Learn to Pray for Healing: Twelve Steps to Powerful Prayers

Learn to Pray for Healing

Did you know that you can learn to pray for healing? Jesus said, "And these signs will accompany those who believe: by using my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes in their hands, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover." Clearly Jesus is not talking about "the miracle of life", an amazing coincidence, or learning to appreciate the small things. He's talking about real, honest, supernatural acts of God. Too good to be true? No, it's not! It's a trustworthy promise from God that you can take to the bank. How cool is that?!

But if you're like most Christians, you've probably never even seen a miracle, much less dreamed of doing one. Maybe you've never tried to pray for healing because God doesn't even answer your smallest prayers. Maybe you are trying to learn to pray for healing, but your prayers haven't been answered. Do you want to see more results from your prayers?

After I learned to pray for healing a couple of years ago, I've had the honor of teaching many other people to pray big prayers as well. As they learn to pray for healing, they usually struggle for a while, then suddenly, something clicks and their prayers are answered consistently.

We're going to troubleshoot your prayer life! I'm going to share with you the most common lessons I've learned and I've seen others learn that help them "get it" and see results from their prayers. If you put these 12 steps into action, I guarantee you will see God answer your prayers more and more!

1) Take bigger risks

The rewards for performing miracles are amazing. But it comes at a cost. 

Jesus told a story about a man who gave money to his slaves expecting them to invest it. Two of them made good returns on their investments, but the third was afraid he'd loose everything so he simply saved it. This is what the master said about him:
“For to everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. Throw out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
This slave wasn't called wicked because he made a bad investment, but because he refused to even try. He feared risk. The first two slaves didn't know their investments were going to pay off. They had to take a risk. The meaning is very clear: Jesus our master expects us to take risks with what he's given us.

Your master has given you things: faith, friendships, knowledge, family, a job. If you don't put them on the line, you may end up in the outer darkness. The spiritual economy is just like the natural economy. The risk you take is proportional to the reward you make. If you want to see bigger results with your prayers, start taking bigger risks.

2) Pray the right prayer

When most people start to learn to pray for healing, they pray something like this: "Lord Jesus, please heal this person". If you've ever prayed that prayer, I'm sure Jesus is scratching his head wondering why you're asking him to heal that person when he's already told you to do it!

When Jesus calmed the wind and the waves, did he ask God to do it? No, he commanded them himself. When Jesus cast out demons, did he ask God to do it? No, he commanded them himself. When he healed lepers and paralytics, did he ask God to do it? No, he commanded them to be healed.

I know what you're thinking: "Jesus doesn't need to pray because he's God. That's why we ask him to do it". But Jesus' disciples did miracles in the same way Jesus did. Peter and Paul healed healed a great many people simply by telling them to be healed in Jesus' name. That's because Jesus delegated to his disciples the very same "authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness" that he had. You are also a disciple and the same authority has been given to you!

If you want to learn to pray for healing, don't make a request of God. Use the authority he already gave you by commanding what you want in the name of Jesus.

3) Expect healing

In the Bible, when did the healing actually occur? Was it while they were praying? Nope! It was when they tested it out in faith. For example:
As He entered a village, ten leprous men who stood at a distance met Him; and they raised their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” When He saw them, He said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they were going, they were cleansed.
Again...
The blind man said to him, “My teacher, let me see again.” Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way. 
And again...
he said to the paralytic— “I say to you, stand up, take your mat and go to your home.” And he stood up, and immediately took the mat and went out before all of them.
Jesus and his disciples didn't bother to pray for a long time. They didn't ask the person if they felt different in the process. They didn't politely ask them to try moving their legs. They simply told the person to "get up ans walk," and they did!

If you don't expect your prayer to work, it's not going to. Healing doesn't come through prayer or a ritual. It comes through faith. "Faith without works is dead." You work out your faith by putting it to the test. Take a leap of faith and test it out!

4) Don't make excuses

When we pray for healing and don't see our prayers answered, we love to come up with reasons why. We say the person has unforgiveness, or sin, or God didn't come through, or it's God's will for the person to suffer for the greater good. But these are just excuses, and the one thing they have in common is that they places the blame on someone other than yourself.

As Jesus' disciples were learning to pray, they failed many times. Did they ever blame God or the person receiving prayer? When Jesus' disciples couldn't cast out a demon, Jesus criticized their lack of faith. When Jesus' disciples couldn't understand what he was saying, he criticized their lack of faith. When Peter walked on water then started to sink, Jesus criticized his lack of faith. When his disciples failed to calm the storm, Jesus criticized their lack of faith.

When our prayers aren't answered, it's not because God failed, or the person receiving prayer isn't right. The problem is your lack of faith. If you fail as you learn to pray for healing, do not despair! Failure is part of the learning process. But you won't learn anything if you make excuses or place blame on someone else. Accept responsibility, and keep trying so that your faith can grow.

