What The Bible Says About Healing And Praying For The Sick

Our God is almighty, He is love and He accompanies us and blesses us always. God has given us the greatest miracle we can ever experience: the salvation of our souls. But He also wants to help us in the midst of our daily struggles and difficulties. One of the requests that we make to Him very frequently is the one of health because we live in physical bodies that suffer diseases and pains.

In the Bible we find many examples of divine healing. The power of God does not change, God was the same yesterday, He is the same today, and will be so forever (Malachi 3:6, Hebrews 13:8) and we can trust that He still heals us with his miracles. Let’s look at some of the healing mentioned in the Bible and strengthen our trust in God’s healing power.

Healings in the Old Testament

Ana (1 Samuel 1: 1-20)

Ana could not have children, something for which she suffered ridicule and torment. One day she went to the temple and shed her heart and tears before God. She promised that if He granted her a son, she would give it to Him and grow nurture him upbringing so that he may spend his life in God’s service. God heard her prayers, healed her from sterility, and over time she gave birth to a child and named him Samuel, who became a great leader and prophet of the people of Israel.

Naaman (2 Kings 5 : 1-15)

Naaman was chief of the army of the king of Syria, a very brave and prestigious soldier who was ill with leprosy. In her house there was a young Israelite maid and she spoke to them about the prophet Elisha and how he could heal Naaman from leprosy.

Naaman spoke with the king of Syria who granted him permission to go to Israel. The king handed him a letter that said: “When this letter reaches you, you will see that the bearer is Naaman, one of my officers. I send it to you so that you may heal him of his leprosy. (2 Kings 5: 6)

The king of Israel became very nervous, he saw this as an act with the intention of starting a war because he knew he was incapable of healing. Elisha sent a reassuring message to the king and told him that he would receive Naaman. Elisha instructed Naaman so he could receive healing in the name of the Lord. Naaman followed the instructions, was healed, and recognized the God of Israel as the true God.

Healings in the New Testament

The beggar in the temple (Acts 3: 1-10)

Pedro and Juan went to the temple to pray one afternoon and saw a crippled man (lame) begging at the door of the temple. This man begged there every day and when he saw Pedro and Juan approaching, he asked for alms in the hope that they would give him at least some coins.

Peter replied: “I have no silver or gold, but what I have I give you ... In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, get up and walk!” And taking it by the right hand, he picked it up. Instantly the man’s feet and ankles gained strength.
(Acts 3: 6-7)

The father of Publius and other sick people (Acts 28: 7-10)

After a shipwreck, Pablo and all those who had shipwrecked with him, arrived at the island of Malta. The main official of the island, Publius, received them kindly in his house and hosted them for three days.

Publius’ father was in bed, ill with fever and dysentery. Paul came to see him and, after praying, laid his hands on him and healed him. As a result of this, the other sick people of the island also came and were healed.
(Acts 28: 8-9)

The ministry of Jesus

The Gospels detail many of the miracles that Jesus did during his three years of ministry and a good portion of those miracles were healings. Let’s see some of those healings and learn from the ministry of Jesus.

