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What is Christian Healing?

Before looking at what Christian healing is, let's look at what is isn't. Christian healing is not either-or. It is not either prayer or seeing the doctor. Healing may come from prayer, through the practice of medicine, or both. Christian healing is not all-or-nothing. It may be improvement, small or large. Christian healing can be instantaneous, but it may not be. It may take time, minutes, hours, months, even years. Sometimes it took time even for Jesus...

And they came to Bethsaida. And some people brought to him a blind man and begged him to touch him. And he took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village, and when he had spit on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, "Do you see anything?" And he looked up and said, "I see men, but they look like trees, walking." Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he opened his eyes, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.
(Mark 8:22-25 ESV)

Most often we think of healing as being miraculously cured from a physical disease. But Christian healing is much more than that. There are four different kinds of sickness and the prayers for healing:

  • Sickness of our spirit, caused by our own personal sin -- prayer for repentance. "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9 NKJV)
  • Emotional sickness and problems caused by the emotional hurts of our past -- prayer for inner healing ("healing of memories").
  • Physical sickness in our bodies, caused by disease or accidents -- prayer for physical healing.
  • Emotional and/or physical sickness caused by demonic oppression -- prayer for deliverance.

What if we pray for someone to be healed, and then that person dies? "It didn't work," we think. But consider this:

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD.
"As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:7-9; NIV)

We have certain expectations. God's plan just might not agree with ours; His priorities just might be different. So in Christian healing, we pray. We "come boldly unto the throne of grace" (Heb 4:16; KJV) in confidence that our High Priest, Jesus, will hear our prayer. We expect our prayers to be answered. But we accept that they will be answered not necessarily in the way we want; not necessarily when we want. We can't put God in a box.

In Christian healing, our job is to lift up the person in need of healing to Jesus. Jesus does the rest.