Dealing with unanswered prayer

“I have been asking God to heal me for years. I don’t understand why He hasn’t me. I guess it’s not God’s will for me to be healed.”

If you’ve been following this short series on prayer, I’m hoping you can spot at least two things wrong with these statements. First, it is always God’s will to heal the sick just as it is always His will to save the lost. Jesus died to save us and His atonement provides for our forgiveness, healing, deliverance and provision. Second, there’s no power in asking God to do something He’s already done. As we saw in Part 1, Jesus instructed us to “heal the sick,” not “ask God to heal the sick.” And as we saw in Part 2, Jesus wants us to speak directly to our mountains.

On my journey I have discovered that there is a huge difference between the traditional view of prayer and what the Bible teaches. We have already looked at six differences. Here is one more:

Traditional: Sometimes the answer is no
Biblical: God is faithful!

Some people will tell you that God hasn’t answered your prayers because you are not doing enough works. They’ll say you’re out of fellowship with Him or you haven’t pounded the gates of heaven or you haven’t confessed all of your sins. Others will try and manage your expectations with doctrine based on their experience rather than His word. Listen to these sorts of people and I guarantee it’ll neutralize your faith.

We need to rest in Jesus’ promise that whatever we ask in His name we shall receive (Jn 14:13, 16:24). “Ask me,” says Jesus, “and I will do it” (Jn 14:14). What is the key to doing the works and greater works of Jesus? It is simple faith in Jesus Christ (Jn 14:12). But sometimes we pray and there is no immediate manifestation. The sickness lingers. Does that mean God said no? Not according to Matthew 21:22 and John 16:24. Let God be true and every man a liar! God’s faithfulness is the one constant in the equation. He is the Rock on which we stand.

Daniel famously prayed two prayers that were both answered instantly. But the manifestation of one prayer took a few minutes, while the other took three weeks (Dan 9:23, 10:12). What was the variable? Not God! In Daniel’s case there was demonic resistance to the second prayer.

One reason why our problems sometimes linger is because the enemy is challenging our authority. He wants to see how serious we are. What should we do? Should we quit? Should we ask God to take over? No. Be encouraged. The devil will flee when we resist him and we do that by submitting to God and His rock-solid promises (Jas 4:7). That sword in your hand isn’t for decorative purposes. Use it! Here’s Andrew Wommack in his book A Better Way to Pray:

“When I minister healing to someone, I’ll pray for them two, three, four, or more times. I don’t care! I’m willing to pray for them until I rub all the hair off of their head! However, I’m not going back to God and saying, ‘Father, it didn’t work the first time. Let it work now, please!’ No! I believe it happened because God is faithful. He gave, but something’s wrong with our receiver. So I work on it. If the devil withstands one dose of the Holy Spirit, I’ll shoot him again! Just like Jesus did with the blind man of Bethsaida (Mark 8:22-26), I pray until I see the answer manifest. You need to get this attitude that God is faithful and He’s already met your need before you ever had it.” (p.125)

Understand that we’re not fighting to get the victory; we’re fighting to enforce the victory that Christ has already won. Satan and sickness were disarmed at the cross (Col 2:15). That’s why we’re called to stand rather than advance (Eph 6:13). We’re not taking ground, we’re holding ground that’s already ours through Christ. So stand firm and declare God’s word over your circumstances. Your tongue holds the power of life and death (Pro 18:21), so proclaim life and grace and health and freedom over your situation.

If the devil’s one variable, guess who’s the other? We’ll find out in the fourth and final part of this series.

49 Comments on Dealing with unanswered prayer

  1. “The devil will flee ‘unless’ we resist him and we do that by submitting to God and His rock-solid promises (Jas 4:7)” – might check this – typo?

    • That was a deliberate mistake (now fixed). I put these in some times to see if my readers paying paying attention. Congratulations Pat – you spotted that one within 16 minutes of publication! You’re E2R’s Reader of the Week!

