Healing ministry

A good health always is in the top 3 of most important things in life. People who are seriously ill take medication with severe side effects, undergo operations and other painful treatments or follow strict diets, all to get cured or to stay alive. A number of them seeks healing in the alternative circle of faith healing. The bible to describes a lot of healing miracles. In the New Testament is said that there are people with a special gift of healing. How do we relate to these people in church?


  • People with a healing gift we call doctors now a days.

  • The healing gift was only for the early church, because there wasn’t a church or a bible.

  • People with a healing gift have a special ministry that supersedes the local church.

How you can also look at it

“When you preach the gospel you will place your hands on sick people, and they will get well”, Jesus promises (Mark 16: 15-18). The elders get the commission to pray with people who are sick in the church, “and the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well”, says the brother of Jesus (James 5:14-15). And then there are the gifts of healing who are given to some according to Paul (1 Corinthians 12:9).

Apostles who lay their hands on sick people aren’t common practice any more, primarily due to the lack of apostles in our regions. Among evangelists it is still seen sometimes, but most evangelists in the western world don’t believe this is a part of their job description. If you look at evangelism gatherings in India of Africa for instance, you get a different picture.

The beautiful aspect of laying on hands is that is it very personal. You look someone in the eyes, you touch someone, you can relate to their needs and questions, you can comfort, explain, and forward Gods love.

Elders laying hands on sick is a little on a comeback. It really feels difficult to ask and to do, because although the bible seems to give a guarantee for success, to our judgement this isn’t always the case. At least, as long as physical healing is the only result that counts.

Make well, or save the sick as it says in the (New) King James, certainly has a much broader meaning than the disappearance of illness and getting out of bed, especially put in the context of forgiveness of sins, as it is done here. Here also personal attention is very important. The personal confession, the touching, the looking in each others eyes, the closeness. If you had sinned in Old Testament times, you brought an offering and your sin was covered. But this is no longer the way it is done. Nowadays a relationship has to be restored. Jesus on His side has made the step to us, but sometimes we need help to make our step to Him. It can be very liberating if someone anoints you with oil in the name of the Lord and tells you you are forgiven.

Are people with the gift of healing a different group, or are they a combination of the two groups above? I don’t think the answer to that question is very important. Paul says God works on many different ways, so different even that people wondered if it was just one God who did all this (1 Corinthians 12: 4-11). If God gives so many different things, on the time He wants, to the people He wants, why do we want to have a firm grip on things? Why do we want to give parameters, mark out, delimit, restrict, label, comprehend, structure, predict, guide and hold on to it.

Why can’t we just accept and appreciate what we get? Being physical, mental of emotional health, encouragement, support, strength, wholeness, comfort, love or nearness. Coming directly from God or via people, believers or non believers.

Why do we think only physical healing counts and preferably with a doctor’s note? We who watch judge whether or not it is a healing, not the one who is healed. They can say anything. It could be credulousness or imagination or seeking attention, of a lie, because nothing is healed. We can be hard as rock to people who are happy because God did something in their life.

Why can’t we be happy with the happy? Is someone feels better after prayer of laying on hands, than that is a reason to be happy, isn’t it? That isn’t a ground for mistrust, is it? And if someone feels sick again after a week, isn’t that a reason to weep together, because something beautiful is gone? That isn’t a reason to blame someone, is it? “The faith of the sufferer or the one who prayed isn’t good enough”, “there must be a concealed sin”, “you let your healing be robbed from you again”, those sort of terrible lines are said sometimes.

Because I don’t understand God, because My faith fails, because I don’t have an answer to this, I hide my incapacity behind judgement and doctrine. I can’t enjoy what God is doing in the life of others any more and I don’t believe He is going to do something in my life. This is such a waste!

I believe my God is the creator of heaven and earth, so He sure is powerful enough to heal, but He doesn’t always. There are promises of healing in the bible, but it doesn’t always happen.

Why? I don’t know. Does that hurt? Yes it does. Do I understand? No not a bit. It remains an unanswered question until I see Him face to face and will know Him as He knows me. Until then these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13: 12-13)