6.5 The Prayer Engagement: How Effective Are Our Prayers?


The fourth step of the healing procedure is prayer engagement. This step answers the question, “How effective are our prayers?” The prayer engagement consists of prayer, laying on of hands, and, when needed, further interviewing. The way we pray is determined by our diagnostic decision and prayer selection. After laying on hands, I pray aloud that the Holy Spirit come and minister to the person. My prayers are quite simple: “Holy Spirit, I invite you to come on this person and release your healing power,” or “Holy Spirit, come and show us how to pray,” or, more succinctly, “Holy Spirit, come.” People respond to the power of the Holy Spirit in ways that are not always predictable. These “manifestations,” or phenomena that occur among people in response to God’s power and truth, vary in form: falling over, shaking, sobbing, laughing, screaming out – the list of unusual emotional and physical phenomena is quite long. John Wimber

Our Theme: ON HEALING.

As you can see from reading Wimber’s quote above, the actual prayer engagement, when using his model, is vastly different than the typical approach to prayer taught in most churches. In the past, I’d always been taught to fold my hands and close my eyes when I prayed. But Wimber taught us a radically different approach. And as I see it, the idea of keeping my eyes open as I pray for someone, looking and listening for what God might be doing while asking questions of the person I’m praying for, is a difficult change for many, but well worth the effort when we do!

Over the years, as I’ve prayed for the sick, it’s amazing to see how many times God steps in and begins to work as I cooperate with his time table. Rather than quickly blurting out a nice little healing prayer, I’ve learned that waiting and watching as I pray pays great dividends in the process. Many times, for example, people who are being prayed for do receive from Jesus if we can just relax and let that happen.

I recall one recent prayer experience when I was praying for a person, and after a longer period of silence, I noticed their countenance changing. When we began the prayer for healing, the person seemed rather frustrated and wound-up. But several minutes later as we slowed it down and I encouraged the person to relax, I noticed that the person became much more peaceful. Taking Wimber’s advice, I quietly asked the person what they were feeling. The person hesitated at first to talk, but I reminded them that our conversation wouldn’t interrupt Jesus’ work, so the person said, “I feel more peace inside.” We waited for a while longer, and then I asked again, “What’s going on now?” The person responded that they felt warmth over their head and shoulders. In this particular case, the Lord obviously wanted to heal the person’s anxiousness and worry about their ailment. As it turned out, the person went home that evening and reported a breakthrough with their sickness the next day!

Thanks to this simple prayer model, I was able to use some of the ideas that I learned, while slowing down my prayer engagement with that person, thus giving the Lord much more time and space to do what he wanted to do. Looking back at that particular prayer time, I realized that I actually prayed few words but asked a lot more questions. In the process, Jesus took his time to touch the person in deeper places than I could ever access.

Thanks, John, for sharing this model!

Next time, let’s look at Wimber’s fifth and final step: The Post-Prayer Direction.


Jesus, on one hand, it’s amazing to me that you invite me to join you in your healing ministry. Yet, thanks to your servant, John Wimber, I’ve come to realize that you really do enjoy working with me as I’m praying for healing with others. Holy Spirit, may I always give you plenty of time to work as I’m praying my prayers for healing. For your name’s sake. Amen!


  • In our fast-paced world where ‘git-r-done’ is both the procedure and the process, how can I slow myself down long enough to allow the Lord to engage with a person as I’m praying for their healing?
  • What needs to change in my prayers for others so that they know it’s both permissible and positive to take our time, interacting with both God and with each other as we’re seeking healing from above?

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!

If you like what you’re reading, might we suggest you share this page with others! 

Click here to go on to the next blog in this series…

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