Some healings of Jesus

Disease Biblical reference The petition What did Jesus do, how did he pray Result
Leprosy Matthew 8: 1-4 Sir, if you want, you can wash me. Yes, I want to, “he said. It’s clean! Health regained instantly.
Paralysis Matthew 8: 5-13 (The centurion said:) Lord, my servant is prostate at home with paralysis, and suffers terribly. He offered to heal him, but the centurion said he trusted in the authority of Jesus’ word. Jesus then said: “Go, everything will be done as you believed.” Health regained instantly.
Fever Matthew 8: 14-15 Jesus saw Peter’s mother-in-law who was ill. He did not pray, he just touched her. Health regained instantly.
Blindness John 9: 1-7 The disciples asked Jesus: “Rabbi, so that this man was born blind, who sinned, he or his parents?” Jesus answered them: “Neither he sinned, nor his parents, but this happened so that the work of God would become evident in his life.” He spat on the ground, made mud with the saliva, and anointed him in the eyes of the blind man, telling him to go wash himself in the pool of Siloam. The blind man went and washed himself, and when he came back he had gained sight.
Disability John 5: 1-9 Jesus noticed him among many sick people who were in the pool of Bethesda. Jesus asked him if he wanted to be healthy, the patient answered with excuses, but Jesus said to him: Get up, pick up your stretcher and walk. He was healthy instantly.
Dry hand paralyzed Matthew 12: 9-14 Jesus saw the man entering the synagogue. Jesus told him to reach out. Health regained instantly.
Deafblindness Mark 7: 31-37 Others brought him to Jesus and they begged him to put his hand on the deaf-mute. Jesus took the sick man aside, put his fingers in his ears and touched his tongue with saliva. He looked at the sky, sighed and said “open up”. Health regained instantly.
Several diseases Matthew 15: 29-31 The crowds placed at the feet of Jesus all kinds of sick people: deaf, dumb, lame, blind, and much more. We do not know how, but he healed them. Health regained instantly.
Blood flow Matthew 9: 20-22 She touched the edge of Jesus’ mantle while thinking, “If I can at least touch his mantle, I’ll be healthy.” Jesus turned around, saw her and said: Courage, daughter! Your faith has healed you. Health regained instantly.

We can see that Jesus did not have a specific pattern or formula to heal. Sometimes the sick asked for healing; other times his friends or relatives did. But on some occasions he decided to heal without being asked. What we do see in Jesus is the certainty that it was the right time for healing to come to that person.

What was the “secret” of Jesus’ ministry? He kept in communication with the Father and followed His direction and guidance in everything he did and said (John 5: 17-18, John 8:26). Even being God, he decided to submit to the will of the Father.

Certainly I assure you that the Son can not do anything on his own, but only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does, the Son also does.
(John 5:19)

How to pray for the sick

As children of God we have already experienced the power of God. We know that He, as a good Father that He is, wants to give good things to his children (Matthew 7:11) and he encourages us to ask for what we need.

Ask and it will be given; look, and you will find; call, and it will be opened. For everyone who asks receives; the one who searches, finds; and to the one who calls, it is opened. Who of you, if your child asks for bread, gives you a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, does he give him a snake? For if you, even though you are evil, know how to give good things to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!
(Matthew 7: 7-11)

But we must not demand what we want or ask for anything that suits us. We must ask with humility (2 Chronicles 7: 14-15), within the will of God (1 John 5: 14-15), with faith (James 5: 14-15), trusting that what God does (or does not) is the best for us.

Prayer for healing should be part of our lives as Christians because it is within the mission that God has entrusted to those who believe in Him.

These signs will accompany those who believe in Jesus: in my name they will expel demons; they will speak in new languages; they will take serpents in their hands; and, when they drink something poisonous, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover health. “
(Mark 16: 17-18)

We will not do these things with our own strengths. We will do them in the name of Jesus , in humility, and following his example (Philippians 2: 1-11).

What happens if God does not heal?

There are times when God decides not to physically heal a person. When this happens you have to remember the following:

  • We must continue to trust in the power, love, and kindness that God has for us. He already granted us the miracle of eternal life and that is what we really need.

Because the wages of sin is death, while the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ, our Lord.
(Romans 6:23)

  • We should not blame ourselves or the sick person. We must submit to the will of God because there are things that we will not understand while we are in our human body.

Now we see indirectly and veiled, as in a mirror; but then we will see face to face. Now I know imperfectly, but then I will know as I am known.
(1 Corinthians 13:12)

  • Remember that God’s thoughts are different from ours and what He most desires is to give us that which helps us in our spiritual growth.

Because my thoughts are not yours, nor are your ways mine, says the Lord.
(Isaiah 55: 8)

  • Do not resist the will of God but strengthen us in Him and rest in His promises.

For thus says the omnipotent Lord, the Holy One of Israel: “In repentance and calm is your salvation, in serenity and trust is your strength, but you do not want to acknowledge it!
(Isaiah 30:15)

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