A Biblical Framework For Ministry 2
Laying on of hands with prayer Photo: © Bill Welch Lightstock.com
D. PRAYING FOR GUIDANCE: Lord, Teach Us To Pray
After seeking to ascertain as much information as possible and discerning the underlying nature of the problem, the next task is to ask God to show us how to pray for the person seeking healing (For example JOHN 12:49-50)This involves listening to what the Holy Spirit is saying.
eg In praying for a person complaining of headaches, but who also shared her grief at the death of a favourite aunt, a minister sensed the Holy Spirit saying "Don't pray for her head; pray for her heart." When he was obedient, the woman said: "The headache's away!" What the LORD had shown him was that her headaches were associated with her heartache at the death of her beloved aunt.
Another situation where listening to what God is saying is especially important is when praying for someone who is reported to be dying. The question here is: "LORD, is this sickness to life or to death?"
Death is the ultimate 'healing' since it brings God's complete shalom and the end of all pain, suffering & sorrow. The examples of the raising of Jairus' daughter (MARK 5:21-43), the raising of Tabitha (ACTS 9:36-40) and of Jesus' friend Lazarus (JOHN 11:1-45) show how important it can be to ask this question and seek God's guidance.
E. PRAYING FOR HEALING: Types of Prayers
Several types of prayer for healing and/or deliverance are mentioned in the New Testament, including -
• Asking God to heal the person in Jesus' name
• Declaring a person healed in the name of Jesus Christ
• Rebuking a demonic spirit & ordering it to leave a person
• Laying hands on the person & praying for healing
• Laying on hands & anointing the person with oil while praying for healing
• Confession of sins before prayer for healing & anointing by the elders
The key, as in any form of ministry, is to listen to what the Holy Spirit says and then follow his instructions.
As Mary said to the servants at the wedding in Cana "Do whatever he tells you." (JOHN 2:1-11)