Divine Healing, Part II. Are Faith Healers for Real?
"Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective" (James 5:16, NIV).
The Daily Encounter reader who asked yesterday's question also asked, "Are the faith/spiritual healers, who go around nowadays holding healing crusades, really healing the sick? Is there true healing taking place or is it some magical act or illusion?
First, one thing is certain, some of these preachers, whether in crusades or on TV, certainly don't have any problems drawing great crowds and gaining great numbers of followers—and raising enormous amounts of money—which shows that vast numbers of people are seeking healing. But how many of these preachers are faith healers and how many are fake-healers?
Second, is it God's will to pray for the sick? Yes, besides praying privately for those who are sick, keep in mind when it comes to public praying that James wrote, "Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well."1
Third, in my own limited experience I've listened to and witnessed a few of these "public" faith healers but have seen very little healing happen. Most important, however, in all my years I have never heard one "faith healer" ever quote an essential requirement for healing included with James' instructions for healing. That is, if we desire to be healed, we need to confess our sins and faults—not only to God—but also to at least one or two others whom we can trust.
Not all physical ills, by any means, are caused by unconfessed sins, but many sicknesses and problems are, or are greatly aggravated by them. Things such as guilt, resentment, envy, jealousy, hatred, and especially super-charged repressed negative emotions create havoc within us—physically, emotionally, relationally, and spiritually. These need to be resolved to clear the way for healing.
If we applied these principles as stated by James, I am convinced that we would witness a whole lot more physical, emotional, relational and spiritual healing. Speaking personally, to the best of my ability I have applied these principles to my life, and am a whole lot healthier today than when I was half my present age.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please give me a spirit of discernment to help me recognize those healers who are real and those who are false. And if there are any unresolved issues in my life that are blocking any healing I need, please help me to see what these are and get the help I need to resolve them. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. James 5:14-15, (NIV).