Does God still miraculously heal people’s health problems like He did in the Bible? Yes, absolutely! Our Great Physician can diagnose and heal any and all health problems. And He’s doing it every day around the world, at no charge and with no negative side effects!
God even joyfully defines Himself as He “who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases” (Psalms 103:3 Psalms 103:3Who forgives all your iniquities; who heals all your diseases;
American King James Version×). In fact, in Exodus 15:26 Exodus 15:26And said, If you will diligently listen to the voice of the LORD your God, and will do that which is right in his sight, and will give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases on you, which I have brought on the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that heals you.
American King James Version×, God’s name in Hebrew is Yhwh- raphah . The English Standard Version translates it as “the Lord, your healer.” And Jesus’ commission to His Church in Mark 16:15-18 Mark 16:15-18 15 And he said to them, Go you into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He that believes and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believes not shall be damned. 17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
American King James Version×includes this sign: “They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
God loves to heal us so He loves for us to ask for His healing. Healings bring glory to God and great relief and joy to people. And healing enables God’s people to better carry out His work!
Of course our primary goal should always be the ultimate healing and ultimate victory—the resurrection from death to life.
Does God Always Heal Us When We Ask Him To?
You can be sure that God is always sympathetic regarding our suffering (Hebrews 4:14-16 Hebrews 4:14-16 14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
American King James Version×). But He does not always remove the suffering. Does a responsible parent give his child everything he asks for? Of course not. Likewise, our Heavenly Father considers many factors in deciding when to say “yes” and when to say “no.” God considers countless options. For example, God might heal only the acute problem (an asthma attack), or He might heal the chronic problem (asthma).
Obviously, if God always healed us in this lifetime, we would never die!
When God decides to heal, it is not always immediate. Sometimes God wants to first test our attitudes, faith and patience (James 1:2-4 James 1:2-4 2 My brothers, count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations;
3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith works patience.
4 But let patience have her perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
American King James Version×).
If you ask for healing and do not receive it, please don’t feel rejected, disillusioned or unloved. Beloved disciples of God who have great faith are often not healed. When God has a choice as to what is best for you spiritually versus what is best for you physically, He definitely will choose what is best for you spiritually .
Numerous Bible scriptures tell us that personal trials and suffering often “work together for good” by helping us to learn lessons and to grow spiritually in various ways (see Romans 8:28 Romans 8:28And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
American King James Version×; 5:3-5; Philippians 1:12-14 Philippians 1:12-14 12 But I would you should understand, brothers, that the things which happened to me have fallen out rather to the furtherance of the gospel; 13 So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places; 14 And many of the brothers in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.
American King James Version×; 1 Peter 1:6-9 1 Peter 1:6-9 6 Wherein you greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, you are in heaviness through manifold temptations: 7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perishes, though it be tried with fire, might be found to praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: 8 Whom having not seen, you love; in whom, though now you see him not, yet believing, you rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: 9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.
American King James Version×). For example, God denied Paul’s request for healing to help keep him humble (2 Corinthians 12:1-10 2 Corinthians 12:1-10 1 It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord. 2 I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knows;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. 3 And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knows;) 4 How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. 5 Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in my infirmities. 6 For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he sees me to be, or that he hears of me. 7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. 8 For this thing I sought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 9 And he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest on me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
American King James Version×).
Divine (Supernatural) Healing Versus Natural Healing
In this article, “natural healing” refers to what the body with its amazingly complex immune system is doing 24/7 to maintain, protect and heal itself, thanks to God’s design! When people get sick or injured, they often get well without any intervention by God. God even provided this for animals and plants! When animals and plants get injured or sick, they often heal!
So what is a “miracle?” It is when God causes an exception to what would “naturally” happen by interceding with the power of His Holy Spirit. For example, every answered prayer is a miracle.
People often think of miraculous healing as immediate, total and spectacular because of the accounts of healings by Christ and the apostles. However, God caused those public and dramatic healings as a way to draw crowds of listeners, to prove Christ’s divinity, to demonstrate His compassion and to get the Church started. See Matthew 4:23-25 Matthew 4:23-25 23 And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.
24 And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought to him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatic, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them.
25 And there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judaea, and from beyond Jordan.
American King James Version×; 9:35-36; 14:14; 15:30-31; 10:1-8; Acts 8:5-8 Acts 8:5-8 5 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ to them. 6 And the people with one accord gave heed to those things which Philip spoke, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. 7 For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed. 8 And there was great joy in that city.
American King James Version×. But most miracles are not spectacular or even obvious .
We cannot assist God with divine healing, but we can and should do physical things to assist our bodies with natural healing. Our bodies and minds belong to God so we must be good stewards to protect, preserve and provide for them (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 19 What? know you not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which you have of God, and you are not your own?
20 For you are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
American King James Version×).
