As a child, I remember watching evangelists on TV who purportedly healed people. People would walk up to the stage on crutches, then after a prayer would throw them down and walk or dance down the aisle. At the end of those services, the pastor would appeal for viewers to send in money to support that ministry.
Later in my life, I became more cynical about so-called “faith healers.” Some were exposed as charlatans, some were more focused on fundraising than healing.
As an adult, my cynicism somewhat shifted. In a previous church, I had the opportunity to lead the Alpha course six times. I was exposed to healing prayer during the Holy Spirit Weekend when the focus is on God’s Holy Spirit and what He does and how we can receive the Spirit into our hearts and lives.
I witnessed miraculous healings — one woman from terminal cancer. The doctor told her “I can’t explain what’s happened. Your cancer has totally disappeared.”
The woman responded “I know what happened. God healed me through prayer.” Another man was a mean, male chauvinist lawyer. Through hands-on prayer, the Holy Spirit transformed that man into one of the most loving, kind, and dedicated Christ-following disciples I’ve ever been around.
My attitude toward healing prayer completely changed.
In the Old Testament, it was God who healed people. Not even God’s favored men — Moses, Noah, King David — none of them ever healed anyone that we know of. Then, in the New Testament, things changed. God empowered ordinary men to heal. Jesus first empowered the Twelve Disciples (Matthew 10:1). Then he gave healing power to the 72 (Luke 10:1, 9). Then he gave it to all followers.
Jesus himself tells us that healing the sick is a good thing and should be normal. So first it’s the twelve, then we add the seventy-two. Then James writes (James 5:14-16) that if anyone is sick, he should call on the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. The ability to heal was made available to all believers.
At Trinity, we believe in healing prayer. We’ve had three women miraculously healed of cancer in the last 12 months. Does everyone have the power to heal? No. Healing is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. As with those gifts, not everyone receives the same gifts. Not all have received the gift of healing. But each of us can pray and ask for that gift.
We’ve begun a weekly service of Noonday Prayer with Communion every Wednesday at 12 noon. The first Wednesday each month is dedicated to healing prayer. Join us. 18900 FM 1431. We’re only five miles west of Cedar Park and Leander.