Is There a Gift of Healing? - Radical

Is There a Gift of Healing?

As we look to Scripture and read about gifts of healing, how can believers implement prayer in hopes of healing? In this message, Pastor David Platt guides believers through practical ways in which we can pray for the gift of healing. Pastor David Platt defines healings within the context of Scripture, and discusses the very connections between prayers and healings. As with any act of God, healings are another primary way in which we are able to see His power on display.

  1. Defining Gifts of Healing
  2. Should We Pray for Healing?
  3. Pray with Purpose
  4. Pray With Faith

Watch Full Message Of “Secret Church 5: Exploring the Holy Spirit

Gifts of healing. Gifts of healing in 1 Corinthians 12:8—10 and verse 28, the purpose of healings. And I’m going to show you these in the word. Healings, four primary purposes that I see, healings authenticate God’s Word, the gospel, they authenticate God’s word. Healings comfort God’s people, the church.

Defining Gifts Of Healing

God shows mercy to his people who are ill or sick through healings. Healings remove hindrances to God’s work, to ministry. And healings glorify God’s name. Authenticate God’s word, the gospel, they comfort God’s people of the church, they remove hindrances to God’s work and ministry and glorify God’s name. People see evidence of the greatness and the goodness and the love and the power and the wisdom of God in healings.

The gifts of healings. Gifts of healings. And I’m using the plural here because that’s how it’s described in 1 Corinthians 12, the gift of praying in different kinds of situations with different kinds of needs for healing to occur. Look at James 5, “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.

Now, pause real quick, some would say, “Well, we don’t need to pray for healing. We don’t know to even encourage, David, you should not encourage people to pray for healing because if God doesn’t heal, then maybe they will doubt God’s power. Maybe they will grow angry at God.” I hear that in one sense. At the same time, the alternative I don’t see in scripture, I don’t think I would ever say to anybody, “Well, don’t pray for healing.” I would never say to somebody, “Well, God does not have power to heal,” or that He’s not able to heal. There’s obviously a picture in which healing does happen and God does do miraculous things at times.

Should We Pray for Healing?

And so should we pray for healing? Yes, I think we’re encouraged in scripture. I think that’s what James 5 is doing, encouraged to pray for healing. I don’t think we need to take the step that some in more Pentecostal kind of pictures would take to say that well, all sickness is it attributed either directly or indirectly to Satan and we have power over Satan and Christ of the Spirit and therefore, if you have enough faith in Christ of the Spirit, you’ll be delivered from your sickness.

I don’t think that’s biblical because I think there’s all kinds of incidences… It didn’t work for Paul. 2 Corinthians 12, he was asking God to remove this thing and he didn’t. There’s other people, there were times when Paul was sick, unfortunately Paul didn’t live by that so I don’t think scripture gives us that kind of picture.

Pray With Purpose

But scripture does tell us to pray for healings and does talk about it, gifts of healing. So how do we then? How do we pray for healing? When somebody’s sick, how do we pray for healing? I think two main thoughts. Pray with purpose for healings. And by that I mean pray in light of the purposes we saw earlier, for the advancement of the gospel. You look at Acts 5 and 9 and 14 and 19 there, what you see is people being healed and people coming to Christ as a result of that. So pray

I think when you pray for somebody who’s sick, pray, “God, I pray that you might bring healing here for the advancement of the gospel, for the comfort of the church, for the comfort of God’s people.” This is Acts 27 through 12. This is so appropriate. This is Eutychus who Paul just kept preaching and kept preaching and preaching and he fell asleep and he fell out of the window so be thankful that you are in nice cushion seats right now and not high above 2, 3, 4 stories or else we might have to pull a Eutychus out here and really test whether or not this gift to feeling things work.

So anyway, next, success in ministry, success in ministry. This is a picture there, Tabitha being healed to push ministry forward in that region there in Japa for the glory of God. Acts three is when man, layman is healed and begins to glorify Christ and many people are astonished by this picture. So pray. Pray in light of those purposes, for the advancement of the gospel, for the comfort of God’s people, for success in ministry, for the glory of God.

Pray With Faith

And pray with faith for healings. And here’s the kind of faith we pray with. Now, again, please do not mistake me as saying here that if we have enough faith that that means healing will automatically happen. I do not believe scripture is teaching that. We don’t see that in scripture.

Pray with faith for healing because the kingdom is here. In Luke chapter 7, the way Jesus described how John the Baptist will know that the kingdom of God had come in Christ is because the blind and receiving sight and the lame are walking and those who have leprosy are cured and the deaf are healing. Jesus’ presence on the earth was evidence that the kingdom was here.

And when God miraculously brings healing in instances today, he reminds us that the kingdom is here. Christ’s kingdom is here. But we pray also with faith that the kingdom is coming. When God doesn’t heal, we hold to this truth. The kingdom is coming. 2 Corinthians 12, Galatians 4, 1 Timothy 5 and 2 Timothy 4 are all instances in which healing did not come, where people were still sick even as they were following God, but they knew, and the New Testament teaches us. So we pray, we pray in light of purpose, pray for faith, for healings, but we know that there’s coming a day when he will heal our bodies. He says, Romans 8, Ephesians 4, he will heal our bodies and one day we will see his face.

David Platt

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


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