"Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases. And He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick ... So they departed and went through the towns, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere" (Luke 9:1-2, 6).
Jesus told us to heal the sick. He did not tell us to pray for the sick. Healing should not be an isolated, one-chance-in-a-100-or-1,000 type of occurrence. Healing should be everywhere. It is part of the gospel. It is what will open the masses to the gospel. It is God's dinner bell for sinners to come and be saved.
Jesus commanded us to heal the sick.
Certainly praying for the sick is scriptural (James 5: 14-15), especially for those in the church, but isn't it interesting that in the gospels and Acts no one did so?
What does this tell us? It reveals that the church has an authority she does not yet know she possesses.
These signs shall follow those who believe (Mark 16:15-20). We are authorized to cast out devils and heal sinners who are sick; those are two of the signs. Why don't more professing believers walk in this power? It must be because we do not believe. The only qualification Jesus put on healing the sick was to believe.
Let's not complicate the matter. Let's take Jesus at His word.
Notice Jesus' instructions to His 12.
"As you go, preach, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.' Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, and cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give" (Matt. 10:7-8).
Notice also Jesus' instructions to His 70.
"Heal the sick who are there and say to them, 'The kingdom of God has come near to you'" (Luke 10:9).
Once again, Jesus did not tell His disciples to pray for the sick. He authorized them to heal the sick.
The power is in the proclamation. Tell them what God will do. This takes boldness.
Boldness produces more results.
As an example, when you see a sinner who is sick and diseased, inquire about their condition. How did it happen? How long have they been sick? Casual conversation also serves to establish a level of comfortability with them.
Then say to them what Jesus told His disciples to say: "I've got good news for you today! The kingdom of God has come near you."
They may look at you funny, but continue to offer them this challenge.
"If you will give me your hand the power of God will go into you and heal you."
Once they consent the rest is easy. Command them to be healed. Release the power of God into them. Believe that as soon as you touch them Jesus touches them.
Now here's the most important part. Ask them to examine themselves. Tell them to do something they couldn't do before. Get them to act on the word. Bend over. Twist. Walk. Move the part of their body that was in pain or immobile. Keep getting them to act. Don't stop. Keep working with them. If you have to lay hands on them again, do so.
A young student came to my house to explain to me why she hadn't been to Bible school for a couple of weeks. A log had fallen on her leg and fractured it. The leg was stiff and she couldn't bend it. She had no money or insurance to put a cast on it.
I laid hands on her leg and commanded her to move it and bend it. At first she grimaced in pain, but I kept telling her to move it because the power of God was in her leg and was working. After about the third or fourth time she began to weep.
The pain was gone and she was able to bend her leg perfectly.
She wept some more. As I bid farewell to her I saw her from out of the window of my house walking down the dusty road we lived on with her hands up in the air praising God. Lovely Jesus. What more could He do if we only believed?
I could tell you many stories with these types of testimonies.
I learned that the power is in the proclamation. Tell the person with the infirmity or afflicted condition what God will do.
Don't pray for them. Heal them! The power is in the name of Jesus.
Prayer can be encased in unbelief. Often it is a feeble attempt at hoping something will happen.
Jesus told us to heal the sick. There is no trying to see if it will work.
You've been authorized by heaven. All you lack is boldness to act. Go do it now, and send me the good report.
"Then they went forth and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen" (Mark 16:20).