyes. Just like natural words paint pictures, one person said it this way: Take the brush of prayer, dip it into the ink of God’s word, and paint a picture on the canvas of your imagination. Don’t let His word depart from before your eyes.


C. Keep His Words in the Midst of Your Heart This final one is so important. He said, “Keep them…keep His words…in the midst of your heart.” The word “keep” means to “guard” or to “protect.” Keep His word. Guard it, and protect it. Well, if you have to guard that word once you are endeavoring to get it in your heart by listening to it and giving your undivided attention and reading it, there must be someone or something to guard it from. Indeed there is. In Mark, chapter 4, Jesus tells the parable of the sower, which basically tells us about the operation of the word of God in our lives. Mark 4:3, 3 “Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. 4 “And it happened, as he sowed, that some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds of the air came and devoured it. The story goes on. Some fell on stony ground; some, thorns grew up; others fell on good ground, and there was a great harvest from it. We come to verse 14 as Jesus explains the meaning of the parable. 14 “The sower sows the word.” That is what I am doing tonight. I am just a sower sowing the word. Mark 4:15, 15 “And these are the ones by the wayside where the word is sown. When they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown (Where?) in their hearts.” We read in Proverbs 4:21, keep it in the midst of your heart. Once that word finds its way into your heart, guard and protect it. Why? Well, because the birds of the air will come and want to steal that seed, and who do the birds represent? Satan. What is he after? He is after the seed of God’s word, because if there is no seed, there is no harvest. In the book of Mark, it says, “When they hear, Satan comes…” how quickly? Immediately. He has already been here tonight, according to Jesus. The devil does come to church. The sower sows the word; and when they hear, Satan, the devil, comes immediately. Some of you are thinking, “I wonder if he is going to be done in time for me to beat the crowd to the restaurant.” The devil has already been working on you. The devil comes immediately to steal the word out of a person’s heart. Mark 4:20 says, 20 “But these are the ones sown on good ground, those who hear the word, accept it, and bear fruit: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.” Now this same parable is told in Luke’s gospel and in Matthew’s gospel. Luke 8:15, is the same verse here, verse 20, where it says, “the ones sown on good ground are those that hear the word…” Luke adds something because they all look at it from a slightly different vantage point. Luke said that Jesus said, “They hear the word, and they keep it.” Literally, they guard it; they protect it; which is the same thing that was said in Proverbs 4. The ones who guard it and protect it, are the ones who bring forth fruit. That is good news. If you want to get the fruit that God’s word promises, you have to protect it from the devil who wants to steal it. Now if you guard God’s word in your heart, look at Mark 4:26, 26 And He said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground (and we know the ground is the human heart),


27 “and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how. 28 “For the earth yields crops by itself: first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head. 29 “But when the grain ripens, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.” The word of God is the seed. The guy sleeps and rises, night and day, it springs and grows up, he didn’t know how. You do not have to understand how God’s word can work. You do not have to understand how reading and meditating on it and giving your attention to “by Jesus’ stripes you are healed” could ever cause your physical situation to turn around. You can sleep; you can rise day and night. It will grow up because it has life in itself. It grows independent of our understanding! That is, if you will keep it in the ground. Then the time comes where you can thrust in the sickle, and a harvest from the seed is reaped. The Bible is different from any other book in the world, though the same words are in every book. You can find the same words in the newspaper. “The,” and “of,” and “from,” and “wherefore,” and “seed,” and “harvest”… you can find it in magazines and in novels. Yet this book is different from any other book in the sense that it is God-breathed! It has the life of God in it. It is pregnant with potential and with life. It is life to those who find these words. It is the same word where God breathed into Adam’s nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being. It is different than any other thing that you can read! It is supernatural, and it has the power to change your circumstances. Look at Mark 4:30, 30 Then He said, “To what shall we liken the kingdom of God? Or with what parable shall we picture it? 31 “It is like a mustard seed which, when it is sown on the ground, is smaller than all the seeds on earth; 32 “but when it is sown, it grows up and becomes greater than all herbs, and shoots out large branches, so that the birds of the air may nest under its shade.” Jesus said it is like a mustard seed. When it is sown, it’s smaller than all seeds on the earth. You know, maybe your body is wracked with pain or you have arthritis or cancer or some other thing, and someone comes up and says, “You know, the Bible says, ‘Surely He has borne your sicknesses and carried your pains.’” Or maybe with me sharing this tonight, when you stack it up against the pain you have felt and the chronic illness you have experienced, it just seems so insignificant. It is like a thimble full of water, and you feel like you need an ocean. Jesus said, “When you sow it, it is smaller than any other seed.” You may think, “How could that change my circumstance?” Well, when you get it into the ground, it grows; and it becomes greater than anything you could possibly face. Do not underestimate the power of God’s word. It is latent with potential and pregnant with life. Why do you think Satan is after it? I want to show you a story, just one last thing before we move on. Look back in Second Kings. This is one of my favorite stories in the Bible. 2 Kings 11:1, 11:1 ¶ When Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the royal heirs. Now Athaliah was actually the daughter of Jezebel. She’s bad! She’s as bad as her mom was. She’s a type of the devil in this story, and when she saw that her son, who was the king, was dead, she arose and destroyed all the royal heirs. The King James Version says, “She went,


