It hasn’t only been in my childhood that the Lord has healed me, but I’d like to share with you the following two stories because of the lifetime impact that healing makes upon a child.
When I was one year old, I was supposed to die. When I was born, there was something wrong with my neck that the doctors couldn’t fix, and it was inevitable that with the passage of time, the condition would have eventually twisted my neck and I would die. The doctor knew there was nothing he could do to change it.
Five months, three times a week my mother took me for treatments to temporarily relieve my pain. But the doctor was so sure there wasn’t anything that could be done to correct it, he only charged my folks for six treatments even though he administered somewhere between 50 and 60.
My parents didn’t know the Lord. My mother’s cousin didn’t know the Lord either, but she’d heard about the Foursquare Church in Long Beach, California. She’d heard that at that church, Jesus healed people, and she wrote down what was wrong withme and took this note to the church. There she found somebody and asked, “There’s a little baby that’s dying, and I brought this note. Will you pray for this baby?”The people said, “We will.” They brought it into the Wednesday night prayer meeting of that church.
The next day, my parents began to notice that things had changed. My mother’s cousin had told her she’d taken a prayer request over to the church. Within the next few days, the doctor said, “This baby is well. There is nothing wrong with him.” And not only did the doctor declare me well, he refused to take the money from my parents for the few payments he was going to charge, because, he said, “I had nothing to do with the healing of this baby. This has to have been something God did.”
I tell that story for two reasons. Not only do I know that it’s in the Bible that Jesus healed during His ministry,and that He’s the same today as He ever was, I know I would not be alive and I wouldn’t be able to talk about Jesus to other people today if He hadn’t healed me when I was a baby.
I yearn for parents to learn to teach their children about the healing power of Jesus because once a child is healed by the power of Christ, no matter what happens in the years to come, that child will never forget that he is the Lord’s. He will never forget that God touched him, that God has a private, personal investment in him, that God’s healed him and that God loves him.
When I was three years old, I contracted polio. Most kids today have had a shot or a pill to vaccinate them, but when I was a little boy, they didn’t have those shots and pills. Polio was then like cancer is today—there were great epidemics, hundreds of thousands of people afflicted. Their lungs wouldn’t work, they needed a machine to help them breathe, they couldn’t use their legs so they’d have to wear braces if they could walk at all, or live their whole life in a wheelchair. Children who had nothing wrong with them at all, suddenly would be struck with what was called “infantile paralysis” and could no longer be able to walk.
It was happening to thousands of children, and I too became afflicted. My parents took me to the doctor who examined me. I remember him tapping my leg to see if it would respond and it didn’t. Every time I tried to walk, I fell down. The doctor told my folks: “Take this child to the hospital. It’s another case of polio.” By now, my parents knew the Lord, and they told the doctor, “We’ll take our son to the hospital, but first, we want to take him by our church for prayer.”
My grandfather, who didn’t know the Lord, had come with us, and he was embarrassed when my parents said that. The doctor got mad. He said, “You get this baby to the hospital.” My folks said, “We will do what you said, but we feel he must first go by the church.”
They called and asked our pastor, Dr. Watson Teaford, if they could bring me over. They didn’t want to bring in a baby with polio if our pastor thought it was dangerous. Dr. Teaford said, “Bring the baby and there will be elders here.”
So they left the doctor’s office and went by the church. There I was anointed with oil and prayed for. After they prayed for me, my parents asked Dr. Teaford what they should do next. “Shall we take him to the hospital?”
Dr. Teaford said, “I’ll tell you what. It’s just a matter of a couple of hours. First take Jack home and let him lay down and go to sleep. Don’t let him try to walk right now. Right now he’s afraid to try because he’s fallen down every time. Take him home and let him lay down and go to sleep. When he wakes up, he’ll forget the fear, and he’ll get up. And he’s going to be all right.”
And that’s exactly what happened. When I woke up, I walked.
It’s important to note that my parents weren’t believers when I was healed from my birth defect. They weren’t members of that church, but the church prayed for me anyway. Later, my father accepted an invitation to attend a church service where he and my mother received the Lord. They didn’t realize it at the time, but it was the same church that had prayed for my healing as a baby.
Every year I write out a check to support research into birth defects to show thanks to God by helping people who don’t know of the healing power of Jesus, and all they’ve got is what the doctors can do. God’s given us doctors, and what doctors do is so great. But God’s given us His Son Jesus and He wants us to come and receive His healing. We’ve got to make up our mind if we are going to be people who let Jesus heal through us today.
God heals in three different ways
Some people think if you’re going to believe that God heals, then you shouldn’t go to the doctor. That’s a serious mistake. But it’s amazing the number of people who know the Lord heals today, and yet when something goes wrong, the first thing they do is run to the doctor, as if the Lord wasn’t closer than the doctor. It’s a challenge to learn to balance those things; how do I learn to call on the Lord first? One of the Lord’s promises to us is His presence and power to heal those who call upon Him in the name of Jesus.
God heals in three different ways:
(1) By natural means — i.e., you get a cut and it just heals itself;
(2) By medical means — you went to the doctor or took some medicine; and
(3) By prayer — when there’s nothing else but prayer.
