At a former job I had, we had a client who had Hepatitis C with quite a swollen liver. I was eager to see people healed of their illness so I asked if I could pray for him and laid my hands on his side where his liver is. I invited the other clients who were nearby to help me in prayer. He pointed out where his liver was so swollen that his whole side stuck out. When we put our hands on his side, we could clearly feel what this man was talking about; his abdomen felt lopsided due to the swelling!
We simply prayed a short prayer commanding the liver to shrink in Jesus’ name and the pain to get out… and right underneath our hands, it shrank! It was quite an amazing feeling – to experience a physical miracle like that.
As I walked away from the man, I was greatly impressed by how easy it was – as we did not do it – Jesus did. And this ease in seeing the miracle happen was a fresh reminder that Jesus wants to heal. I had been conditioned to think that Jesus was unwilling to heal and that much of the prayer process was to somehow try to talk him into it. But nothing could be further from the truth. Jesus loves to heal and a third of the Gospels is him healing!
When we actually look at the Bible, I cannot find one recorded instance where the person attending to the sick tells them how God does not want to heal them but prefers that they would instead grow in character (the closest would be Paul’s thorn in the flesh but context from the end of the chapter before seems to indicate that is persecution). I have never seen Jesus tell a sick person that he could heal them but keeping their tumors will make them as holy as Mother Theresa.
I really think this kind of thought process comes from Gnosticism. Gnosticism was the heresy that some of the Epistles were written to refute. It essentially said that the material world is evil and what really matters is learning deep spiritual knowledge. This should be everyone’s focus; not things of the physical world.
However, Jesus was certainly not a Gnostic. He cares for his creation as can be seen from Matt. 5 where Jesus shows the love of God by saying that if God cares for the lilies of the fields and birds of the air that he cares for humankind even more. If the physical world was evil and God cared very little about it, why are a third of the Gospels focused on healing? God actually cares very much for his creation. And He wants to heal. He is just looking for his body to trust Him to do what He does and use the authority he gave to act as his hands.
This article is written by Paul Rapley.
Paul Rapley travels the world doing crusades and equipping the body of Christ in healing, words of knowledge, prophecy, etc. He was a former student at King’s Seminary (Jack Hayford’s school) and Bethel’s School of Ministry (Bill Johnson’s school) who was featured in the documentary Christ in You. For more information, see www.paulrapley.com