and she destroyed all of the seed royal.” She went to destroy all of the royal seed, because she knew if she could take care of the royal seed, she could reign unchallenged; but something happens. Verse 2, 2 But Jehosheba, the daughter of King Joram, sister of Ahaziah, took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him away from among the king’s sons who were being murdered; and they hid him and his nurse in the bedroom, from Athaliah, so that he was not killed. 3 So he was hidden with her in the house of the LORD for six years, while Athaliah reigned over the land. It seems like she had the upper hand. She was a cruel woman. She was ruling and reigning; but all the time, one of the royal seeds had been hidden away, and he was growing, and growing, and growing. She would soon be in trouble, but she did not know it! Look at verse 8. Finally, they brought Joash out in the seventh year, and this is what the high priest said to the soldiers, 8 “But you shall surround the king on all sides, every man with his weapons in his hand; and whoever comes within range, let him be put to death. You are to be with the king as he goes out and as he comes in.” He protected the royal seed. He believed in keeping it and guarding it. Look in 2 Kings 11:12, 12 And he brought out the king’s son, put the crown on him, and gave him the Testimony; they made him king and anointed him, and they clapped their hands and said, “Long live the king!” 13 Now when Athaliah heard the noise of the escorts and the people, she came to the people in the temple of the LORD. 14 When she looked, there was the king standing by a pillar according to custom; and the leaders and the trumpeters were by the king. All the people of the land were rejoicing and blowing trumpets. So Athaliah tore her clothes and cried out, “Treason! Treason!” 16 So they seized her; and she went by way of the horses’ entrance into the king’s house, and there she was killed. It was all over for her! You get the royal seed in your heart, hide it away in there and protect it, and it may seem like the devil is ruling and reigning in your life. It may seem like sickness has the upper hand. It may seem like oppression has the upper hand. Yet you guard it and let it grow, and let it grow, and let it grow. Then the day is going to come when the seed will come out and be crowned as king. It will overthrow oppression; it will overthrow sickness. God’s word will take charge in your life if you will take the medicine according to directions. When you, yourself, learn how to mine gold out of God’s word and learn how to apply the word of God and guard the word of God in your own life, then the Athaliah’s in your life will no longer rule! 2. HEALING CAN BE RECEIVED BY THE LAYING ON OF HANDS The second common way healing is ministered and received is through the laying on of hands. Mark 16:15, 15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.


16 “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 “they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” According to Mark, the last eleven words that Jesus spoke before He left this world were, “They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” Who are “they”? “They” are believers. If you say, “Well, I don’t believe in this,” then this word is not for you. This is for believers. “Believers,” Jesus said, “will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” As you read through the gospels, you will find out this is the most common method that Jesus used to bring healing to people. He laid His hands upon them. In the Book of Acts, the disciples prayed, “Lord, stretch out Your hand to heal by the name of Your holy Child Jesus.” Then a little bit later, it says, “And many signs and wonders were done by the hands of the apostles.” They became His hands. Christ lives in us. It is Christ in you, the hope of glory. The laying on of hands becomes a point of contact to release our faith, and it becomes a conduit through which God’s power can flow. The key phrases again are “who believe.” These signs will follow those who believe. Faith is the catalyst that releases or triggers the release of God’s power. Another key phrase says, “They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” Now the word “recover” indicates that healing may be gradual. I think a lot of people miss it here. They will recover. The Bible says, even in the ministry of Jesus, that the lepers were healed as they went. The nobleman’s son, the Scripture says, “He began to amend.” Healing is a process. A lot of people turn the switch of faith off… they stop believing if they do not see or feel immediate results. They may have hands laid on them and say, “Oh, I don’t feel any different. I guess it didn’t work.” But Jesus said, “They will recover.” So you need to just release your faith, because it is a promise in the word of God. Believe that Jesus meant just what He said, and go your way rejoicing if hands are laid on you. Go your way thanking God. Keep your faith plugged into God. A. Call for the Elders Look at James 5:14… look at the question he asked: 14 Is anyone among you sick? How many people would that apply to? Anyone who is sick! 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save (same word translated “heal” in the New Testament). The prayer of faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Is anyone among you sick? It says, “Let him call for the elders of the church.” Notice it did not say, “Let someone call for him.” The sick person is the one who is supposed to call, and that is


