Jesus and Our Commission to Heal

by Randy Clark
Spring/Summer 2016

To the people of the first century, healing was a sign of the presence of the Messiah. To show you how important this was to Jesus, I want to look at Luke 4:18. The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because He has anointed me to preach Good News to the poor. He sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners, recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. Jesus was quoting this from Isaiah in reference to Himself. Healing was to be a sign of the anointing of God that rested on the Messiah.

The Hebrew word for “Messiah” and the Greek word for “Christ” both mean the same thing—“the anointed one.” In the Luke passage, Jesus is saying that He is the Anointed One about whom the prophet Isaiah spoke. It was He that was going to bring healing and deliverance to hurting and broken people. Healing, which is an indicator of the presence of the Messiah, should also be an indicator of the presence of the Messiah among His people today—the Body of Christ. My point is that we are not preaching the whole Gospel if we are leaving out the message of healing (see Romans 15:18-19). The Gospel is not just about the forgiveness of sins (though that is a key element), but it is also about healing. Healing is not a side issue to the Good News of Jesus Christ. It is central to the Gospel. Christ came to bring healing to the whole person—body, soul and spirit.

As a believer in Jesus the Messiah, you and I have been given a commission to pray for and to be used in healing the sick. It is not just for the elders of the Church to lay hands and be used to heal the sick. This is referenced in James 5:13-15. Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. This passage shows that we are to call for the elders to come and pray for us if we are sick.

I believe that this passage has been misunderstood for many years. I personally believe that this scripture is in reference to those who could not get to the gathering of God’s people because their sickness was so bad. It is in this context that we are to call for the elders to come and anoint us with oil and pray for us. It isn’t the way we see it in our churches today, where the elders are the only ones in the Church Body who pray for the sick during ministry time, while everyone else sits and watches from the congregation. I think that it is fine to have sick people prayed for every week, but we shouldn’t limit praying to just the elders of the church.

In the church where I was pastor, we believed that every one of us has been commissioned to heal the sick. Because of this belief, we encouraged everyone to pray for the sick—not just the elders. Whether we’re at church or at work, if someone is sick, we ought to be a light in the darkness and offer prayer for him or her. We should be praying to God when we go to work, “God, let me be used at work today.”
When I was teaching some time ago, a man who had a pretty important job at NASA came to the meeting. He told me about a coworker who came to him and told him he was sick.
This man, believing that God could use him at his workplace, asked, “Can I pray for you?”

The sick man replied, “Yes,” and even though he wasn’t a churchgoer, he received prayer. He had never seen anything like this before. When he got prayer, the power of God came upon him, and he fell to the floor right in his workplace. He got up healed!

You might think that I’m telling you these stories because I’m a preacher. Well, I believe that anyone can pray for people anywhere—not just preachers. Let me tell you a story to illustrate this. When I started my former church, I took a job frying donuts for eleven months so that I could get to meet some people in the city of St. Louis. I traveled to over eighty Kroger stores in two states. I hated that job, but I knew God gave it to me for a purpose. I would say, “Lord, You know I hate this job, and I thank You that You gave it to me. But it’s so boring. Lord, if You would just let Your anointing come on me! If anybody says that they’re sick, Lord, I’m going to pray for them. I am making a promise. This whole year that I’m frying donuts, if anybody at work tells me they are sick, I’m going to say: I’m a Christian, I believe that Jesus still heals today.

When I would get the opportunity to pray for someone, I would tell them, “Now I can’t promise you He’s going to heal you. Some of the people that get prayer get healed, while others don’t get healed. But I’ve seen many people get healed when we pray for them. Would you like me to pray for you?”

I wanted to see if healing prayer would work for anyone. Ninety percent of the people I met on this job were unbelievers. When I offered to pray for someone I was hardly ever turned down. It is our commission to pray for the sick—every one of us. I want to share another story from when I was frying donuts for those eleven months. I was a tech representative for Dawn Food Products. The head bakery clerk was acting very nervous one day so I went up to her and said, “You know, I don’t even work for Kroger. I’m here to serve you. I’m here to help you and the people that are learning how to fry the donuts. So I’m just here to help you, don’t be nervous.”

