“Know So” not “Hope So” Prayer has Healing Power
Among the many requests I get to share “What Worked For Me” in healing my body from cancer, there will occasionally be someone who just wants the nutritional information and not the prayer information. The two cannot be separated although many “help sites” only nod to the “spiritual” element of healing, I cannot do that on this site. In the beginning of my healing journey, I tried to deny the spiritual and scriptural healing truth, and it almost cost me my life because the cancer came back with a vengeance. It was only when I was flat facing a wall that my stubborn eyes were opened to the power of prayer. A “miraculous series of events” led me to discover James Chapter 5 in the Bible which I desperately followed. “Angels” were placed in my path to help me understand healing Scripture and prayer so that I didn’t give up on my healing by believing the “enemy lie“ that nagged at me, “What makes you think God will heal you when so many other good people have not been healed?
This post is not about me but about prayer and the tough question of “Why some who are prayed for are not healed.” This question hurts because we all have had tender reasons to ask it, but in asking perhaps we will change the way we pray for healing so that we follow Biblical instruction which surely leads to successful praying. In John 6:63, Jesus says, “The words that I speak to you; they are Spirit and they are life.”
Two helpful books on this topic are, Be Healed by Marilyn Hickey (www.mhministries.org ) and Bible Prayer Study Course by Kenneth E. Hagin (www.rhema.org ). Both of these writers have strong personal healing witnesses, deep Biblical insights, and amazing healing ministries. Nutrition is important but as stewardship of healing that is, in truth, “re-creation”. If you or a loved one has cancer, this is THE time to put aside “proper reservations” and, like Queen Esther, “go for broke faithfully”.
The Bible instructs quite pointedly how to pray to get results. It is important to be specific in prayer and ask according to the promises in God’s Word. Dodie Osteen’s book, Healed of Cancer, (see our blog page, “God’s Healing Word”) is rich in healing promise scriptures. It is NOT effective or scriptural to just pray, “if it be your will, Lord……”. It IS God’s will that all His children are healed but He didn’t make us like puppets–we also have wills and God expects us to follow His Word. [Note: If you want to leave a comment on this post, we can delve further into Scripture on this point.]
So, First priority is to pray according to what God has promised in His Word and pray (as Jesus did when tempted in the wilderness Matthew 4:7-11) . Ask God for exactly what you need. Ask in the powerful name of Jesus (not “for Jesus’ sake” but in Jesus’ name). We live under the “New Covenant” and, therefore, have the authority of Jesus’ name which is the “name above all names”. See John 16:23,24 and Matthew 7:7,8. Also see Matthew 8:1-3 and Matthew 8:17. Realize that The Word has to be meditated upon and embraced in our hearts. Cursory reading is not very effective; however, the more one reads the Word, the more discernment there is.
It is critical to pray a prayer of FAITH. Mark 11:24 teaches “Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” KJV. This is what K.E. Hagin calls “know so” prayer rather than “hope so” prayer. Dodie Osteen walked out this scripture even when she could yet see no signs of healing. But she held her faith persistently in her heart/spirit and, ONCE she prayed the prayer of faith per Mark 11:24, she immediately began to pray prayers of gratitude for her healing. Little by little she saw and felt her healing taking place. Neither she nor I had chemo or radiation and she didn’t have surgery. I have a friend who, after praying for direction in making treatment choices, did have “some” chemo treatment. She lay the matter at God’s feet and asked Him to tell her when the chemo had done its work and He did so–at that point she stopped it which was far sooner than planned. She also received significant nutritional support from experts in integrative therapies while taking chemo.
It makes sense to pray BEFORE making treatment choices asking specifically for guidance in making those choices rather than praying God will make it all work out AFTER you make decisions He was not involved in. We can’t pray telling God what to do. We pray asking specifically what his WORD promises. There is a huge difference. Most prayer list requests are made AFTER treatment choices have been made in an effort to “add some prayer for good measure”………not scriptural so it cannot be “know so” prayer and it very often becomes “hoping against hope”.
Summarizing, we pray specifically according to God’s Word (which insures we pray according to God’s will); we pray to the Father in Jesus’ name; we pray believing we have received and we immediately begin praying our gratitude–staying fully in faith and laying all our cares at God’s feet. If we keep worrying and fretting or let doubt enter any other way, we undermine our own prayer. Jesus taught this truth repeatedly and never more directly than Mark 11 in the parable of the fig tree. He also taught it when he came off the mountain of transformation in Matthew 17 when the father of the demon possessed boy said, “I do believe, Lord help my unbelief.”
It is fascinating to read the words of the many successful healing ministers of the early 1900’s. Many were learned Greek and Hebrew scholars who based their teaching on literal translations of original Greek (NT) and Hebrew (OT) texts giving deep insight into God’s Word. They agree that physical healing is God’s Will and as much a part of the atonement as spiritual healing; disease is of Satan and not brought on by God although healing is for God’s glory (it can be permitted by God because we live in a fallen world); and our faith to receive our healing is a gift from God and not something we can conjure up by thinking about it. Dr. Charles S. Price, in The Real Faith for Healing, says, “There is a great difference between the faith of man in God and the faith that is imparted to may. Such faith is not the child of effort, and it is not born of struggle….If it’s the faith “of God”, then we get it from Him and not from our mental attitudes or affirmations.”
I wonder how often prayer intercessors pray that the faith of a loved one in need of physical healing will receive their full measure of the faith OF God. I venture not as often as when praying for salvation. I wonder how many intercessors read healing scriptures WITH their loved ones as a basis for praying for healing. Price bases his faith lesson on Jesus’ faith lesson in Mark 11:22 in which, he says, the literal Greek translation is “have you the faith OF God” rather than what most translations say, “have faith IN God.” Thinking of it, “believing IN God” is not the same thing as “believing God”. “Believing God” is believing His Word and, praying in a way that respectfully holds Him to that Word. Those dynamic healing ministries of the early 1900’s held to God’s Word just that closely.
Finally, at the end of Mark Chapter 11, Jesus teaches that prayer while one’s heart has any “unforgiveness” in it is futile. Dr. Price agrees, “When the soul cries out its need of God because of its own helplessness, it is into a “yielded heart” that His faith comes–and with it the consciousness that God’s faith is there.” Holding onto bitterness, resentment, grudges, etc. block healing both physically and spiritually. Surely, this fact would help explain why some who are prayed for are not healed.
There is a great deal more to praying for healing than putting a name on as many prayer lists as possible. The Bible teaches us exactly how to pray to get the results–the healing–promised us in Scripture. It is not scriptural that God punishes His children by putting disease upon them. It is scriptural that disease is brought on by the enemy of our souls for many different reasons and some of those can be our own choices whether active or passive. We take in toxins in our lifestyles and eating/drinking habits as well as in the air we breath and what we put on our skin. We take in toxins in cosmetics, yard and garden chemicals, pet medicinal and bathing products, etc etc etc. Our food source has moved further and further away from that which our bodies were created to use. Disease is a product of the “world’s ways” not “God’s ways”. And we are free to choose and free to make ourselves aware of our surroundings.
God doesn’t want us to suffer a day in our lives but we are not puppets…..we are free to choose. We can be repentant physically as well as spiritually and we are made to heal. Our bodies are so “fearfully and wonderfully made” that, working with rather than against our immune systems and healing “mechanisms”, we can experience “re-creation”. Prayer IS essential….scriptural prayer has limitless power.