Inspiration for Health Ministry, by LEM

His Strength Made Perfect in Weakness

Ministry to and Prayer for the Sick

(For this study, read also: Ministry of Healing Chapter 15 and Chapter 16 )


God’s healing power


     For many people, it is not in the pride and bloom of health that many would be willing to listen to the gospel message. When people are healthy and strong (of those who don’t have a background in Christianity especially) few feel their need for God.


     But when faced with the weakness and difficulty that come with illness people sometimes become willing to seek God.  It is when we are weak as human beings, not depending on our own power any more, that we may begin to depend on the Power of Christ. So, for that reason we say that “His strength is made perfect in weakness.”



1. What can we understand about the healing power of God?


     God has the power to heal us; Bible promises and passages about God’s power to heal, understanding that He is the source of all life and healing- His power is manifested in all of nature.


     There are many examples of miraculous healing; the ministry of Jesus, modern missionaries also report stories of healing and the dead being raised back to life from time to time, etc.   Sometimes God works through miracles, but much more frequently He works through health principles and through blessing simple natural healing methods.

     It is not just our natural healing methods that cure people, it is the power of God that heals them!   God has the power to heal us but He gives us a part to play and asks us to cooperate with Him.   Bible verses often show that when a person was healed they were asked to do something also. Just like when Jesus healed people, He often instructed the people to do something before the miracle would occur.  Examples:


     - Fig poultice had to be applied to Hezekiah before he was healed

     - Namaan had to dip in the river 7 times before he was healed

     - Jesus instructed the man born blind to wash mud off his eyes before sight was restored

     - Jesus instructed the people to loose the grave clothes of Lazarus



2. How can we help people connect with the healing power of God?

     Manifest the compassion of Christ to them, so they know what the Savior is like and will have hope in Him.

     Keep self out of the way - Give the glory to God in all your work for the sick, not just in words but through your actions and body language.  All too often on Earth helpers, teachers or “benefactor” seek to bring a little glory to himself/herself in subtle ways through their ministry. This kind of ministry will not result in true healing of mind, body and spirit that leads to everlasting life.  (Example; doctor-patient relationship where the doctor tries to use big words and get the patient to be impressed with his/her intelligence rather than leading the client to grasp hold of God in faith).

     Assist people to understand the principles of healthful living. His work often through the laws of nature, not necessarily miraculous or quick.    Often the reason people have become sick is because of having lived out of harmony with the principles and laws of health. He will work through the same laws to allow us to see and understand the healing process and how to avoid becoming ill again in the future.


     Avoid trying to sensationalize “cures” or “miracles.”  Sensationalist churches and charismatic ministries emphasize miracles rather than lifestyle change. Christ didn’t work for display and refused to perform miracles in front of a crowd to impress people (e.g. refused to do it when Herod asked Him to).  He doesn’t want to work this way now either.  True healing comes quietly, in connecting with the spirit of God that changes the life and heart!


     Spiritual healing accompanies physical healing, and visa versa (7 day cleanse program, getting our mind cleansed out so that we can understand spiritual things).  People often begin to experience spiritual awakening after several days into a health program.


     Pray for people, teach them to trust in God, and to pray to Him.  When they are ready lead them to take the steps of accepting Christ as their Savior.


     It is important to help people find spiritual restoration in order to be truly healed in mind, body and spirit.   Because living for the flesh results in unhealthful lifestyle behaviors and addictions, the only way to be truly free of old habits is to be spiritually renewed from the heart.  


     Just as Romans 8:5-8 says; 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.


Encourage the sick person, through the power of Christ, to give up sinful attitudes which may have caused the disease (covetousness, selfishness, unkind attitudes, old grudges, anger, cherished sin in the heart, guilt, emotional pain etc.) this may take a lot of working with the client spiritually.  They may need help from counselors, pastors.

Encourage the sick person to trust in Jesus, be cheerful and put aside discouragement (worry and anxiety only add to the burden of disease and interfere with healing).


2. What is the role of prayer in health evangelism?


     Pray with and for those who need healing.  This is a constant and humble work that we do quietly- the part that no one knows about.     It is a very important and powerful part of our work.



3. What are some principles of prayer for the sick?


     First, make sure that our own heart is right with God - do not hold on to covetousness, sins, worldliness, unbelief in God’s mercy, etc.

     We must pray according to His will; very important to include “if it be Your will” in prayers for healing, rather than being presumptuous, because God does not always choose to heal people.   He knows what is best and our times are in His hands.   

     It is important to focus on spiritual healing and hope of eternal life more than physical even, because our goal is eternal life.  If we promise people that God will heal them “if they have enough faith” (which some ministries do), it can set them up to feel rejected and forsaken by God at the time of their greatest need.  For example, if you promised them that God would heal them if they have faith and pray, but God does not choose to heal them, it can make them doubt that God loves them, doubt whether they have a real relationship with God, and feel angry at God right in the time when they need Him most!

     Singing songs with those who are sick often helps prepare their hearts for prayer. Example; singing bands ministry in hospitals.

     Pray simply and fervently for those who are sick.  Gently grasping their hand in a caring way, when appropriate, can often help them feel the healing love of God.


4. What is the most important aspect of ministering to the sick?


Always remember to keep in mind that the ultimate goal of our work is to uplift those who are discouraged or lonely, inspire faith and lead souls salvation.  This may sometimes even be in preparation for death.  Avoid the common trap of focusing on health and healing as the ultimate end.  Focus on eternal life more than on this earthly life too much.


Ellen White Quotes:


Who was Ellen White? ; Ellen White named by Smithsonian among the 100 most significant Americans of all time , EGW Link 2

A Combined Work

The sick are to be healed through the combined efforts of the human and the divine. Every gift, every power, that Christ promised to His disciples, He bestows upon those who will serve Him faithfully.--Letter 205, 1899. {Medical Ministry (MM) 12.1}

The Great Healer

God's healing power runs all through nature. If a human being cuts his flesh or breaks a bone, nature at once begins to heal the injury, and thus preserve the man's life. But man can place himself in a position where nature is trammeled so that she cannot do her work. . . . If tobacco is used, . . . the healing power of nature is weakened to a greater or less extent. . . . When intoxicating liquor is used, the system is not able to resist disease in its original God-given power as a healer. It is God  who has made the provision that nature shall work to restore the exhausted powers. The power is of God. He is the Great Healer.--Letter 77, 1899. {MM 11.6}

Prayer for the Sick

Some died in the days of Christ and in the days of the apostles because the Lord knew just what was best for them.--Letter 35, 1890. {MM 17.1}

To Awaken Faith in the Great Healer

Let us present the gospel to the sick, connecting Jesus, the Great Healer, with the simple remedies used; and our living faith will be answered. But those who come to the Great Healer must be willing to do His will, to humble their souls, and confess their sins. As we lay hold of divine power with a faith that will not be denied, we shall see the salvation of God. {MM 29.1}