For example, when we maintain good health habits including a nutritious diet, exercise, sufficient sleep and a positive attitude, we are supporting the body’s natural biological healing mechanisms so they will continue to function well. In addition, today we have a seemingly infinite variety of options for diagnosing and treating health problems. We refer to most of those options as “healthcare” or “medical.”
“We cannot assist God with divine healing, but we can and should do physical things to assist our bodies with natural healing.”
This article is not about how to make healthcare decisions. Those decisions are very personal. Each person should pray for God’s guidance, do research and consult with competent professionals to make the wisest decisions that he can financially afford. “In the multitude of counselors there is safety” (Proverbs 11:14 Proverbs 11:14Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.
American King James Version×).
The Bible never speaks negatively about doctors and medicine. Paul referred to Luke as “the beloved physician” (Colossians 4:14 Colossians 4:14 Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you.
American King James Version×). See also Luke 5:31 Luke 5:31And Jesus answering said to them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick.
American King James Version×; 10:34; Proverbs 17:22 Proverbs 17:22A merry heart does good like a medicine: but a broken spirit dries the bones.
American King James Version×; Isaiah 1:6 Isaiah 1:6From the sole of the foot even to the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrefying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.
American King James Version×; Jeremiah 8:22 Jeremiah 8:22Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?
American King James Version×; 30:13; 51:8; Ezekiel 34:4 Ezekiel 34:4The diseased have you not strengthened, neither have you healed that which was sick, neither have you bound up that which was broken, neither have you brought again that which was driven away, neither have you sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have you ruled them.
American King James Version×. Of course a person should seek reputable care when choosing a physician or healthcare provider.
Divine Healing Is a Vital Part of God’s Plan for Humanity
Every effect has a cause (Proverbs 26:2 Proverbs 26:2As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come.
American King James Version×), and health problems are often the consequence of mistakes and mishaps—committed by the person who is sick or by others or by both. The mistakes sometimes include sins and sometimes do not include sins. (The Bible defines sin as the breaking of God’s Ten Commandments and other spiritual laws—1 John 3:4 1 John 3:4Whoever commits sin transgresses also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
American King James Version×; 5:2-3.) The causes of maladies can be a mystery because maladies often result from a combination of causes of which we are mostly unaware.
One of the reasons Jesus suffered so terribly was to pay the penalties for all those human mistakes and sins. When God heals someone, He is accepting the suffering of Christ in place of our suffering. 1 Peter 2:24 1 Peter 2:24Who his own self bore our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live to righteousness: by whose stripes you were healed.
American King James Version×(New Living Translation) says: “By His wounds you are healed.” This chapter is referring primarily to spiritual healing but also to the healing of health problems.
Peter is quoting Isaiah 53:5 Isaiah 53:5But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was on him; and with his stripes we are healed.
American King James Version×, so look at Isaiah 52:13 Isaiah 52:13Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high.
American King James Version×through Isaiah 53:12 Isaiah 53:12Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he has poured out his soul to death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
American King James Version×. That section is a prophecy of the torture and crucifixion of Christ. Verse 4 says: “Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows.” The Hebrew word translated “griefs” (in this verse and the previous verse) also has the meaning of sicknesses . The Hebrew word translated “sorrows” (in this verse and the previous verse) also has the meaning of pains . This is evident in several Bible translations.
Now compare with Matthew 8:16-17 Matthew 8:16-17 16 When the even was come, they brought to him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick:
17 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bore our sicknesses.
American King James Version×—“When evening had come, they brought to Him [Christ] many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: ‘He himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses.’”
Matthew is quoting Isaiah 53:4 Isaiah 53:4Surely he has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
American King James Version×, which proves that one of the purposes for Christ’s excruciating suffering was to take our infirmities and sicknesses upon Himself so they can be removed from us! He “suffered for us!” (1 Peter 2:21 1 Peter 2:21For even hereunto were you called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow his steps:
American King James Version×). Further evidence of this is seen in 1 Corinthians 11:29-30 1 Corinthians 11:29-30 29 For he that eats and drinks unworthily, eats and drinks damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. 30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.
American King James Version×.
The Steps to Take to Receive God’s Healing
In James 5:14 James 5:14Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
American King James Version×, we read: “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.” We believe James meant “any of the elders,” so calling one elder is sufficient.
The drop of olive oil is symbolic of God’s Holy Spirit, the power by which God heals. The anointing involves the laying on of hands by the minister and that follows the example of Jesus (Mark 6:5 Mark 6:5And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands on a few sick folk, and healed them.
American King James Version×; Luke 4:40 Luke 4:40Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them to him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them.
American King James Version×; 13:13).
When the prayer is “in the name of the Lord,” Christ is authorizing the minister to act on His behalf.
Then James 5:15 James 5:15And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
American King James Version×says: “And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.” The Greek word for “save” is sozo , which can mean deliver , make whole , preserve , heal . “Raise him up” refers to being made well.
