Love in Action: Healing
by Robert Canton
In Exodus 15:26, God says, "I, the Lord, am your Healer." In the book of Luke 7:20–23, "When the men came to Jesus, they said, "John the Baptist has sent us to you to ask, "Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?" At that time, He cured many of their diseases, sufferings, and evil spirits; He also granted sight to many who were blind. And He said to them in reply, "Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the good news proclaimed to them." Jesus Christ is indeed the Divine Physician and the source of all healing. He heals the entire person; body, mind, soul, and spirit. The scripture says, "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power. He went about doing good and healing all those oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him."(Acts 10:38.)
Numerous Accounts of Jesus' Healings in the Gospels:
The following are some of the healings and miracles that Jesus did as narrated in the Gospels:
Jesus healed the Roman's Centurion's servant with paralysis, (Matt. 8:5–13, Luke 7:1–10), a leprous man received his healing, (Matt. 8:1–4, Luke 5:12–16), Peter's mother–in–law was healed from her fever (Matt. 8:14–15), (Mark 1;29–31), (Luke 4:38–39), a paralytic was able to walk (Matt. 9:1–8), (Mark 2:1–12), (Luke 5:17–26), Jesus sets the two Gerasenes demoniacs free from demons, (Matt. 8:28–34), (Mark 5:1–20), (Luke 8:26–39), two blind men received sight (Matt. 9:27–31), Jesus healed a man with a withered hand during the Sabbath (Matt.12:9–14), a crippled woman who was bent over twice by a spirit of infirmity received her healing from Jesus (Luke 13:10–17), Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead (John 11:1–44).
The Catechism of the Catholic Church asserts that "Christ's compassion toward the sick and his many healings of every kind of infirmity are a resplendent sign that "God has visited His people" and that the Kingdom of God is close at hand. Jesus has the power not only to heal, but also to forgive sins; he has come to heal the whole man, soul and body; he is the physician the sick have need of"(1504). In the book, Prayer For Healing, we read, "Christ's meeting with the sick is one of the most human aspects we find in the Gospels. This meeting is for the total, global salvation of the person, and not only to bring bodily health alone, overcome physical sickness and hence avoid "becoming bogged down in the impossible aim of finally defeating death." The meeting between Christ and the sick, is, both in the Gospels and still today, to heal the person in his or her totality, and hence with a dimension of eternity."
Types of Healing
According to the Guidelines of Prayer For Healing, a booklet published by the Doctrinal Commission of the International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services (ICCRS), there are four basic categories of healing, namely physical healing: the healing from physical sickness and disability; psychological healing: the healing of wounds to the human psyche, including emotional wounds; spiritual healing: this means, above all, the "healing from sin" that restores a person to a relationship with God; and exorcism and deliverance. The Catechism of the Catholic Church(1673), states, "Exorcism is directed at the expulsion of demons or to the liberation from demonic possession through spiritual authority which Jesus entrusted to the Church." In contrast, Prayer for Deliverance is directed to God, asking God to free someone from the influence of evil spirits", per the Guidelines of Prayer For Healing. Other forms of healing prayer "which require further study, discernment, and pastoral oversight" such as healing of memories, intergenerational healing, and healing of the land", were also mentioned in the book, Prayer for Healing.
The Ministry of Healing in the CCR
Jesus first instructions to His disciples had been "As you go, make this proclamation: "The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons." (Matt. 10:7–8). In John 14:12, Jesus says, "Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these, because I am going to the Father." Jesus also states in Acts 1:8, "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." The Lord is always true to His promises. In the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, the Lord has raised up many men and women, members of the clergy, the religious and lay people, who have very active ministry of healing. Healing is one of the spiritual gifts mentioned in the book of 1 Cor. 12 which serve and edify the Church. In exercising the ministry of preaching, teaching, and healing in many parts of the world, I can attest that healing the sick in the Name of Jesus is one of the most effective tools for evangelization. I have witnessed people who came to know the loving and the saving power of the Lord Jesus through the healing ministry. In a Healing Rally which I had the privilege to conduct at the Sacred Heart Church in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia three years ago, a 'non–practicing' Buddhist who also happened to be a spiritist or a "medium" in contacting the dead, attended the service. He was "oppressed" by demonic spirits which manifested during the praise and worship. We immediately prayed a Deliverance and Inner Healing prayer for him. He said later on that the prayer had helped him tremendously. Not long afterwards, he enrolled at the Rite of Christian Initiation For Adults program and was baptized as Roman Catholic a year later. He has been attending daily Mass since then and he has become very active in his parish.
HOW TO PRAY FOR HEALING AND ACHIEVE RESULTS
"These signs will accompany those who believe: in my Name they will drive out demons, they will speak new languages, they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them. They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover." (Mark 16:17–18). In the light of what Jesus said, any baptized believer can pray for the sick. The following are some of the suggested ways on praying for healing to achieve results. This list is by no means exhaustive nor exclusive:
The number one priority in a Christian's life is to follow Jesus and to become more like Him in every way.
Jesus was the Healer par excellence because He was filled and empowered and ministered by the Holy Spirit. The Father's will is for us to conform to the image and likeness of His Son. Let us, therefore, raise our voices to our Heavenly Father and continually implore Him for the grace to help us become more like His Son, Jesus Christ in every way.