Does God Want Everyone to Be Healed? The Most Popular Healing Questions Answered
By Steve Long,
I recently went to my dentist's office for a check-up. As I sat in the reclining chair, the hygienist looked at my file, and said, "It's you!"
She had been praying that I’d be her patient again. My dentist has about eight hygienists, so I hadn’t seen this one for about two years. The last time she had been my hygienist, she’d told me that she and her husband were not able to have a child. Her husband was infertile. I felt a prompting to speak over her life and said, “By June you’ll be pregnant.” She told me that she did get pregnant in June 2017 and how has a son!
Supernatural physical healing is supposed to be a normal part of life for followers of Jesus. Every Christian can minister healing. You don’t have to be the leader of a church, God can use you wherever you are, whether you’re at church, at home, or getting your teeth cleaned, like me!
Here are the most popular questions that I’m asked when I teach about healing.
Does God want everyone to be healed?
I’ve found that one of the challenges in ministering is actually convincing people that God wants them healed. God does want you healed! We can— and should— live without pain.
In Matthew 8:2, the leprous man asks Jesus, “Lord, if you are willing” (NIV). This is the only time that the question of God’s will for healing is directly referred to. Jesus could have answered with a parable. He could have given a detailed reply. But Jesus’ answer was concise: “I am willing.” One question, one answer.
When Jesus was asked by His twelve disciples how to pray, He included an interesting statement about the will of God. “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10 NIV). If heaven has no sickness, no mental health challenges, no poverty and no poor relationships, then the will of God is for health, financial blessing, and good relationships on planet earth!
God is willing to heal. He wants to heal men and women of every kind of sickness.
Does God still heal today?
God does not change. Hebrews 13:8 states, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (NIV). Not only does He stay the same, but He is actually incapable of changing. God can’t lie. He can’t change His mind or break a promise. If God doesn’t change, then everything in the Bible relating to healing— the promises of God in the Old Testament, the words of Jesus in the New Testament, and the teachings of the apostles— is valid today.
Many churches teach on dispensationalism. They believe that God works differently with humanity in different eras of human history. I believe that this man-made doctrine, which in my opinion does not have any sound biblical support, was developed as an explanation for times that people are not healed. The only problem with this well-meaning teaching is that it goes against the clear teaching of God’s Word from Hebrews 13:8. If God wanted to heal in the past, He must still want to heal today!
How Were People Healed in the Bible?
Every person who came to Jesus was healed regardless of his or her disease. The history of their suffering was irrelevant. No need to ask for God’s permission; Jesus knew that God wanted people well.
Matthew 8 tells four stories of healing that teach us a lot about Jesus’ healing ministry:
The first story shows us that it’s God’s will for people to be healed.
In the second story, the centurion, a man in authority, figured out that Jesus was a middleman acting on behalf of a higher commander.
The third story happens during lunch on a Sabbath day at Peter’s home. It illustrates that Jesus simply responded to people in need. He always met needs.
The fourth story is about what happened later that same day when those in a large crown were all healed. The fact that the crowd was all healed demonstrates that there are no reasons or excuses that limit healing. It also shows that there is no limit to what the anointing can do!
How Are People Healed Today?
The healings that happened in the New Testament are possible today. Jesus ministered healing in many different ways:
He was motivated by compassion.
He touched people.
He ministered with a healing word.
He had a revelation of healing.
He used the gifts of the Spirit.
He healed people from a distance.
I’ve seen healing happen in all of these ways. Compassion is one of my main motivators to approach strangers. I feel the love of God for them and the injustice of their problem or pain, which often is visible.
A while back I saw a child with a body cast. I went over and asked through a translator what had happened. The mom told me that her son’s legs were misaligned and he had just had surgery to reset his legs. She let me pray for him. The boy began to walk better instantly, without his crutches, to the point where they took off the leg brace. This amazing healing started with me simply thinking, "that's not right" and having compassion.
What Blocks Healing?
It’s true that not everybody is healed when we pray for them. Doubt and lies can stop people from being healed:
DOUBT is the enemy of our miracles. Faith is the opposite of doubt. In Matthew 9, we read the story of the woman who had been bleeding for 12 years. She hoped that Jesus would heal her, but faith is the step after hope. Faith is acting on our hope. For this lady, faith was doing what she heard from God— actually going to Jesus and touching His clothes. It was the touch that healed her. Her hope became an action that kicked in the power of faith, and her faith caused her to be healed!
When I was learning to pray for healing, many times doubt would creep in and I began to think, “I don’t know about this one.” I’m sure you’ve been in that place too. There were many times when I’d secretly be thinking, “God, I need your faithfulness to override me for this person.” I rarely battle with doubt anymore. Now, if I have a doubt thought, I know that it’s a lie that comes from Satan. If Satan is sending doubts my way, it means that he knows my word of knowledge or intent to pray for someone will result in their healing. That quick question of, “Did I hear from God?” quickly goes away and I become bold to move with a greater expectancy.
LIES steal our healing. Here are some classic lies we tell ourselves:
I’m not good enough
God is working on my character
God is teaching me a lesson
It’s not God’s timing
Sickness is how we die
But I don’t believe in Jesus
All of these lies are completely unfounded. In both Luke 4 and Luke 6, everyone in the crowd was healed. Surely someone in the crowd must have struggled with unworthiness, character issues, didn’t believe Jesus could heal, or was learning a life lesson. In the same way, you can be healed if you don’t feel worthy and have things you need to work on. If any of these lies resonate with you, read more about them in chapter 4 of my book, My Healing Belongs to Me.
How Do I Pray for Healing?
When we pray for healing, our role is to be like Jesus, the middle man. We don't heal, but the Spirit of God does the healing. Jesus knew that it was Father God's will for everyone, everywhere, every time, to be healed. Because Jesus was anointed, He was able to do the Father's will for everyone He approached, and everyone who came to Him! (Acts 10:37-38)
My favourite prayer for healing is:
“My healing belongs to me,
Because of what Jesus has done.
I receive my healing, now!”
One of my healing mentors named Roger Sapp originated this prayer. Its power comes from a person declaring the will of God over their life. I have people repeat the prayer with me. Most people are desperate for their healing and say, “Jesus” despite not necessarily knowing Jesus personally. I find that about seven of ten people feel better or are completely healed. Two of the other ten feel peace. The last one usually thanks me for being thoughtful and offering to pray.
Once I had a guy at a Subway shop say the prayer. He felt much better and asked me how I did the healing. I told him, “I didn't do it, you did!” He looked a bit bewildered until I reminded him that he said, "My healing belongs to me." He understood that he had made a declaration and God granted his request.
Be bold. Step out in faith, and simply have a go. Pray this healing prayer and see what God does!
This blog post includes excerpts from Steve Long’s book My Healing Belongs to Me (2014), with recent stories added. Used with permission. Get the book here.