Healing as Seen From the Spiritual Perspective
My pal Nor’west Prophetic came to visit me in November but he forgot to bring shorts. I broke my coffeemaker a couple days after he arrived so a trip to the Goodwill store was in order.
After a few minutes of browsing through the store he found his shorts, I picked up a slightly used Mr. Coffee and we headed for the checkout. Wouldn’t you just know it — the woman in front of me at the checkout stand was in a wheelchair. I made small talk with her before she left and I thought, “This would be a good opportunity to teach my friend about healing.”
Now, it’s not like he’s never seen anyone healed — he has. He just hasn’t had as many opportunities as I have and I promised him a one-on-one healing lesson which I never made good on before I left Washington. So here was an opportunity sitting right in front of us.
We followed the woman outside and introduced ourselves. I told her I was teaching my friend about healing. (Great cover story by the way – and it’s not a lie.) We asked if we might pray with her for healing. She was delighted that we asked. It turns out she was diagnosed with polio more than 60 years ago. We prayed for a few minutes, but she showed no outward signs of being healed. She thanked us and we went on our way.
On the way to the car I told Nor’west, “We just tossed another log on her fire.”
He replied, “Tell me more.”
(He says that a lot.)
We had a discussion in the car about the process of healing. I explained that contrary to what most of us have been taught — healing is not usually a “one time” thing that happens to us. It’s generally an ongoing process. Even the miracles of healing we occasionally witness are not usually what they appear to be. Let me explain what I mean by that:
I read a comment the other day on a Facebook thread that someone made about healing. They said, “All the healing in the Bible was instant healing.”
I didn’t correct this person, but if you want to know the truth about how healing happened when Jesus and the disciples prayed for people, I would suggest reading the healing accounts from scriptures carefully — without adding your own preconceived ideas to the text. You’ll probably notice that not all the healing accounts were instant miracles. In the vast majority of cases the bible simply says Jesus healed a multitude of people. There is no description of how most of these people were healed and no indication of whether the healings were gradual or instantaneous. The lack of details about how they were healed leaves this issue open for discussion.
Most of us perceive miracles of healing as something that happens to us once, which never needs to happen again. While it is true that a broken bone for example, might be healed miraculously and the individual may never have a problem with it again, cases like these are in the minority. If your condition happens to be asthma, insomnia, or irritable bowel syndrome, you might be healed of the condition once, only to have the symptoms return a few months later.
It is my belief that many of these conditions are caused by evil spirits, while things like broken bones are not. The fever that Peter’s mother had which Jesus rebuked seemed to be an example of a sickness caused by a spirit (see Luke 4:39). (If the fever were not some sort of spirit, why was it rebuked?) Once we have been set free of a spirit of illness, there is no guarantee that the same or a different spirit won’t return later to afflict us. The return of the spirit brings a return of the symptoms. The return of the symptoms requires another round of prayer — which is why I see healing more as an ongoing process than a single event.
Healing is much like the process of sanctification, which the Holy Spirit does not accomplish in us all at once. The transformational work of God, which creates Christ-like character in us, is a gradual process. While there are often dramatic events during the work of sanctification like an alcoholic whose desire to drink is removed instantly — the entire work that the Holy Spirit accomplishes takes time. His work of healing is much the same way. We might have an occasional instant breakthrough in one area or another, but the greater healing process is always being worked out over time.
Few of us are able to see God’s supernatural work of healing as it happens. And because we can’t see it — we often assume nothing is happening when we pray for someone who shows no outward signs of healing. But if we were able to see in the spirit, we would be amazed.
When we pray even the smallest, most feeble prayer for someone — we release a measure of God’s glory upon the one we’re praying for. Angels are released to combat evil spirits, wounds inflicted by the enemy are visibly healed in their spirit and the countenance of their spirit is visibly changed, even if nothing appears to be happening outwardly. I’ve seen these things happen when I pray for people. Blake Healy’s book The Veil confirmed the things I’ve seen and it gave me a better understanding of what actually takes place when I pray.
If we only knew the mighty and wonderful things that were taking place in the spirit, we would not think so little of our prayers.