The third step of the healing procedure is prayer selection. This step answers the question, “What kind of prayer is needed to help this person?” There are many ways in which we may pray for healing…several different kinds of prayers used in divine healing – prayers of petition and intercession, words of command, and so on. These different types of healing prayers fall into two categories, petitions directed toward God and words that we receive from God and speak to a condition or demon. John Wimber
Our Theme: ON HEALING.
Not until I met John Wimber, did I realize that we have so many different healing prayers to choose from when we pray for the sick! And much like Wimber’s testimony, it wasn’t until I actually took the time to scour the New Testament for myself, looking specifically at Jesus’ prayers for healing, did I begin to move away from my longtime, one-and-only prayer for healing, “God, guide the surgeon’s hand!” I now have a toolbox of different prayers available to me when I pray for those who are looking to Jesus for healing.
Let’s start, first and foremost, with the type of prayers that you and I are most familiar with. Many people call these prayers of petition or intercessory prayer. I like to call them God-directed prayers.
My long-time standard, “Guide the doctor’s hand,” is a prayer of petition, and while this prayer is not a bad one, I must confess that for most of my life prior to meeting Wimber, I used this prayer in a way that was conveying to God more resignation on my part than anything else. But something changed for me when I began to study the prayers of Jesus. It was then I started to see the real power behind his prayers of petition.
Take the Lord’s Prayer, for example. When Jesus prays, “your kingdom come, your will be done,” this is a prayer of petition where Jesus is going much further than making a mere suggestion to God. Jesus is actually invoking the in-breaking powers of God’s kingdom, asking God, his Father, to step into this immediate moment, bringing with him his sovereign right to make earthly situations conform to the sovereignty of God Almighty.
These prayers of petition and invocation are so much more than just a feeble hope. While invoking God’s presence might seem a bit bold to some, quite honestly, it’s always important when praying for others to remind ourselves that we truly need God’s presence if anything of any importance is going to happen. Prayers such as “Come, Holy Spirit” or “Jesus, we ask you to be with us here right now” might seem strange to some, but over the years, I’ve found that it is always good to remind ourselves that our prayers for the sick will fall worthless to the ground unless Jesus and his healing presence is there. As Psalm 127:1 says so succinctly, “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who labor, do so in vain.” Prayers of petition when prayed in firm belief of God’s powerful sovereignty, do bring his power and presence in ways that are quite amazing!
The second type of prayer Wimber taught us to pray is somewhat different than a God-directed prayer of petition. As I see it, these prayers are the kind that most of us are not very comfortable praying! Yet when one studies the prayers of Jesus, we will begin to see him using, what some call, a commanding prayer, or a proclamation prayer. This is the type of prayer where Jesus isn’t asking God for healing (petition), but Jesus, himself, is proclaiming a truth or command directly to the person he is praying for, or even more interesting, to what we, in our Westernized society, would consider as an inanimate object.
Often in the gospels, we find Jesus, when he is ministering to a sick person, speaking directly to that person, (“Be healed,” “See” or “Take up your mat and walk”). And on other occasions, we find Jesus speaking directly to a disease or a demon, commanding these objects to move away from the person who is being afflicted or tormented by them.
Now, to be quite honest, learning to pray these types of proclamation prayers over others is difficult, at best. But as Wimber suggests, there will be times as you and I pray for the sick, when we will feel an unction or inward push from God’s Spirit to speak out with authority a strong prayer of proclamation or command. It’s been my personal experience that these types of prayers are not ones that originate in my mind, but seem to be born out of a powerful unction of God’s Spirit, given in his authority to speak God’s will into a situation where less than that has been occurring.
Jesus, I stand amazed at your model for healing found in the gospels. Indeed, you had a tool-belt of different prayers that you used wisely in each situation that came your way. Holy Spirit, teach me, empower me, and in-dwell me as I go out and pray for the sick. May I learn, along the way, the many tools of prayer readily available to me. For your name’s sake. Amen!
QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO PONDER
- What changes do I need to make in my approach to the healing ministry of Jesus?
- Am I utilizing the full array of prayers modeled for me by Jesus, or am I using a “one-size-fits-all” prayer of petition approach?
- What additional prayers, like proclamation prayers, or prayers of command, can I add to my healing tool-belt?
So, what is God speaking to you today as you ponder the Wisdom of Wimber?
Between Easter 2016 and the end of August, we are sharing with you a blog series we call The Wisdom of Wimber: As I See It. In order to keep all 64 blog sessions organized, we suggest you bookmark our Wisdom of Wimber page for ease of use. Might we also suggest that you order a copy or two of our book by the same title! It’s available in both paperback and e-book formats…and will soon be available in Spanish! Click here for more info. ENJOY!
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