What is the gift of healing?
Through prayer under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, people who are sick in body and/or soul are healed supernaturally in whole or in part. Since 1 Cor. 12:9 speaks of “gifts of healing”, that is, a plurality of gifts of healing, it must be assumed that there are people through whom God heals only certain diseases, and that for other diseases prayer in authority from God by other Christians is necessary.
Modern medicine can do much more today than it used to. Why do we still need this gift today?
We are very grateful for the many things that are possible today with medicine. Nevertheless, this gift is still urgently needed today.
- Even today, not all diseases can be cured with modern medicine. A very experienced and successful head physician of a psychiatric clinic had to tell a patient he was treating: “No human being can help you anymore.”
- Bacteria and viruses are increasingly appearing that can no longer be combated with the antibiotics available today.
- Some therapies are associated with such a reduction in quality of life and comparatively low prospects of a successful cure that one wonders whether it is really worth the effort.
- Several medical interventions mean that patients are dependent on the supply of certain drugs for the rest of their lives. If one day, for some reason, the supply of this medication is no longer guaranteed, this could very quickly lead to illness or death.
- The poor of this world cannot pay for modern medical care because they work in day labor and earn so little in a healthy condition that it is just enough to pay for food, housing and clothing. They do not have savings or health insurance. When they are sick, they earn nothing. This problem is currently extremely aggravated by the fact that due to the policy of saving the climate, the cost of energy is increasing extremely sharply and is therefore no longer affordable for many. A great many jobs have been lost due to the extreme increase in energy costs and the drastic measures taken to combat epidemics. It is to be expected that a continuation of the present policy will lead to a drastic impoverishment of wide circles of the population and to a drastic reduction of general medical care in the industrialized countries as well.
So we urgently need supernatural healing, and the opinion that the supernatural healing of the sick by God only happened because it authenticated the divinity of Jesus and the authorization of the New Testament as the word of God and consequently is no longer necessary after the 2nd century after Chrisus, thus seems completely absurd. And there is the danger that people, who are denied prayer for healing by the Christian church, go to a medicine man, shaman or other occult healer and actually get help there, but thereby also become entangled in occult ties that could ultimately lead to the loss of their eternal life.
What is the basis for the gift of healing the sick?
The basis for the gift of healing is Jesus’ completed sacrifice on the cross. Matthew quotes Isaiah 53 when reporting about healings by Jesus: “But when evening came, they brought to Him (i.e. Jesus) many who were demon-possessed, and He cast out the spirits by a word and healed all who were sick, so that what was said by Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled: He Himself took upon Him our infirmities and bore our diseases.” (Mt. 8:15-17) From these verses it is very clear that Jesus took upon Himself not only our sins and our corrupt human nature, but also all diseases of the body and soul. Therefore, it must be assumed that God normally wants to heal people, because He paid everything for it. A Christian church that does not want to use the gift of healing is thus blocking much good that God wants to give.
Will all the people who are prayed for be healed?
First of all, we must always keep in mind that it is God who heals. Jesus said of Himself, “The Son can do nothing of Himself unless He sees the Father do something, for whatever He (i.e., the Father) does, the Son also does in exactly the same way.” (Jn 5:19) Whoever wants to pray for the sick under the authority of God should do so only under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and always be aware that he is completely dependent on God in this.
God is all-powerful, and no disease is too difficult for Him. For the God who created heaven and earth from nothing through His powerful Word, it is a small matter to grow a healthy leg or arm completely from nothing in an instant. Nick Vujicic was born without arms and legs and despite his disability he became a radiant Christian through whom God can encourage and motivate many people.
People with the hereditary disease trisomy C are different from usual and for a long time were considered mentally handicapped and people with low life expectancy. Today, most of these people are killed in the womb. Meanwhile, there are people with trisomy C who have completed university studies and people who run their own businesses. People with trisomy C are particularly loving and were therefore the sunshine for the homes that took in disabled people. Reiner personally knows a man with trisomy C who lived to be over 60 years old and lived with his parents his entire life. His widowed mother said of him, “He is the joy of my old age.”
We know a young man who was diagnosed with spina bifida (open back) and hydrocephalus (water head) in the womb. The parents were very much urged to have this child killed while still in the womb and had to fight very hard for the mother to be able to carry it to term. The young man is paraplegic and has to be catheterized every 3 hours around the clock. Therefore, his father decided not to open his own medical practice, but to be employed by the state as a medical officer in order to have a profession with regular working hours and without overtime. We visited this family and found an excellent and exemplary family life. The son is now grown up and works in an office. He is a wonderful personality and a great joy to all who meet him.
There are people whom God asks if they are willing to walk a path for Him in sickness and/or disability. Christine, for example, was asked by God if she would be willing to be confined to a wheelchair, and she accepted. She used to be a very efficient worker who, for example, had to prepare, dress and set 120 different dinners within 2 hours. In addition, she also had to clean and put away all the equipment and machines used for this purpose during this period. She liked to do a lot of hands-on work. God left her in a wheelchair so that she now has the time to collect donations for Christians in the 3rd world and to be in conversation with donors and aid recipients, which is not always easy. For our marriage, Christine’s path is not an obstacle, but has brought us closer together.
People who are sick because they are enslaved by the devil can expect to be healed if they are prayed for on God’s behalf. People who have been led a path by God in sickness are not usually healed through healing prayer.