      • Paul, recently i attended church where the pastor says that we needed to tithe 10% of our income and God will give back. I believe God wants to bless us, its not what we can do to earn that, and to pay a tith is because we do it out of our hearts for the lord. I do beleieve we get back from the lord tenth fold whatever we put in, but thats beside Gods provision and blessings He already provided. Please clarify about what the scripture realy says, so i can teach people the truth on this. thankyou

  2. Garsh and aw shucks – in my best Goofy (Disney) voice……

  3. See, now this approach you offer is a better perspective on healing prayer and delayed manifestations. I agree about the battle we are in needing to exert our authority. I’m confused about something you said though and not sure if it was another typo, or if I’m misunderstanding you. You said, “… there’s no power in asking God to do something He’s already done … Jesus instructed us to “heal the sick,” not “ask God to heal the sick.”” and then you said, “We need to rest in Jesus’ promise that whatever we ask in His name we shall receive (Jn 14:13, 16:24). “Ask me,” says Jesus, “and I will do it” (Jn 14:14). What is the key to doing the works and greater works of Jesus? It is simple faith in Jesus Christ (Jn 14:12). But sometimes we ask and there is no immediate manifestation.” So which is it?

    From what you said, in one part it appears that you’re saying there’s no power in asking, and in the next part you’re saying that we need to ask in faith. Can you elaborate? In the first part, do you mean maybe a different type of asking, where people are approaching it from a perspective of it not being accomplished or hoping it’s God’s will? The second part asking being a simple matter of “asking” in faith according to what we know God’s will to be? I remember one time I was helping a friend move, and we were on our last load and it started raining with no sun in sight. I sent up a prayer something like, “Lord, it’d be really nice if you could hold off on the rain for a bit.” I felt in my spirit a response, “Why you asking Me? You tell it to quit.” So I did. I went in for another item to carry out to the truck, and when I came out, the rain had stopped and sunlight was breaking through all over.

    • Brandon, perhaps I wasn’t clear. I do ask for things – these days I seem to be asking for a lot of wisdom! – but I don’t ask for things provided in the atonement. Let me give you an example. The other day I had a pain in my body, so I prayed much like I’ve described in these last two posts. I thanked God for the healing and I rebuked the pain. I declared life and health over that part of my body.

      However, even though the pain wasn’t bothering me at the time, I didn’t feel like I could stop praying just there. I had a sense of “wait, Son, I’ve got something special just for you.” I didn’t know what to do next, so I asked the Holy Spirit for insight. I also began to pray in tongues. Within 10 seconds a scripture address came to mind. I read it and saw there was a part that I had never noticed that spoke exactly and specifically right to my particular need. Call it a revelation, a rhema, the result was I was super-encouraged. I began to declare that particular promise over myself with boldness. I hope you’ll understand when I say it just “felt” powerful. (There’s no rhema without power – Luke 1:37, ASV.) So the short answer to your question – do you ask or declare? – is, it’s both: I have faith in His finished work but there are plenty of times when I ask for direction, insight, understanding on how to tackle a particular problem. It just seems to be the smart thing to do because while we only ever have partial knowledge, He knows exactly what’s going on in a situation and why things may be taking longer than they should.

      NB: I don’t think what I wrote originally was contradictory, but to sharpen the meaning I’ve changed one of the words “ask” to “pray.”

      • Yeah, I didn’t mean to suggest that it was contradictory. It just didn’t have the clarification to it that you provided now. I figured it was probably something like that, just couldn’t tell from the context what you meant. Your answer makes sense and is along the lines of what I was hoping you’d say in response.

    • I’m at a loss. Healing seems to come about in so many ways. Sometimes just w/the touch of someone filled w/the Holy Spirit and no words spoken. Today (3/28) in Joseph Prince Devotional he wrote “So bring him your needs and say “Lord, I need to draw from You. I present my needs to You. Minister to me and meet my needs. I cannot, but you can, Thank You Lord”. The only healing I have ever experience (was more a thing of mind than body) I eventually got totally frustrated and said something like” I did my best and if that’s not good enough, I can’t help it. You said I can do nothing, SO YOU DO IT. In an instant all the months of anguish that I had been experiencing were gone & I was left w/peace & joy. (There was also communication but I won’t go into that).

