1. God is loving and God is good.
2. Sickness is usually not the result of personal sin.
3. Jesus healed hundreds, possibly thousands of people in the New Testament. He is able and willing to heal today!
4. Technically, Jesus didn’t simply “pray” for the sick. He actually “commanded” them to be healed.
This is really interesting as you walk through the New Testament. When Jesus confronted sickness, disease or lifelong debilitating conditions, He "commanded" healing to take place. For instance,
Jesus commanded the lame to stand up (Jn. 5:8-9; Mk. 2:11)!
He commanded a man with a deformed or shriveled hand, “Hold out your hand.” (Mt. 12:9-13).
Jesus commanded the ears of the deaf to, “Be opened!” (Mk. 7:31-35).
Jesus commanded a guy with leprosy, “Be healed!” (Mt. 8:1-3).
Before healing a woman whose body had been emaciated by illness. For 18 years this woman had been afflicted, and her affliction was so severe that her body had become bent and twisted by her condition. Some speculate that her condition was some form of crippling arthritis.
But before touching this woman, Jesus spoke to the woman: “Woman! You are free! You are healed of your sickness!” Then, He touched her. And, “…suddenly...” I love that word!
After 18 years of questions… 18 years of excruciating pain… After 18 years of being bent, mangled and twisted by this illness… “…suddenly this woman was standing straight and tall, giving glory to God!” (Lk 13:10-16).
This is how Jesus “prayed” for sick people in the Gospels! He spoke directly to the affliction and commanded it to get into alignment with the Word of God!
There's only one instance regarding healing where the New Testament describes Jesus as "praying." He prayed at the tomb of Lazarus. It’s one of the most intimate prayers in the New Testament.
Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, thank you for hearing me. You always hear me, but I said it out loud for the sake of all these people standing here, so that they will believe you sent me.” Then Jesus shouted… —John 11:41-43a NLT
Underline the phrase, “Jesus shouted…”
It’s from two words in the Greek — “megas,” which means, “great,” and, “kraugazo,” which means, “to cry out, cry aloud, or to shout.”
Have you ever wondered how Jesus feels about death and everything that precedes it? John 11 gives us a hint, because at the tomb of Lazarus, Jesus wept and He shouted! He cried out! Then, He commanded… “Lazarus, come out!” (Jn 11:43)
This is critically important in understanding God's heart regarding sickness, disease and the pain we experience in this broken world! Jesus got ticked at sickness! He was angry about it! His anger wasn't a revelation of some kind of subtle frustration against people… It was a revelation of God’s heart when it comes to the brokenness in this world, and anything and everything that keeps people from experiencing all that God longs for them to experience… He's angry about it! He weeps over the brokenness of this world, and, one day, ultimately, He will set it all right! (Revelation 21:1-7)
This same pattern of authority in prayer continues in the book of Acts, following Jesus' death, burial, resurrection and ascension. Taking a "cue" from their leader, the followers of Jesus in the book of Acts did the same thing they had watched Him do.
For instance, one day Peter and John were on their way into the temple. A guy lame from birth – His muscles atrophied – so, obviously this would require more than a Jedi mind-trick, was laying near the beautiful gate of the temple hoping that people "on their way to church" would have compassion on him and give him some spare change.
Peter saw the dude! Evidently, He remembered the commission Jesus gave: "Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons! Freely you have received; freely give" (Matthew 10:8; Luke 9:1-5). Peter immediately decided God’s agenda was more important than his agenda. So, he stopped. Here's the way it reads in the book of Acts:
Peter and John looked at him intently, and Peter said, “Look at us!” The lame man looked at them eagerly, expecting some money.
But Peter said, “I don’t have any silver or gold for you. But I’ll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk!” —Acts 3:4-6 NLT
Then Peter took the lame man by the right hand and helped him up. And as he did, the man’s feet and ankles were instantly healed and strengthened. He jumped up, stood on his feet, and began to walk! Then, walking, leaping, and praising God, he went into the Temple with them. —Acts 3:7-8 NLT
Peter commanded healing! "...in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk!"
Have you ever wondered, Why do we pray “in the name of Jesus”?
The “name of Jesus” is more than a cute tag or phrase to stick at the end of prayer. Here's the way one scholar describes it:
“In [Jewish] thought, a name doesn’t just identify or distinguish a person; it expresses the very nature of [that person’s] being. Hence the power of the person is present and available in the name of the person.” —Longnecker quoted in Holman New Testament Commentary
Did you get that? "...the power of the person is present and available in the name of the person."
To pray “in the name of Jesus” literally means to pray “by virtue of Jesus’ character, authority and power.”
To pray or do anything in “the name of Jesus” means to “…act consistent with His will; to do what He would do if He were here, to act in His authority and with His delegated power.”
When we pray “in the name of Jesus” it's not a cute cliché that we put at the end of every prayer to somehow "Christian-ize" that prayer. When we pray in Jesus' name, we are saying, “I’m bringing everything Jesus is… Everything He has… All that He has done… All that He is presently doing… I’m bringing it all into this situation! I’m not standing here in my own strength or ability, I’m standing here in the strength, power, authority and ability of Jesus Himself!”
The name of Jesus represents “everything Jesus is and everything Jesus can do.” When we pray in His name, we are believing God to do what Jesus would do if He were here!
So, today, dear child of God, if you are struggling, suffering or in pain, speak to the afflicted part of your body. Do not ignore or deny the pain, but in humble reliance upon Jesus, speak healing, grace and wholeness to your body, in the mighty name of Jesus Christ!
...in humble reliance upon Jesus, speak healing, grace
and wholeness to your body,
in the mighty name of Jesus Christ!