“I’m not nervous because you’re here,” she said. “I’m nervous because I’ve had a severe infection in my ears, and I can hardly hear what you’re saying. I’m nervous because I don’t know what you’re saying.”

Later, I was over washing the dishes that I had used, and the thought came to me, “Are you going to pray for her?” Silently I said, “Yeah Lord, I told you I would.” So I went up to her and said, “You know, I’m a Christian, and I believe that Jesus still heals today... (All she knows is that I’m a donut fryer)..I can’t promise you He’s going to heal you, but if you would be willing, I will pray for you.”

She answered, “I would like that.”

I said, “Well, when can I pray for you?”

She answered, “Right now.” So we went back into the break room where there were about five other people smoking. That smoke was very heavy—and it definitely wasn’t the Shekinah Glory!

Let me insert a thought here that I want to teach you on how you can pray naturally in a non-church setting. We need to be able to become naturally supernatural. In church, you can shout or use whatever style or mannerisms you want. In the workplace that’s not going to be as effective. You have to learn how to naturally move in the supernatural—how to move in models of ministry that are transferable to outside the sanctuary. God sends us into the streets to do this stuff, not to keep it within the church. We keep saying, “Well, how am I going to witness to somebody?” Just look for a way of serving them and praying for them. Healing is a wonderful way to show the love of God to someone who is hurting.

When a person doesn’t know what to expect because of their lack of knowledge, I say something like this: “Listen, I’m not going to slap you on the head.” Some people have only seen healing prayer done in weird ways on the television. They might be afraid you’re going to do something weird to them. I might also say “I’m not going to yell at you either. I’m going to pray with my eyes open and people are just going to think I’m talking to you. I don’t want you to pray. You don’t have to do anything. But if you begin to feel something, tell me.”

So I asked this lady, “Is that OK?”

She said, “Yeah.”

I put my hand up to her ear, and all I said was, “In the Name of Jesus” in the beginning of my prayer.

All of the sudden she had a look of astonishment on her face. So I said, “You can hear?”

“Yes!” she shouted. You should have seen her face. I didn’t even get to pray anything more. She said, “As soon as you said ‘In the Name of Jesus,’ my ear popped open!”

Now that she just had an encounter with Jesus, it was easy to make the next transition. Healing is a great way to transition to ask someone about their relationship with God. I asked her, “Well, how do you feel about Jesus?”

She began to cry and sob as she told me that “Several years ago I was on the Session of the Presbyterian Church, I got really hurt and I’ve not been back to that church since that day.”

“Well, how do you feel about God now?”

Still weeping she said, “I didn’t think He would touch me.”

“Do you feel His love?”


“Well, why don’t you go back and forgive them, and tell them what He did for you.” She went back and explained what had happened and got involved in church once again. God moved powerfully on that woman in the break room, right in the midst of other people and the cigarette smoke.

Moving in the supernatural in the workplace makes the Christian life fun. It’s what makes a boring job tolerable. There is an element of surprise as you go into work every day, because you don’t know when you are going to step into the supernatural. If we believe the only time that God can work is when we meet together for church, then we have God in a very small box. He wants to use each of us to be a blessing in the community that we are in. Hardly any of my testimonies that first year came from being at church; rather they came from my workplace.

I asked the Lord, “Well God, why is there so much faith in the workplace?” His response was this: “Because they have not been taught that I don’t do anything.”
Those who have gone someplace where they have been taught that God stopped doing signs and wonders don’t have much expectation. I asked one man, “Can I pray for you?”

He said, “No.” It is one of the few times that I was turned down.

“Well, why not?”

“If you pray for me, I know that God is going to change me, and I don’t want to change.” Did he have faith? Yes, he had a lot of faith. What he didn’t have was repentance with his faith. It is not enough to believe—even the demons believe and tremble. (James 2:19b)

Excerpted from The Biblical Basis for Healing, by Randy Clark, copyright Global Awakening, Mechanicsburg, PA.

Randy Clark Randy Clark is President and Founder of Global Awakening.
 Spring/Summer 2016 Issue