      I listen to all of you about speaking to your mountain, I know there is success there but I only know what I experienced. I humbled myself and gave it to him, which from what I interpret is more in line w/ what Joseph Prince wrote. I would like to have some confidence in speaking to my mountain (in his name) but after what I experienced, I have no confidence in that. I have to say, I’m confused about how to pray. The one prayer (if you want to call it that) was actually almost opposite to what I thought I should do. I was weak, had no faith and was in my opinion, disrespectful in my attitude of frustration and demand. ?????????

      • CT, I don’t think we should be upset that God heals us in a variety of ways – there’s no such thing as a bad healing. Surely Jesus spoke to the sickness on some occasions but there were other times when people touched Him with nothing said but faith in their hearts. Praise God that you were healed! God gives grace to the humble.

  4. God is faithful. That’s why sometimes He says no. Lk 22:42.

    • God is indeed faithful. With everything He’s promised the answer is always ‘yes’ and ‘amen’ (2 Co 1:20). With regard to salvation – forgiveness, healing, deliverance, provision – He never says no. How could He when He’s already said yes?

      • Oh? And sometimes there might not be a higher purpose? What about Paul’s thorn? 2 Cor 12:7-9.

      • “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are ‘Yes’ in Christ” (2Co 1:20).
        “Praise the LORD, O my soul… who heals all your diseases” (Ps 103:1).
        “Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses) and carried our sorrows…” (Is 53:4, AMP)

        Scripture doesn’t leave a lot of room for exceptions.

        Regarding Paul’s thorn, I recommend reading this or this.

  5. Josephine Martin // March 15, 2011 at 5:15 am // Reply

    Loving this page but how can I suggest it to my friends?

    • Hi Josephine, thanks for your question. At the bottom of every post are several share buttons. If you are a Facebook user, click the blue button marked “Facebook” and this will take you to a ready made wall post. If you like how it appears, click the blue share button on the bottom right. If you’re not a Facebook user, you will find other sharing options under the button marked “+ Share.” And if none of these work, you can click on the title of the post, then cut and paste the link you see in your browser into just about anything.

  6. Hi Paul,
    I’ve been struggling for healing this last 2,5 years, i listen to grace sermons, Joseph Prince, Andrew Wommack etc. I believed everything they said, and searched for more in the Bible myself. I felt my mind has renewed and I am eager to receive everything that Jesus has done for me on the cross. I truly believed i’m already healed but the manifestation of my healing hasn’t arrived. In the meanwhile I saw people around me who believed all the wrong things and they got healed. People who mocked my faith, and told me to do this, and do that. They all receive. You said “there’s no power in asking God to do something He’s already done”. But i really need to know where have i gone wrong… Wouldn’t a Father react when he saw his daughter need help?

    • Dear Elodie, I understand your frustration. Never forget that there are two variables in this equation. We are one, the devil is the other. You have a blood-bought right to healing. You did nothing to earn it – Jesus did it all. I think you know this already. But the enemy is no great respecter of rights. We have authority, but sometimes we have to resist him before he flees. Or we might get a victory and he comes and sows weeds and there’s a setback. If he can get you to blame God or yourself for his handiwork, then he’s succeeded. Have you read Wommack’s God Wants You Well? (I have a review of this book going up soon.) It’ll help. I also recommend Cornel and Simon’s free healing manual found here.

    • Hi Elodie

      Don’t take this the wrong way, but trying to figure out where you have got is wrong is exactly where you’ve got it wrong. Healing is not a product of our ability to follow a formula but of faith. In your comment you listed everything you have been doing and then basically asked what else you have to do or what have not yet done. Healing has got little to do with what we do or don’t do but about what Jesus has done. Faith in that is what pulls the reality of healing into our bodies.

      Gal 3:5 Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, [does He do it] by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

      My advice to you is to not try and do as much as you know what others say to do to get healing, but to make your faith effective.

      Phm 1:6 That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.

      Make your faith effective by acknowledging every good thing that is in you in Christ. Your Father has already reacted to your need. I don’t know why some people get healed instantly, why some recover over time, and why some seem to make no progress. What I do know is God is not the variable. Don’t give up, don’t give fear and doubt a place. Keep fighting the good fight of faith.

