Gifts of Healings
A few years ago I journeyed to Argentina and had the privilege of ministering in several congregations. One of the churches where I spoke had been in the midst of a blazing revival. In fact, I could sense the tangible presence of the Holy Spirit as soon as I entered the building.
However, as the service concluded that evening, I noticed that the congregation didn't actively pray for the sick. I was confused about this so I decided to ask the lead pastor about it.
He said, “We have had some incredible moves of healing. In fact, there were several services where the anointing for healing was so strong that everybody in the building got healed—without anyone praying. As soon as the congregation encountered the Lord’s magnificent presence, disease fell off. We’re not doing much praying for the sick right now because we’re waiting on that to happen again.”
There’s no doubt that this church encountered a “healing anointing” on a greater level than most congregations. Nevertheless, because of this, they were reluctant to pursue “lesser” expressions. For them, it was going to come through an overwhelming unction, or not at all. They were contending for this grand sense of glory, and anything that fell below that wasn’t worth it.
Many Pentecostal and Charismatic congregations possess a similar mindset. The leaders are focused on unction and anointing. They don’t pray for healing until things reach a certain level of intensity and fervor. I once heard a pastor say, “Keep the music cranking until we feel something coming down upon us.”
The problem with this approach to healing is that it can be limiting. It doesn’t serve us to emphasize our most vibrant approaches and ignore everything else. With such constrained methodologies and practices, is it any wonder that we aren’t seeing more breakthroughs taking place?
Are there only a few of ways to effectively minister healing? Does it only come through petitionary prayer or scriptural confession? What about anointed handkerchiefs and biblical study? There's commanding decrees and the laying on of hands—what about those modalities? It should be obvious that God moves in a myriad of ways.
The Apostle Paul declares, “To each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit … gifts of healings” (1 Corinthians 12:7-8a, 9b).
The literal Greek rendering of this passage suggests that there are multiple “gifts” (plural) of “healings” (plural). Multiple manifestations and expressions are available to believers.
Contrary to our religious assumptions, healing is a diverse reality. God has truly provided a multiplicity of healing gifts and operations.