God is a healer, and he opens hearts for the gospel when we pray for people to be healed.
Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases.—Psalm 103:2-3
One of the names of God is Jehovah Rapha or “God who heals” (Exodus 15:26). Since Jesus is the exact image of God (Hebrews 1:3), it makes sense that He came as a healer. Sickness and disease wasn’t in God’s original design—everything He created was good (Genesis 1). So when Emmanuel (God with us) enters the scene of history, we see Him manifest healing to all who came to Him for healing. What a beautiful God we serve!
Every time we see Jesus send out his disciples, he commands them to heal the sick. This was to display that the Kingdom of God was near. When he returned to heaven, the apostles continued His work of healing and teaching about the Kingdom—and because of this, many thousands became His followers.
Now that you are ‘in Christ,’ it is in your very nature to be a healer—wow! I remember the first time I prayed for healing for someone and saw God heal. I was at a youth camp and an older gentleman was complaining of a painful, swollen knee. During a prayer time, I felt prompted by the Holy Spirit to go and put my hand on his knee (after asking his permission) and to pray for healing. The pain left and the swelling went down, and the difference was plain to see! It brought so much joy— not only to this man, but to all who were there to witness it. And I guess I was a bit shocked too!
God also uses healing to open doors for unbelievers to hear the gospel. I used to be part of a team that ministered in a juvenile detention centre. One of my colleagues would often start by asking if anyone had any pain or sickness. The young people were frequently reluctant to admit it, and instead would be ‘dobbed in’ by someone else. On one particular occasion, a young lad said he had a painful, swollen and cracked tongue. He also ‘dobbed’ on a female guard who had an injury, saying that if his tongue was healed, she would have to accept prayer too. Guess what? On praying for the lad’s tongue, my colleague saw total healing! Amazement spread around the group, and then the female guard received prayer and was healed too! As you can imagine, they were now all-ears to hear the gospel.
Many have questions about healing, and sometimes we don’t see the results we want to. But there is no doubt that God desires to heal and that we can be used by Him to bring that healing to others. I have seen many non-believers soften after they have been prayed for and healed. When the first disciples went out to bring the Kingdom to others, some people didn’t receive them. It will be the same for us as we step out to pray for others. Like them, we just need to move on if we are not received well. But if we are willing to obey Jesus when He prompts us, we will be His agents of increase in this world.
Lord, we thank you that you are Jehovah Rapha, the healer, and that you desire to use us to bring healing and hope to others. We ask that you would give us boldness to pray for the sick, lonely and hurting, and that through us, your healing touch will be upon them. You are Almighty God. Help our unbelief. In Jesus name!
31 Days Prayer Points
1. Pray for five people and share the Good News of Jesus with them.
2. Pray that God would use His people to reach one billion people this May.
3. Pray for an end to the coronavirus pandemic, both in Australia and globally.
Lyndal Walker is the National Prayer Coordinator, Youth For Christ Australia
Join us for our daily one-hour Zoom prayer call:
DATES: 1st– 31st May 2020
TIME: 8PM AEST
ZOOM URL LINK: https://zoom.us/j/776881184
ZOOM MEETING ID: 776881184
Note: Every Sunday night in May, we will have an extended Zoom call from 6PM-9PM AEST.
See Zoom tutorial here.
Daily devotions brought to you by the Canberra Declaration.