      • Brandon // May 30, 2011 at 1:26 pm //

        All good advice Cornel. However, there are some times when faith isn’t the issue, but it’s also not an issue of where she got it wrong. Sometimes people have the faith, but the enemy is standing in the way of the healing. There is often a spiritual warfare going on that gets in the way. At that point, it moves beyond faith and becomes something we have to contend for in persistence.

    • savedByGrace // July 7, 2012 at 12:48 am // Reply

      Hi elodie,
      On 17Apr2012 while sleeping, I suffered a leg cramp. I had difficulty walking but I managed to boil water to relax my muscles and it was Ok. Afterwards, I resumed sleeping.
      About 2hours later I had a leg cramp again and in spite of the difficulty in walking, I again managed to boil water to relax my muscles and it was Ok again. Then, I resumed sleeping.
      At about another hour my leg cramped again and this time it is worst than the earlier ones. While again boiling water, I remembered the comment I posted in Comment #15 on Prosperity and Success by Paul Ellis where I mentioned that in case I will feel sick, I know He will reaffirm the healing provision that His finished work has provided by discerning His body during Holy Communion.
      While still having difficulty walking, I was able to prepare the elements of the Holy Communion and partook of the bread and the cup, thanking Jesus for the healing provision He has given. Immediately, I felt that the muscles of my leg relaxed beginning from the knee down towards my ankle. I did not boil the water and put off the heater. I had a good rest after that.
      On 15June2012, my leg cramped again but this time I knew what to do. I cannot explain it but with the feeling that I was able to deal with it before, I partook of the Holy Communion right away and my muscles relaxed by itself.

    • Hi Elodie, I think you probably are healed by now, but I still would like to weigh my advise as well just for the benefit of readers.

      Faith is not yours. You share like faith with Apostle Peter, Paul, John etc. That means you share like faith with Jesus. In deed it is the faith of Jesus, a free gift, the measure of faith. What value is this knowledge? If you meditate about it it will put you in rest, and you will effortless walk in divine health. It is Jesus who gave his back so that those lashes, beatings and wounds can bring you healing. He believed that He could take your infirmities. He did all He did to act His believing. He was condemn, crucified, died, buried, defeated the devil, and was raised from the dead for you. That was a major risk, remembering that He did all that as a Son of man. Without faith on His part, He would have failed at one of these many stages. He did not fail. He succeeded. So you see its not your faith. He took the risk and won for you. And so Peter says “by his stripes we are healed” past tense! All I do is to stand against sickness and disease on the basis of what He did. That is His faith. (Heb 13:5-6). My response, I keep telling my situation that if He had the faith that it will work for me, so it is working. I preach to my body, or kid and spouse when they are sick, that we are healed by His stripes. We act like it is true. I am told I am a man, and so I talk and behave like I see man doing. I am told I am healed so I talk and behave like a healed man. At times it may seem like I may die, but then I am told I can rebuke the spirit of death and it must go. So I do, and it goes. Don’t do formulas, do what you know from the word. While, at that stop observing lying vanities, look at the author and finisher of that your faith.

  7. Ategeka john // March 25, 2012 at 12:31 am // Reply

    Thank you for these encouraging words

  8. as i was studying my bible… i found that the word “ask” as it is translated from the greek actually means “demand”… whatever things you demand when you pray – a demand of something due

  9. I stand by God’s grace. I used to have great difficulty believing God’s grace and love. I used to think that He only loves selected people that He has predestined since beginning. The reason is because I have been struggling with myesthenia gravis since birth, a result of poverty in my family. But eversince, He healed me years ago. I believe His love and grace is for all. For once, I am free, no longer slave to poor health. I want to encourage all here to continue to trust and have faith in God. Let’s continue to seek Him with fervour and fervently.
    And pray for me too, as I am facing unfair unemployment now.

    • savedByGrace // July 7, 2012 at 3:06 am // Reply

      Hi AG,
      I shared with Ana here in Comment #10 my insight regarding employment. I am proposing not to look for employment but rather to create employment for others.
      Here are some biblical truths that we can declare into our lives to be prosperous according to God’s plan.
      1) We will be fruitful (Gen 1:27&28)
      2) We will be creative. God calls those things which are not as though they were (Ro 4:17). God changed the name of Abram (high father) to Abraham (father of many nations) so that His plan will materialize
      3) We are born leaders (Deut 28:13)
      4) We are wealthy. Wealth is ours to take (Deut 8:18). Jesus died to give and He rose to enforce God’s plan in our lives (Ro 8:32).