Notice that it says “ if he has committed sins,” so sin is not always involved. Therefore when we ask for healing, that implies that we are also asking God to forgive us of any sins that were partly to blame for the sickness. God may or may not heal us at that time but He will always forgive us. So when He forgives and heals, we have a double blessing!
Then verse 16 says: “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” God is very pleased with loving intercessory prayers! This verse implies humility, honesty and openness, but it does not mean that sins need to be confessed to another human being. This may be a suggestion that when you ask others to pray for you, you should be somewhat open about whatever mistakes you made that caused the sickness.
The Option of an Anointed Cloth
If it is impractical for the elder to come to you right away, there is another option. In Acts 19:11-12 Acts 19:11-12 11 And God worked special miracles by the hands of Paul:
12 So that from his body were brought to the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them.
American King James Version×, we read: “Now God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul, so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were brought from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them.”
Following Paul’s example (1 Corinthians 11:1 1 Corinthians 11:1Be you followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
American King James Version×), the elder anoints a piece of cloth with oil, lays his hands on it, prays for the person’s healing, and mails the cloth to the person, often with a letter that gives some explanation and instruction.
Does God sometimes heal when a person has not called an elder for anointing? Yes, He does. God holds people accountable according to the degree of their understanding (see Luke 12:47-48 Luke 12:47-48 47 And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.
48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For to whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.
American King James Version×; Romans 3:20 Romans 3:20Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
American King James Version×; 7:7; 14:23; James 4:17 James 4:17Therefore to him that knows to do good, and does it not, to him it is sin.
American King James Version×). Therefore, when people pray in faith for healing but are unaware of the instructions in James 5 and Acts 19, God often heals them.
Now to summarize. If you are suffering a health problem that is serious enough to interfere with your responsibilities like work or school, and you are not rapidly improving in spite of your initial remedies, God wants you to seek His healing. Then while you are hoping and waiting for God’s miraculous healing, seek a diagnosis and treatment plan that will likely assist the natural healing.
Conditions for Answered Prayers and Healings
What are some biblical conditions we should understand regarding healing?
First, we must have faith in God as Creator and Healer. Faith in God and love for God are demonstrated by our obedience to His Commandments (1 John 3:22 1 John 3:22And whatever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
American King James Version×; 5:3). To increase one’s faith, reading God’s Word is essential. Regarding faith for healing, read the scriptures that tell of the countless miraculous healings (see Matthew 4:24 Matthew 4:24And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought to him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatic, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them.
American King James Version×; 9:35-36; 10:1, 8; 15:30).
Faith for God’s healing means that we know that God loves us, He is able to heal us, and He will heal us if and when it is His will to do so. We should ask for God’s will to be done just as Jesus Christ expressed in Luke 22:42 Luke 22:42Saying, Father, if you be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but yours, be done.
American King James Version×.
There are other conditions. They include praying in the name of Jesus Christ (John 14:12-14 John 14:12-14 12 Truly, truly, I say to you, He that believes on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go to my Father.
13 And whatever you shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
14 If you shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
American King James Version×; 16:23-24) and continuing to pray with perseverance, and sometimes with fasting (Matthew 6:5-18 Matthew 6:5-18 5 And when you pray, you shall not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Truly I say to you, They have their reward. 6 But you, when you pray, enter into your closet, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father which is in secret; and your Father which sees in secret shall reward you openly. 7 But when you pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. 8 Be not you therefore like to them: for your Father knows what things you have need of, before you ask him. 9 After this manner therefore pray you: Our Father which are in heaven, Hallowed be your name. 10 Your kingdom come, Your will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For your is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. 14 For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: 15 But if you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. 16 Moreover when you fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear to men to fast. Truly I say to you, They have their reward. 17 But you, when you fast, anoint your head, and wash your face; 18 That you appear not to men to fast, but to your Father which is in secret: and your Father, which sees in secret, shall reward you openly.
American King James Version×; 7:7; Luke 18:1-8 Luke 18:1-8 1 And he spoke a parable to them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; 2 Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: 3 And there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, Avenge me of my adversary. 4 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; 5 Yet because this widow troubles me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. 6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge said. 7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night to him, though he bear long with them? 8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man comes, shall he find faith on the earth?
American King James Version×; Romans 8:25 Romans 8:25But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
American King James Version×; Ephesians 6:18 Ephesians 6:18Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
American King James Version×; James 5:11 James 5:11Behold, we count them happy which endure. You have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.
American King James Version×; Psalms 35:13 Psalms 35:13But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into my own bosom.
American King James Version×).
God loves all people as His children, and His offer of miraculous healing is one of His greatest blessings, often regarded as second only to His offer of salvation!
When you ask God for healing, you have put the matter in His hands and trust Him to make the best decisions. God will bless you spiritually whether or not He blesses you physically at that time.
When God blesses you with divine healing, it certainly is a time of relief and joy and a time to thank and praise “the LORD, your healer.” And you can be grateful that you have had a part in bringing added glory to God!