important. It is an expression of faith. I have been called many times, but the majority of the time it was not the sick person, himself, who called. The call came from a family member, a wife, a child, or a sibling. Very seldom has a sick person called me to pray for him. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church. It is an expression of faith. In fact, sometimes I have been called, and gone because I had been asked to, but when I arrived, I was not welcomed by the person who was sick! B. Anoint with Oil Now there is no healing virtue in the oil. We generally use olive oil, but if all you have is motor oil, that will do. Oil is symbolic of the Holy Spirit whom we are trusting to do the healing. The oil is a symbol. There is no healing power in the oil. It is a statement that we are trusting Him. It is an outward sign of an inward faith. It is a symbol throughout the Bible of the Holy Spirit and of the anointing of the Holy Spirit.

C. Prayer of Faith They said, “Let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will heal the sick.” What is the prayer of faith? Verse 17 gives an example of someone who prayed a prayer of faith. 17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. 18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit. Now if we took the time to read that story, it is really quite intriguing, because when Elijah prayed, he did it, first of all, on a promise. He took God at His promise, and the heavens were shut. When he prayed again for rain, he was on Mount Carmel, and he sent his servant seven times to see if there was any sign of rain. Six times the servant came back and said there was no sign of rain, but Elijah knew there had to be rain, because God had promised in His word. He had no physical evidence whatsoever, yet he believed it because God said it. He kept sending the man back; and, finally, there was a little cloud the size of a man’s hand. He sent word to King Ahab, saying, “You better go to the summer palace in Jezreel lest the rain overtake you.” He said, “I hear the sound of the abundance of rain.” There wasn’t a cloud in the sky; there was no lightning; there was no wind. Yet he said, “I hear the sound of the abundance of rain.” He heard it by faith. Faith is the substance of things hoped for. It is the evidence of things not seen. God said it. It has to be, and it is the prayer of faith that heals the sick. In fact, James 1:5-6 sheds a little light on there: 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; The person who doubts cannot suppose he will receive anything from the Lord; not wisdom, not healing, not anything else. The prayer of faith is a prayer that does not waver. It is based on the truth of God’s word. It is not based on feeling or circumstances or, “Well, gosh, I feel better after


you prayed.” Or, “You look better.” It is not based on any of those things. It is based on the promise. When I was a young Christian, I had this terrible, terrible skin condition, and I could not get any relief from the thing. I was sitting in my little one-room place and reading in my Bible. I read in the Book of James, “Is anyone among you sick?” I said, “That’s me.” “Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him the prayer of faith, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith will heal the sick. And if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him.” I went down to the phone booth and called a lady from the church, and asked, “Look, do we have elders in our church?” I didn’t know what an elder was, but if we had them, I was going to call one. She said, “Yes, we have elders in church. You know farmer so-and-so?” And I went, “Oh, no! Not him!” She said, “Yes, he is an elder.” He scared me. There were a few people in the church that really frightened me, and he was one of them. He scared me because whenever he prayed, he got this weird like, “Thank you, Jesus!” If I saw him in church, I would sit really far from him. So I called him on the phone, and said, “Brother, I have this skin thing going on, and I read in the Book of James, and I understand you are an elder. I want you to anoint me with oil.” He said, “Come on out to the place.” So I drove all the way out, back in the hills to his place and knocked on the door. He met me at the door with a bottle of oil in his hand, and he put oil on my head, and started, “Hup, Jesus!” praying like that. I closed my eyes and said, “Whatever!” Do you know what? He put oil on my head, laid hands on me and prayed, and I felt like electricity went through my body. It totally set me free. It is wonderful when you feel electricity like that. I mean, I literally felt something go through my body; and within 24 hours, the skin condition totally cleared up. It was gone! Within 24 hours it was gone; but whether you feel something, or whether you do not, it does not change God’s word. THREE PERSONS INVOLVED IN YOUR HEALING 1. God There are three persons involved in your healing. First, there is God. In many respects, He has already done His part. He sent His Son. He allowed Him to suffer, to take the stripes on His back, and He has given us the promises. You do not have to worry about God’s part. You do not have to beg God. You do not have to plead with God. God has already done something. 2. The Person Who Prays and Lays Hands on You Secondly, there is the person who prays with you, or lays hands on you, or anoints you with oil. We see from the Book of James, he must be a person of solid faith. Matthew 17:14 says, 14 And when they had come to the multitude, a man came to Him, kneeling down to Him and saying,