      We should not worry about tomorrow in spite of the possible reality of no food on the table in the morning but REST on His provision. Where and how the provision will come, I do not know. But if God said He will provide, He will. TRUST Him and REST on His promises. Have a good opinion of Him.
      Sometime in 1983 after resigning from my job to help in the ministry fulltime, I ended up unable to provide food on the table for my wife and our four young children. As my wife and I declared upon ourselves that God said He will not leave us nor forsake us (Heb 13:5) God encouraged me to seek employment at another city leaving my family behind. We sold some of our possessions so that I can go.
      Now my children are all grown up and are gainfully employed. It is all because of His faithfulness and not my faithfulness. It is all about Jesus!

  10. It is amazing that you mention about the thorns, and weeds. How do you block that because, every time I get a breakthrough from a setback mainly poverty after extended amounts of time it do not take long for it to return, and this has been happening for thirty two years. For instance, before Hurricane Katrina hit us in New Orleans, I suffered from great poverty. I had skills in different trades and professions and held two jobs, but everyone of them downsized to two to five hours a week. This put me well below the poverty line and I prayed along with pastor and church members. After Katrina, money came from every direction, but poverty continue to be attached. No matter what direction I turned I could not get fair employment where we had evacuated and later a union job came through which paid a great salary, but the harsh treatment of mainly women was unbearable. In most cases we were not allowed to exercise our professional skills we were made to be the trash collectors. We were spoken to in harsh tones and degraded which was unbearable. After a few years I became mobility impaired and could no longer work in the union job and thought it was a ticket out of there to something better. After all the program announcements and advertisements for helping people with disabilities regain there lives, there was no help for me. Later I received a large sum of money to repair my property which I had been trying to repair before only to get people to half do the job. Surprisingly after receiving the money for repairs there was still no one who would honestly make the repairs correctly. This was a large fight that many residents had to ensure after such devastation. Many contractors took advantage of the situation and swindled countless resident out of money. I found myself in the same boat as before. Many blessings were pronounced over me and my family only to have them snatched before we could even touch them. Something always happened that the money needed to be spent on some problem that had occurred or some situation of another person. To this day that is still happening. I have written to pastors and attended certain churches to have them pray and agree with me in my weak state. Some said to plant this seed amount and a certain amount of blessing in abundance will happened in a certain amounts of weeks or months. Sometimes it did, but only to be snatched away before or soon as I received it. I was hoping to replenish what was lost, increase my skills, payoff debts to have better opportunities for business and investing, and enjoy activities with my family. One thing I’ve learned to understand is not to be driven by emotions being quick to run and help without investigating the situation. My most daunting experience was here in Mexico, I saw children and families so poor and I wanted to help those close around me only to be drained financially. Most of them had opportunities to work, and refused to or worked to party and buy material things while their children starve. They knew I had a heart to help and would constantly ask for money. Once I realized what was happening it taught me a great lesson, and now I understand do not through your pearls to the swine. To this day, I see no improvements in non of the those people in which I have helped, and it has been three in a half years since I have been living here. I see their is no self empowerment training here, but to offer advice or help in their improvement of life it is not accepted by many. To find a way to ask for and get over on people is widely practiced. I still struggle with this impairment and am attempting to learn new skills at the community college, and become self employed, but the financial attacks are so strong hinders me from giving my all. My husband lost his job for four mounts last year and has another job with less pay and last week no wages were paid and not sure about this week. This job is being threatened to be a lost as well. We have doors closed from every direction we turned and we do not understand. What suggestions can you or anybody offer?

