“I have prayed and prayed. I have been in healing meetings across the country and have been prayed for many times. But I’m still not healed. Can you help me?”
This appeal has been heard many times by ministers. They pray for the sick, but often the sick leave as they came—not healed.
Why is it that some are instantly healed while others go from place to place seeking healing, only to be disappointed time after time? Why is it that Christians who are pillars in the church often suffer for years? But others who are less devout receive a sudden miracle from God?
Is God a respecter of persons? Or have we failed in our approach to healing, lacking a complete understanding of what God’s Word teaches on the subject?
Much emphasis has been placed on the practice of anointing with oil, laying on of hands, and praying for the sick. But there is more to healing than anointing with oil, just as there is more to salvation than prayer.
Gifts of healings and supernatural manifestations are given primarily to advertise the gospel. They get the attention of those outside the church.
The anointing oil, the minister’s prayer, and the laying on of hands are simply methods, or points of contact. In themselves, they do not heal. They are avenues through which we can release our faith in God’s Word.
A lot of emphasis has also been placed on the gifts of healing (1 Cor. 12:28), which are among the gifts of the Spirit mentioned in First Corinthians 12:8–10.
1 CORINTHIANS 12:8–10
8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues.
The Supernatural vs. Faith
Manifestations of these supernatural gifts happen when people preach on them, teach them, believe in them, and yield to the Spirit of God. But these gifts are not always in operation.
Often, new Christians are healed by these special manifestations. Then the next time they are sick, instead of believing God’s Word, they expect to be healed the same way. And they are disappointed when they are not.
I have found that supernatural manifestations of healing usually are seen among sinners or denominational people who have not heard divine healing taught. I have seldom, if ever, seen them work for Full Gospel people.
Why? Gifts of healings and supernatural manifestations are given primarily to advertise the Gospel. They get the attention of those outside the church. Believers should be healed by releasing their faith in the Word of God.
In one of my meetings, I pointed to a man and said, “Sir, you are unsaved, and the Spirit of God shows me you have a double hernia. If you come here, I will lay hands on you, and the hernia will disappear instantly.” He did, and it did.
At the altar call that night, he responded to the invitation and was saved. Two nights later, I laid hands on him, and he was filled with the Holy Spirit.
We need to distinguish between healings obtained through supernatural gifts and those received by exercising faith in God’s Word alone. We also need to understand that individuals do not operate these gifts. They are manifested through them. I can’t make the gifts work any time I want to. I can only stay open for the manifestation of the Spirit of God as He wills.
Jesus’ Healing Ministry
Many of us were taught that the only reason Jesus healed was to prove His deity. If that were true, He never proved who He was in the city of Nazareth. The people there were not healed the way others were elsewhere.
Mark 6:5 tells us, “And he [Jesus] could there [Nazareth] do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them.” Notice that Mark didn’t say Jesus wouldn’t do any mighty work there. It says He couldn’t!
Jesus didn’t heal people merely to prove His deity. He did not minister as the Son of God. He ministered as a prophet of God, anointed with the Holy Spirit (Luke 4:18, 24).
In Matthew 13:58, we learn why Jesus could not heal on some occasions: “And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.” The people’s unbelief hindered Him.
Healing Belongs to Us
Healing is part of our salvation. It isn’t a matter of prayer or a spiritual gift in operation. Jesus provided healing for us on the cross. We should stay open for the manifestations of the Spirit, but we do not have to wait for one to be healed.
I endeavor to help sick people understand this. I want to help them get healed one way or another. That is either by supernatural manifestations of the Spirit of God or by getting God’s Word into them, so faith rises in their hearts.
I held a tent meeting in August 1951 in Oklahoma. The day services were in a church. The night services were in a tent that had been set up in the city park. I laid hands on the sick each night
after I preached.
This laying on of hands was a point of contact where the people released their faith in God’s Word. Between their faith and my faith helping them, they received their healing.
Some special manifestations of God’s healing power also occurred. For example, one night a mother brought her four-year-old son for prayer. She told me he had polio when he was eighteen months old and hadn’t walked since then.
As I prayed for the child, God’s supernatural power came down mightily in our midst. The little boy started running up and down the platform! Years later, I met the boy’s uncle. He told me his nephew was now 17 years old and was on the first string football team in high school.
We are thankful for God’s power. I didn’t heal the child. God did. Manifestations of the Spirit only come as He wills, not as we will.
I believe in supernatural manifestations. We should expect them. But in the meantime, we must preach God’s Word. And believers must continue feeding on the Word concerning divine healing to keep their faith strong. Healing belongs to us!
Kenneth E. Hagin
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