“I just can’t shake this headache,” my co-worker said.
I walked over to her desk and stood behind her with my hands on her shoulders. “Do you mind?” I asked.
“No,” she said. Susan and I had a very comfortable working relationship, and we’d been known to hug each other or pat each other on the hand or shoulder. So I had no compunction about going to her and she had no problem with it.
After a moment, she asked, “Are you healing me?”
“I’m not, no.”
After a minute or so, I went back work. Maybe fifteen minutes later, I heard her tell another co-worker, “Hmm. My headache’s gone.”
I suppose I had every right to leap to my feet and shout, “HEALED by the POWER of the HOLY SPIRIT!”, but I restrained myself.
Applied Christianity is about taking the faith in which you walk, understanding the power of the Holy Spirit that’s been sent to you when you accepted Jesus Christ into your life, and using that power to effect positive change. Those changes could be in other people’s circumstances, they could be in your own circumstances so that you can carry out the Great Commission, or they could be stepping into a battle in the spirit realm that can have an impact on people thousands of miles away.
I don’t really know what Susan’s faith was at the time (and I haven’t seen her in over ten years, so I have no idea what it is now), but the healing of her headache happened, in large part, not necessarily because she believed it could happen, but because I believed it would. Charismatic Christians refer to “standing in the gap” — using your faith to bridge the “faith distance” between God and someone else.
Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.”
— Mark 2:3-5
We don’t know how the paralytic felt about Jesus or the likelihood that he would be healed. What we do know is that, when Jesus saw the faith of the man’s friends, the healing miracle took place. So while it helps to have both the healer and the heal-ee on the same page, faith-wise, it’s not an essential ingredient, so long as you (the one commanding the healing) have faith and do not doubt.
- I believed the Holy Spirit would heal Susan’s headache, even though I didn’t know how strongly she believed it.
- A man of equal faith to mine — if not greater — asked me to pray over him before he went for a pre-surgery examination for kidney stones. We were both in agreement. He called me the next day to say that the doctor ran an ultrasound and did not find any kidney stones.
- A woman I know was praying about her brother’s heart condition. He had applied to have MedicAid in the US pay for a pacemaker and she was praying for MedicAid to come through. But then, she was inspired to pray “create in my brother a new heart”. MedicAid turned the man down; but the doctor re-examined him and said he didn’t need a pacemaker, after all. “It’s as if you have a new heart!”
- My father, who at one time had dismissed Holy Spirit healing as a “load of crap”, was to have the tip of one finger amputated due to severe nerve damage. My daughter quietly prayed over him as she held his hand. When it came time for the amputation, the doctor removed the bandage and did a double-take. “There’s nothing wrong with this finger,” he exclaimed. “Get out of here!” The damaged tip had been healed.
And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up, and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
— James 5:15 (KJV)
I cited the King James Version of that verse, because the language is unequivocal: “the prayer of faith shall save the sick and the Lord shall raise him up”. “Will” (which other versions use) suggests that it’s a “desired” act, but “shall” leaves no doubt that that will happen.
I mention healing miracles, but that’s only because that’s been the kind of miracle that I’ve seen most often, first-hand. The fact is, God is standing by, waiting for us to call Him into circumstances that are beyond our (worldly) control and let His Will prevail. It could be healing the sick, or restoring relationships or bringing peace in far-away lands. Put your faith to work. Be patient. Expect God to work it out for His glory. Glorify Him when it happens.