    • savedByGrace // July 7, 2012 at 1:08 am // Reply

      Hi Ana,
      Imagine yourself as being sent from heaven to earth with the following logistical provision from God Himself: (paraphrased) “Christ has redeemed you from the curse of the law, being made a curse for you, therefore by the blood of Christ you have the right to receive the promise of the Spirit through faith” (Gal 3:13&14). You are blessed with the blessing of Abraham in Deut 28:1~14 through Christ (not the curse in Deut 28:15~68).
      With what you are experiencing about “money coming from every direction but poverty continue to be attached” and finally, “we have doors closed from every direction we turned and we do not understand” surely you are telling yourself: THIS IS NOT THE WAY GOD SAID IT SHOULD BE!
      Today, 6July, Pastor Joseph Prince in his Destined to Reign Devotional share: “When a church member was retrentched at 41years of age, he refused to fret or think that he had to jostle with the rest of the people in the job market. Instead, he believed that by God’s grace, he would get a better job with a higher pay. Indeed,through a mutual acquaintance, a new job came along with a pay packet that was 60% more than his previous one!”
      Yesterday, 5July, JP shared: God’s word says (Heb 4:9)”There remains therefore a REST for the people of God.” The day you cease from your own labouring and striving and REST in the finished work of Christ, is the day you receive your miracle.

  11. I have friends who are strong, spirit-filled believers who were once Pastors for many years, but because of there conviction of not wanting to be part of a religious system, had to step away. Consequently, they have been unable to find work for nearly 2 years. One is a brilliant author of several books on being free from legalism, healing, etc. I am at a loss why God hasn’t answered our prayers, and at a loss to know what to say to them for encouragement, These are wonderful men who are true servants of God and love Him greatly and others as well.
    I’d appreciate any wisdom you can offer.

    • savedByGrace // July 7, 2012 at 2:45 am // Reply

      Hi Jeanne,
      When I was younger, somebody told me that if I do not have food, I have to sell food to others and with how small profit I make I must try to sell food everyday. While selling food (fruit, juice, bread, rice, whatever) I will have food for me too. Whatever you do not have, start sharing (or selling) that item to others and as you are satisfying other people’s needs, you become the conduit of provision and in effect you will be provided likewise. Do not look for a job. Start creating jobs. You can start small. In Psalms 1:1~3 we read: “…whatever he does prospers” or “in all that you set your hand unto …” in Deut 28:8. After working for about 37 years, I resigned on 16June2012 from my 8AM ~ 5PM job embracing God’s Word in Gal 3:13&14. I was determined not to look for another job but to create jobs. Gladly, God already moved in this area enabling us to start a food business in Feb2012 without money invested employing a brother from our church. Soon, I will be joining the business to expand it and to employ more people from our church. I am an engineer by discipline but my heart is in encouraging pastors trained in bible schools to pastor churches. Together with my family, we pioneered a church in Dec2010. We received tithes but we adopted the Apostle Paul’s “tent-making” for our pastors/church leaders. We choose not to receive salary from the church (Jn10:12&13) although we can (1Tim5:18). Currently, the church is financially sound and ministering God’s goodness to the needy and nurturing them to become productive, able to help others like them, pointing them to Christ.

  12. Hold on to your faith, Jesus is about to do something so enormous in the earth and in the heavens, soon, we are in the season. Ladies, be at peace, perhaps our difficulties are to propel us out of the secular systems and environments we feel stuck in. We are going into the promised land! Read Micah 4 and Micah 5:3 onwards. Watch what happens in Syria and the borders of Israel. It will look really bad but the Revelation of Jesus Christ is about to manifest. The Bible is full of prophecy about building the old waste places and the garden of the Lord. Understand the Mark of the Beast is well on the way and getting out of your country and into God’s is part of His plan. Check out God’s plan in an old King James version, newer translations miss it. ” Line upon line, here a little there a little” Rev 11 and 12 go together see Numbers 16:30-35, Isaiah 54, 60, 62, 66, key words are ‘Lord of the whole earth’ or ‘God of the earth’. Zechariah 2:10-13, Zephaniah 3: 13-20, Psalm 102:13-22.
    Apply the anointing oil on your minds each day, find some scriptures to stand on, adapt them to your situations. Speak and declare them everyday and do not talk the opposite. Get ready and believe He is about to show us His glory. We may be going into a battle at the end but the three and a half years prior to that will be worth it, and we will spring board to heaven, but for now the Kingdom is about to manifest on our planet. Praise God, get ready and pray in your fares and be ready to go. Love peace, seek first the Kingdom of God… He loves you, trust Him it will all work to your benefit, pray and keep asking for wisdom. JAR

  13. What do you tell someone with whom you stood in agreement for the healing of their loved one, and this loved one passed away? How do we comfort them and make any sense out of it?