But let us make clear: When it’s any one of these three, it is God who does the healing. It isn’t your body that heals itself; it’s God who made your body to heal itself. It isn’t the doctor that makes you well; you’re healed by the principles that God has built into the system that the doctors help along. It isn’t prayer that makes people well; it is the God that people call upon when they pray. It is the Lord’s nature to heal. When Jesus came to show us the heart of God, if there’s anything that stands out, it’s that He is a healing Lord, and He loves to heal us.
Jesus heals today
By being the same as ever; by keeping God’s promise to us; by using people as channels. (see Luke 6:19; Matthew 8:16; 9:35; 12:15; 14:13, 34; 15:29; 19:1-2; 21:14.) These are not stories of individual healings; all of these are cases where large groups came to Jesus and every time it says, He healed them all. If there’s anything that the Bible wants to make clear to us, it’s that it is in the heart of the Lord to heal.
The Bible says He was moved with compassion, and wherever people reached to Him and touched Him, they were healed. When people reach and touch Jesus, power flows from Him.
Jesus’ power never changes
It unfortunately has been said by some in the church that Jesus used to heal to prove He was God, but He doesn’t need to anymore because now we have the Bible that says He’s God. The sad reason this is said is probably out of their fear that it’s their job to heal people.
Not only does Jesus still heal today, but a lot of people will not believe in Jesus just because it’s in the Bible.But they will believe when the power of Jesus Christ touches them! And He is the same today. Why would anyone would want to make Jesus less today than He was when He walked on the earth? Jesus’ power never changes and His love never refuses. He never turns anybody away.
The Lord wants to keep His promise to us
It was foretold that the coming Messiah will heal (Isaiah 53:5): “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peacewas upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.” Chastisement means the beating; He took the beating for us in order that we could be put ogether. Peace doesn’t only mean quietness inside you, but it means completeness or wholeness in all of you. The devil beats on people; circumstances can break them apart. The Bible says that Jesus’ suffering was intendedto take the place of our suffering. Just as Jesus died for our sins so we could be forgiven, He suffered for our sickness, so we could be healed.
Divine healing is not a matter of guesswork. It was prophesied in the Word that God would send a Savior who would not only forgive our sins, but bring healing to the human body. That’s the promise God made. The prophesy that was made was fulfilled (Matthew 8:17). Jesus was not simply healing because He cared about human need, but He was healing because He was keeping a promise that God had made to man centuries earlier. When you ask the Lord to forgive your sins, He does it now because He paid for it a long time ago. When we come to the Lord and ask Him for healing, He is ready to do it now because He provided for it when He suffered for our sicknesses long ago.
The apostle Peter, writing to the Church of all history says by His stripes, your healing has already been accomplished (1 Peter 2:24). Healing is something that is already paid for. What was foretold was fulfilled, and today, it’s for sure: The risen Messiah comes to bring healing to us now.
Healing comes from the power of God, not by an effort of faith
The healing of the Lord isn’t “faith” healing. The power of God gives healings; faith receives the healing. Faith doesn’t create healing. For example, when you get up Christmas morning and go to the tree, you don’t “believe” for the gifts; they are already there. Under the “tree” of Calvary, there are gifts of God’s healing for broken hearts, for broken minds, for suffering bodies. Your faith doesn’t “create” the gift.
Faith isn’t an exercise of your will in order to get what God has. When people get that mentality it becomes a more of an effort all the time to “get” the gift that God has for them because they are trying to earn it. Can you imagine parents inviting their kids to come get their presents under the Christmas tree, and having the kids just stand there, straining to “believe” for those gifts?
Faith is simply coming to what God has provided at the foot of the tree where Jesus suffered for us. We can come and receive the gifts of healing just as surely as the gift of salvation is ours. The Lord wants His healing to be available to us. It’s fully available; He does heal today. He’s the risen Lord. He rose again to make it good for us now.
Jesus heals today through people
Healing does not float down out of the sky or come through the chimney. If it comes to homes, it’s more than likely going to walk through the door with you coming to visit someone who’s sick. Healing comes because you come with love like Jesus loves. You speak the words of the Lord Jesus. You offer His kindness and faithfulness. There are a lot of different ways the Lord heals. These are four:
(1) When you pray and ask with faith (John 14:12, 13) — The faith is in the Word of God. Jesus says that greater things are going to happen in you than ever happened in His ministry. It’s all His power anyway.
(2) When you lay hands on the sick in Jesus’ name — “In Jesus’ name” is by the authority or privilege we’ve been given.
(3) When you receive communion and believe — There is healing when we come to the Lord’s table.
(4) When you ask elders to anoint with oil (James 5:14, 16) — You need to ask for somebody to come and pray for you. The Bible uses oil as a picture of the Holy Spirit and His being at work with power. We anoint with oil to welcome the power of the Holy Spirit, and the Bible says that the yoke, or what ties people up, shall be broken or destroyed because of the anointing.
Copyright 2014 by Jack W. Hayford, Jack Hayford Ministries