5) Learn to be confident

Faith is one of those abstract religious terms that can mean a lot of different things. Let's make it really practical. What is faith? Faith is confidence in God. Confidence is not just an abstract belief in something, but an attitude. Your attitude will be apparent by how you act. So if you're timid, anxious, or awkward when you pray for healing, you're going to have a much harder time seeing results.

Smile and have fun! Take control of the situation. You have been delegated authority by Jesus Christ himself who sits on the throne! If you lay hands on someone, don't ask them first -- tell them what you're going to do. If you want someone to test it out after you pray for healing, don't ask them to test it -- tell them what you want them to do. Confidence like this is how you demonstrate your faith.

This kind of confidence is hard to have when you're just starting to learn to pray for healing, but do your best. The more you do it, the more comfortable and confident you will become, so don't get discouraged and give it time to grow. And if you're completely terrified, don't worry; fake confidence is almost as good as the real thing!

6) Get the Holy Spirit

To be honest, having this kind of confidence is not natural for our rational, suborn minds. It takes help. That's why Jesus gave us the Helper -- the Holy Spirit.

A lot of people think that the Holy Spirit gives some people super powers called spiritual gifts for things like healing and miracles, and if you don't have the gift, you can't do it. But actually, a spiritual gift is just like any other gifting. Some people are gifted at sports or music. That doesn't mean that others can't learn to play football or the piano, it just takes them more effort. Jesus commanded his disciples to pray for healing. Some are more gifted than others. But not having a gifting is not an excuse to disobey Jesus.

The Holy Spirit will help you to have the faith you need to walk in the healing authority of Jesus, and probably help in other areas you're gifted in as well. To receive the Holy Spirit, you need to first repent and be baptized. But even if you've already done this, you may not have the Spirit. If you're not sure, find someone who does have the Holy Spirit, and ask them to pray for you.

7) Repent from sin

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.
It's not enough to have the Holy Spirit -- we must also walk in the Spirit. To walk in the Spirit, we must put away the sinful desires of the flesh. Psalms says, "If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened". Don't think that God will hear your prayer for healing if you have sin in your life. You must repent.

8) Don't try so hard

You're learning to pray for healing in the name of Jesus, not by your own authority. If you're practicing healing by your own authority, you're practicing sorcery. So remember that it's not by your power or strength or authority that you heal, it's by the power, strength, and authority of Jesus. The more you rely on him, the less you have to do. The less you do, the more powerful your prayer will be.

The words you use don't matter. Where you lay your hands doesn't matter. There is no ritual or process. Don't concentrate too hard. Don't pray for a long time. Don't use medical terms. Don't use big words. Jesus said, "And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words. So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him."

9) Pray for the right reasons

Paul was arguably one of the most prolific healers in history. And what spiritual gift did he say was most important?
If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.
Your faith and spiritual gifts don't matter if they're not used in love. Don't think that you're obeying Jesus just by performing miracles in his name. You're only obeying him if you're doing it out of love. Look at what Jesus said:
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’"
Lawlessness is a lack of love for God and others. As we learn to pray for healing, we must remember that our motivation should always be love. That is true obedience.

10) Find a mentor

Learning to pray for healing alone is really hard. But praying for healing with other people is easy! When Jesus sent out his disciples to pray for healing and cast out demons, he sent them two-by-two. He knew what he was doing. 

If you're struggling to pray for healing, or not seeing results with your prayers, find someone else who has more experience to pray with you. Usually just seeing other people perform miracles is enough to get you over that hump and doing it yourself. This is what discipleship is all about.

Here is a great resource for finding other disciples: https://map.thelastreformation.com/#

11) Spend time with God

When Jesus' disciples failed to cast out a demon and asked Jesus why they couldn't do it, Jesus replied, "Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you. But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” 

The implication is that spending time with God through prayer and fasting will increase your faith. Making sacrifices to spend time with God will help grow your faith and make your prayers even more powerful. 

12) Be ready for attack

Ironically, some of my biggest doubts came right after I saw the biggest miracles happen. When you pray for healing and start to see results, the Devil will take note and he will not be happy. As you walk in greater power and authority, be ready for spiritual attack in the form of doubts and rationalizations. You may have thoughts like these:
  • "That person probably was just saying they were healed to get me to go away." 
  • "They might feel better now, but it will probably come back."
  • "That healing wasn't the power of God, it was the power of suggestion -- just a placebo."
  • "Since I didn't see healing right away, it probably didn't work."
Know that these thoughts are coming so that you can be ready to fight them. Do not believe it! Simply ignore them. If you want to see more powerful healings, you must grow your faith. Your faith will grow as you continue believe.

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