    • savedByGrace // July 7, 2012 at 2:17 am // Reply

      Hi Susan,
      A) How to make sense out of it?
      Paul Ellis mentioned that Andrew Wommack in his book A Better Way to Pray wrote that “God gave but something is wrong with our receiving.” Pastor Joseph Prince (JP) told of a pastor (A) suffering from a terminal disease who requested JP’s associate pastor (B) for prayer. After several visitations, pastor B told JP that he had done all he knew about healing but the sick pastor is getting worse and he doesn’t know why. At his final moment, pastor A asked for pastor B to come and see him. He asked everyone in the room to leave and in privacy he told pastor B not to blame himself why he is not receiving his healing. He confided that sometime ago, during an overseas trip, he committed adultery and believed that it may be the reason why he is not receiving his healing. The sick pastor was entertaining condemnation that neutralized his faith to receive his healing.
      To dispense / receive healing, let us remember that it is all about His finished work as we partake of the Holy Communion – nothing to do with us, nothing to do with our mess or misses.

      B) How to comfort the living?
      As usual, we are sorry for the loss. We have two options though: to raise the dead or to let the dead rest in God’s love. If we accept the second option, we know that the departed who is a believer is in a better state now than when he was alive because his ageing / sick body could not restrict his movement anymore forever.

      • Thank you for your comments. In my case the loved one was a premature baby that died a week from birth. I, along with others, stood on the promise of healing in the completed work of Christ for this little one, despite the poor prognosis pronounced upon the infant, from a medical standpoint. Perhaps, deep in our hearts, we were overcome by the fear from the bad report, resulting in unbelief that diminished our faith.

      • savedByGrace // July 8, 2012 at 1:23 am //

        Amen Susan. We are all learning. We all have to deal with our “lion” and our “bear” to develop the confidence that with God a “giant” can be defeated (1Sam17:34~37), even “mountains” can be moved. On prayer, Ps Joseph Prince has a message taken from the passages in 1K18:30~46 and Jas5:17&18 concerning the prayer of Prophet Elijah. A comparison of these passages will reveal that what we consider as simple prayer, God calls it earnest prayer and what we consider as earnest prayer (praying hard) God calls it simple prayer. What God considers as earnest prayer is the same as what Jesus and the apostles usually did: SHORT COMMANDS (Mk 1:27) or DECLARATIONS (Matt 21:19):
        1) Lazarus come forth (Jn11:43)
        2) In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk (Acts3:6)
        Indeed, Jesus, the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End has the first word and the final word in our situation. The experts and the medical reports don’t.
        By-the-way, the gifts of healing and the other spiritual gifts are Spirit-gifts and can operate well with the Holy Spirit just as a boat is a water-gift and can operate well on water. Also, don’t forget to partake of the Holy Communion when praying for the sick, remembering His finished work. When we declare forgiveness of sins we leave everything to God (and the person), likewise we also do the same with healing, we leave it to Him (and the person/sponsor) after we dispensed it.

  14. Thank you, and God bless you. I did not understand the Spirit-gifts and water-gift that you wrote about. There is a recent video broadcast on Joseph Prince Ministries website about resting in Jesus’ Faith for miracles-it again confirms the message of Grace and resting in the completed work of God regarding healing.