15 “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and suffers severely; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water. 16 “So I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not cure him.” 17 Then Jesus answered and said, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him here to Me.” 18 And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour. 19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” 20 So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. 21 “However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” In this story, the boy was not healed because of unbelief on the part of those who prayed for him. Now Peter, James, and John were away with Jesus, but the ones who were praying in this story were the other apostles. They were what the Scripture calls the apostles of the Lamb. They lived with Jesus. In fact, they traveled with Him. You would think that if the apostles of the Lamb prayed for you, you would get healed; but in this case, there were no results at all. The boy was not healed, but that does not change God’s will about healing. These were the apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ, hand chosen by Him. They failed, but Jesus proved it was the will of God to heal the boy by healing him when He arrived. They said, “Why could we not cast it out?” Jesus said, “Because of your unbelief.” They had not prepared themselves. “This kind does not come out but by prayer and fasting.” Prayer and fasting prepares you. It connects you with God and gets you into a place where God can flow through you and move you. So it is important that the person praying for you has prepared himself, that he has spent time in the word, trusts God and knows how to pray a prayer of faith The person praying for you is important. 3. Yourself Then the third person is you, yourself. When it comes to receiving healing, you are the key person more than any other. I think it is important that you be sold out to God. I do not think it is right to want healing and not want the Healer. God has not promised to destroy the works of the devil in our body while we continue to cling to the works of the devil in our soul. Jesus said in Mark 1:15, “Repent and believe the gospel.” I heard somebody define repentance this way, and I think it is good: Repentance is turning from wanting God only partially to wanting Him one hundred percent. Somebody says, “Do I have to be perfect?” No, you don’t. Not in the sense we use the word. The New Testament word “perfect” means “to adjust and repair.” If you have a heart that says, “God, put a searchlight on me. I want to fix the things that are not right in my life. I want to grow. I want to change.” If you have that kind of an attitude and heart that when God puts the spotlight on something in your life, you repent and change; to God, you are a person who is perfect. That is what the Greek word means. So I think it is important sometimes to just have a season of preparation where we make our hearts ready and make sure we are clean before we go to God. What if you showed up at the hospital for a major operation, and you are all dusty and grimy, and say, “Look, Doc, can you hurry up? I’ve got to catch a bus in 30 minutes. Just hurry up with it.”


The doctor would say, “No, no, no, Tiger. You don’t understand. You need a couple days to get prepared before we do the surgery. Have you eaten anything tonight?” “Well, yeah, I just got through with a Big Mac.” “Well, sorry, but before we do this, you can’t eat or drink anything for 24 hours but water. We need to get you all scrubbed up and cleaned up before the operation happens. If you want to be in and out of here in 30 minutes, hey, forget it. You are going to have to go find another doctor.” I do not think we should just breeze in to Jesus Christ and say, “You know, Lord, quick! I have 30 minutes, and I have something going on.” I think we need to be willing to prepare ourselves. There is a train that runs from Orange County to San Diego. Do you know it took a lot longer to lay the track than it does for the train to go through town? Sometimes we need to take a little time and make sure the track is down. You take care of the track, and the Healing Express, God’s train, will come through. It is important that there is preparation time. I am not talking about paralyzing yourself by over analyzing things, but truly taking a look at your heart and making sure that things are right before you come to God. Then do not come to Him with a passive faith where there is no real soul cry for God to do anything, just sort of hoping or putting all of your faith in the minister. No, it is a mutual faith. Paul talked about a mutual faith in the Scriptures. Come with your faith anchored on a promise. Come because you have been diligently studying the word, and you have taken some time to get that word into your heart, and you are ready to be prayed for. If you will do that… and the person who prays for you has made himself ready… I think you can connect with God because God is ready.
Copyright © 2005 Answers with Bayless Conley