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Healing Through Prayer
by R Cecilia Askew
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Last year I was asked to speak on the topic “Healing through Prayer” and, the Holy Spirit told me to share one of my own healing stories and this article is based on the presentation.

This particular story is not only of physical healing, but emotional and spiritual. I thought of Naaman [2nd Kings 5:10-14] because like him I was given specific instructions to follow as I was prepared for surgery a decade and ½ ago. As it turns out the physical surgery brought about spiritual and emotional healing. It was during the time of “name and claim it”, and everything adverse was of the “enemy” and so like a true ‘charismatic’ I rebuked the dream I had concerning this surgery. However, I realised soon that God was using this illness in my life to prepare me for ministry. As I prepared for the surgery the Holy Spirit gave me the following instructions: [1] tell only 12 persons and those 12 only were to be asked to form a prayer circle. Surprisingly this circle did not include “my bosom buddies” but instead spiritual mentors and persons who I met due to my involvement in either Cursillo or some other renewal weekend and, [2] carry to the hospital tapes of Christian music and Christian reading material. Like Naaman I wondered about these things, but did them anyway. As it turns out, my tapes and my books were being utilised by the medial staff at the hospital and in fact one of the attending surgeons, told me he had been looking around for one of the music tapes had and had not been able to find it, so he made a copy and hoped that I didn’t mind. Suppose I didn’t follow the Holy Spirit’s instructions?? I would have lost an opportunity to be of service.

During the presentation I shared some suggestions with the audience regarding “praying for healing” and I share them now as well.

Pray in faith. When you pray for healing, be bold in your asking. Believe God for the healing, for God's name and nature reveal that He is a God who is willing and able to heal. This is a powerful incentive for praying for healing. Don't be intimidated or afraid to pray for healing. It is in God's hands. He is the One who heals. Your responsibility is to pray to Him for the release of His healing power.

Be obedient to the Holy Spirit's leadership. As you pray in faith for healing, be sensitive to the Spirit's leadership. He can and will grant you insights that you will need to intercede. He can reveal areas that you need to cover when praying for someone who is ill.

Pray for the removal of any obstacles to healing.. Develop a balance between your ministry, encouragement and lovingly confronting hindrances to an individuals’ healing. Be aware that certain factors can hinder the person from receiving healing. One example is ‘unforgiveness’. When you pray for healing, ask that God would enable the person to remove any impediment to their healing.

Be Persistent in praying for healing. Do not become discouraged if healing does not take place immediately. Sometimes God is pleased to heal instantaneously, however, there are times when His healing is a process and it happens over time. Simply continue to pray in faith.

God's healing is sometimes heaven. Keep in mind that while God is pleased to heal in this life, HE sometimes heals by taking the person into heaven. They receive the ultimate and eternal healing, for death is the ultimate healer.

Your faith should be fixed on the Healer and not on the healing. God is more important than the healing and an individual's relationship to God is a priority over the healing. Both the sick person and those praying for him or her must seek the Healer first and foremost.

Stay in the Word of God. Prayers for healing must be based on the Word of God. Meditate on God's truth for His affirmations, His commands, and His promises. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you to texts or verses that will give you insight on how to pray in a particular situation. Praying James 5:14-15 or Psalm 103:1-3 is helpful.

Praise God as you pray for healing. Praise releases God's power. He will reveal His power as His people praise Him. When the praise goes up, the power comes down. This is an essential component when praying for healing.

Following are some healing words from God

Exodus 15:26
He said, "If you listen carefully to the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, who heals you."

Deuteronomy 30:19-20
This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Psalm 103:1
Bless the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, bless his holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits--who forgives all [my] your sins and heals all [my] your diseases.

Isaiah 53:4 –5
Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. 5) But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.

Jeremiah 30:17
But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds,' declares the LORD, because you are called an outcast, Zion for whom no one cares.

Matthew 8:2-3
A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, "Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean." 3) Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. "I am willing," he said. "Be clean!" Immediately he was cured of his leprosy.

Matthew 21:21
Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, `Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and it will be done.

1 Peter 2:24
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.

1 John 5:14-15
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us - whatever we ask - we know that we have what we asked of him.

3 John 12
Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.

I would mention here that the Healing Checklist used in my article is based on one found at http://www.healingscripture.com/Checklist.shtml

R. Cecilia Askew

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