    • savedByGrace // July 13, 2012 at 7:04 pm // Reply

      Hi Susan, We may recall that during the earthly ministry of Jesus, he trained disciples. After the disciples were given the power and authority over all devils and to cure diseases, people got healed (Lk 9:1~6) but later they could not do it again (Lk 9:38~40). When the disciples could not, Jesus intervened. If the disciples have problem then, how much more now that Jesus has left?
      1) Jesus told His disciples to partake of the Holy Communion often to remember that His body was for their healing and His blood was for their forgiveness (Matt 26:26~28; 1Cor 11:23~30; Isa 53:4&5)
      2) Jesus died, was buried and rose again (Acts 13:22~30). He is victorious! He defeated the devil!
      3) Before Jesus left He promised that the Holy Spirit will come (Jn 14:15~20). And the Holy Spirit came to fill the believers (Acts 2:1~4) and gave them spiritual gifts (1Cor 12:4~11).
      While some believers were able to develop the confidence in utilizing a particular gift it is not exclusive and a believer is not limited to only one gift. “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal” (1Cor 12:7) “…dividing to every man severally as he will ((1Cor 12:11). The word of wisdom is not profitable where the gifts of healings is needed. “But covet earnestly the best gifts …” The Holy Spirit wills or directs the operation of the gifts. Therefore an unceasing fellowship with the Holy Spirit, aligning us to His will, is an important ingredient in the utilization of the gifts. We have to unceasingly communicate with Him using the language that He gave, by speaking in tongues. Paul who called himself the least of the apostles (1Cor 5:9), through the revelation from the risen Christ, understood the importance of the gifts of the Holy Spirit for the believer’ day-to-day ministering and so he initiated the baptism of the Holy Spirit to the believers he found in Ephesus (Acts 19:1~7) “and they spake with tongues and prophesied”.

      • What if a person has not yet been able to speak in tongues even if he had been baptized with the Holy Spirit.

  15. I read this series of articles with a scratch of the head – been there, done that, heard this all before. Is this just another “formula”? Seems so – are all who are prayed for in this way healed? If not, why not? I keep coming back to the words of Matthew 12:15 – “But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence: and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all.” If this was the correct and only method of praying for healing, then EVERYONE who was prayed for in this manner would be healed! It seems to me to be a lot of legalism and “formula prayer” for unsubstantiated and undocumented results.

    You can slam me for my faith (or lack thereof), but I’ve just never seen it happen the way the bible describes it – “and Jesus healed them ALL.” If this is the correct and only way to pray for the sick, then why isn’t everyone healed JUST LIKE DESCRIBED IN MATTHEW?

    Paul, I hope you can answer that, clearly and unambiguously – I’ve never found anyone who could.

    • Ed, the honest answer is “I don’t know why.” I certainly don’t heal 100% of those I pray for – I know no one who does. But I am certainly seeing more healing now than I used to, thanks to the lessons I outline in this series of posts. We’re all learning.

  16. You wrote:
    > Jesus instructed us to “heal the sick,” not “ask God to heal the sick.”

    James 5:14-15 – Is anyone among you sick? He should call for the elders of the church, and they should pray over him after anointing him with olive oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will restore him to health; if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.

    I could do this with several things you’ve written/copied from Bill Johnson, et. al. I would encourage you to read your Bible more, and perhaps listen to Bethel teachings less.

  17. I have a question. Is taking medicine or going to the doctor when you are sick means you don’t trust God to heal you?

  18. Hey,Paul, I has been suffering from some disorder(gynecomastia) for 5 years. I red your articles about proper faith healing, and commanded sickness in name of Jesus to go several times since last year,(along with a lot of thanksgiving to God.). However, i have not seen a breakthrough. I eat healthy,sleep enough,train 2-3 times a week,I checked my hormones, and sickness lingers. Sometimes I am angry at God, I think and say lot of bad things about him and lose my faith in healing. I am so desperate and depressed, so I have scheduled for visit to doctor for two weeks. I know God can and wants to heal me but my body says different things. I am so confused,what should I do?

    • Hi John, thanks for your honesty. I would do two things. First, I would seek the Lord’s face lest I get discouraged by symptoms and worry. Second, I would talk to my symptoms in much the same way that Jesus spoke to storms and fig trees, and I would declare the promises of God over myself. I would never make peace with an illness, never identify with it, and by the grace of God I would never quit fighting it. There are quick healings and slow healings but there are no bad healings.

  19. John Souker // March 29, 2019 at 12:20 pm // Reply

    Hi Paul,
    I am a Christian but my life looks cursed. I guess I don’t see the ‘manifestation’ of God’s promises in my life because I don’t believe enough. To be honest there is nothing I know for sure. Perhaps I haven’t stepped out of the boat enough, but very time I do i feel I sink and get eaten by piranha!

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