Also, if appropriate, you might ask if you can lay hands on them in the place where they feel the most pain. "Laying on of hands" is a dynamic way of imparting the anointing of the Holy Spirit.
After you've prayed for a minute or two, it's good to ask them how things are going. Find out if the pain has lessened or if they feel anything "different" taking place in their bodies. When a person is experiencing a touch from God, they may feel tingling, coolness, heat, peace, joy, or perhaps nothing at all. Have them provide a little feedback so you can get a sense of how things are going.
If there's a sense of breakthrough, ask them to do something they couldn't do before. For example, if pain was in their leg, have them now put a little weight on it and walk. Obviously wisdom must be shown in each circumstance. The ill should only be encouraged to respond in a way they're completely comfortable with. I've found that sometimes the healing comes in a moment of response.
Obviously not everyone will respond favorably to this kind of prayer engagement. Healing doesn't fit the common understanding of Christianity in North America or Europe. Because of this, some will reject your efforts. This is always disappointing.
Nevertheless, the possibility of rejection is probably not our biggest problem. I believe the greatest impediment to the ministry of healing is our own insecurities and fears. Christians often become their own saboteurs.
It is important that one doesn't allow the awkwardness and discomfort to dissuade them from making an effort. It is not always easy, but Spirit-filled believers need to press in anyway.
I always get a knot in my stomach when I talk to someone about their illness, but I refuse to let that stand in my way. I have pressed against the awkwardness and have personally engaged hundreds of sick people. To my great joy, many were powerfully impacted by the mercy of Jesus. I've seen healing take place in gas stations, restaurants, and department stores. While my sincere efforts are occasionally rejected, most of the time people are genuinely open to an encounter with Jesus.
I think it's time for Christians to get over the awkwardness and discomfort and start advancing the kingdom. It is time to be brave. There is a sick world that is desperately waiting for us to advance. Will you join me?
J.D. King is the director of the World Revival Network.
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