Before people can have a steadfast faith for the healing of their body, they must be rid of all uncertainty concerning God's will in the matter. Appropriating faith cannot go beyond one's knowledge of the revealed will of God. Before attempting to exercise faith for healing, one needs to know what the Scriptures plainly teach, that it is just as much God's will to heal the body as it is to heal the soul. The sermons in this book point out and explain those portions of Scripture that will forever settle this point for you. It is only by knowing that God promises what you are seeking that all uncertainty can be removed and a steadfast faith is made possible. His promises are each a revelation of what God is eager to do for us. Until we know what God's will is, there is nothing on which to base our faith.
It is important that the mind of those seeking healing be "renewed" so as to be brought into harmony with the mind of God. This is revealed in the Bible and pointed out in the following pages. Faith for the appropriation of God's promised blessings is the result of knowing and acting on God's Word (Romans 10:17). The right mental attitude, or the "renewed mind" (Romans 12:2), makes steadfast faith possible to all.
We are constantly receiving testimonies from those who, though prayed for repeatedly without success, were afterwards wonderfully healed while reading this book. Many also have been happily converted while reading these instructions.
It would surprise the world if they could read the wonderful testimonies that have come to us from all over the country. We have received more than 225,000 letters from our radio listeners and their friends, most of whom we have never seen.
The truths discussed in this book of sermons, together with "the prayer of faith," have brought healing within the grasp of many thousands of sufferers, who would not have recovered without the direct action of the Holy Spirit. To God be all the glory.
While we rejoice in these miracles, we remember that they are only external manifestations of a thousand times greater and more precious miracle that has transpired within the sacred chamber of the inner soul. The inner cause is so much more precious than the outward effect. External results from prayer are like figures in a bank book that show that you have gold deposited in the bank. The gold is more valuable than the figures.
Jesus said, "The Word is the seed." It is the seed of the divine life. Until the person seeking healing is sure from God's Word that it is God's will to heal him, he is trying to reap a harvest where there is no seed planted. It would be impossible for a farmer to have faith for a harvest before he was sure the seed had been planted.
It is not God's will that there shall be a harvest without the planting of the seed—without His will being known and acted on. Jesus said, "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." Freedom from sickness comes from knowing the truth. God does nothing without His Word. "He sent His Word and it healed them" are the words of the Holy Spirit (Psalm 107:20, Fenton's translation). "All His work is done in faithfulness" to His promises.
For each sick person to know that it is God's will to heal him, it is necessary for the "seed" to be planted in his mind and heart. It is not planted until it is known and received and trusted. No sinner can become a Christian before he knows that it is God's will to save him. It is the Word of God, planted and watered and steadfastly trusted, which heals both soul and body. The "seed" must remain planted and be kept watered before it can produce its harvest.
For one to say, "I believe the Lord is able to heal me" before he knows from God's Word that He is willing to heal him, is like a farmer saying, "I believe God is able to give me a harvest, without any seed being planted and watered." God can't save the soul of a man before the man himself knows God's will in the matter. Salvation is by faith—that is, by trusting the known will of God. Being healed is being saved in a physical sense.
Praying for healing with the faith-destroying words, "if it be Thy will," is not planting the "seed"; it is destroying the seed. "The prayer of faith" that heals the sick is to follow (not precede) the planting of the "seed" (the Word). Faith is based on this alone.
It is the Gospel, which the Holy Spirit says, "is the power of God unto salvation" in all its phases, both physical and spiritual. All the Gospel is for "every creature" and for "all nations." The Gospel does not leave a man in uncertainty praying with an "if it be Thy will;" it tells him what God's will is. The Holy Spirit's words, "Himself ... bare our sicknesses" (Matthew 8:17), are just as truly a part of the gospel as His words, "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree" (1 Peter 2:24).
Neither the spiritual nor the physical phase of the gospel is to be applied by prayer alone. Seed is powerless until it is planted. Many, instead of saying, "Pray for me," should first say, "Teach me God's Word, so that I can intelligently cooperate for my recovery." We must know what the benefits of Calvary are before we can appropriate them by faith.
During the first half of the 20th century, F. F. Bosworth conducted evangelistic and healing campaigns across the country and launched the "National Radio Revival" ministry. This article is an excerpt from his book Christ the Healer. At age 75, he went to Africa to preach and teach. He died in 1958. His son, Robert V. Bosworth, editor of the present edition, continues the ministry through World Outreach, Inc., African Evangelical Mission, and Morning Watch.