What Is Faith Healing And How Does It Work?
Modified: January 9, 2024
Faith healing is gift for the ones who can heal people through faith and a blessing for those who can heal under the Name of the Lord.
(Many of the links in this article redirect to a specific reviewed product. Your purchase of these products through affiliate links helps to generate commission for Christian.net, at no extra cost. Learn more)
During a faith-healing session, people with health-related problems gather in hopes of one thing- Getting healed. In this crowd, people are suffering from bone diseases, respiratory ailments, mobility problems, and more. Faith healing is healing not by medicine but, by faith. Now, how this works is, a charismatic person lays his or her hands on the person with the illness and prays by faith for the illness to be gone. They pray in faith and believe that the intervention of God will heal those who have faith. But, what takes place? Is it a miracle by faith or healing by coincidence?
Also known as “divine healing” or “miracle healing”, this process pertains to the removal of any existing physical illnesses or discomforts through the use of the divine intervention. This includes the usage of powerful prayers or pray-overs that seek the Miracle of God. Faith healing is an inheritance we have received from Jesus. In the year 2000, Newsweek Magazine revealed the results of a survey regarding this matter. The results showed that 54 percent of adult Americans with different faith structures believed in faith healing and the ability of the mind to heal the body. So, what is faith healing, and how does this work? More importantly, what does the Bible say about this?
How Faith Healing Works
Faith healing is an important part of every Christian’s life. It has been around for decades and was especially seen in action during the time when Jesus was on earth. The Bible has a record of forty healings done by Jesus during his ministry. Aside from Him, faith healing was also done by His Apostles in the various missions they set out for. Not just that, faith healing such as anointing and healing through hand contact has been associated numerously with pastors, anointed preachers, and church leaders. However, today, anyone can be a mediator of faith to the sick for prayer is power. If you believe and have faith in God’s healing and claim it, you will receive it.
Read more: 45 Best Prayers For Healing And Recuperation
The Works of the Faith Healers
With these guidelines, faith healers can work on eliminating diseases. To clarify, the process of faith healing through prayer is not done as a result of prayer. Instead, it’s the declaration of how God heals the body of any sickness in full understanding and absolute confidence. As clarified by faith healers, this process announces the successful healing of God even before He starts. Therefore, we can say that this method takes a big leap in faith for it to work.
As for these “faith healers”, unlike the common misconceptions, their abilities do not really stem from their magical or supernatural powers to heal people. Just like anyone, these faith healers are just humans. But, what makes them faith healers is the blessing of how God used their bodies as a vessel for healing. Their ability is a hundred percent dependent on God, they do not control the results of God’s Will. To clarify, they are instruments by God, and by no means can they heal anyone with their raw powers.
1 Corinthians 12:28 tells us about this topic; Paul lists the power of healing as one of the gifts available to the human body. This clears up the misconception about faith healers having powers. They don’t have special powers. However, they are being used by the Holy Spirit to heal people depending on the Will of God. This is like how some people are gifted with the ability to effectively preach the Word of God. They can touch the lives and heal the hearts of many through the presence of the Holy Spirit in their words. Still, these two abilities rely on God and God alone.
The History Of Faith Healing
Although the act of healing is usually associated with the time of Jesus in the New Testament, faith healing was already around before He was born! Even during the era of Ancient Egypt, evidence of its popularity was found in the Ebers Papyrus around 1552 BC. But, faith healing wasn’t found just in Egypt. The Greeks were also known for using therapeutic touch therapy in their Asklepian temples for healing the sick.
Today, faith healing is still used in many cultures and faith-based practices. In fact, its platform is growing bigger. There are now faith healers on content sharing and social media sites, and preachers who preach on the works of faith healing. Since there isn’t really a single method in the process of faith healing, the people who are genuinely gifted in healing can practice their gifts from God on easier grounds unlike before. But the main thing is, faith healing is given to all Christians. All they need to do is have faith, and believe in the power of prayer.
Faith Healing in A Scientific Perspective
While it is true that faith healing is recognized by large groups of people, it also shares a great portion of doubts and disbelief. According to some of the participants in various online platform forums, they say that faith healing is a “scam” or a fraudulent approach done by people who attempt in making a business from faith healing. Most American scientists remain sharply divided on the question of faith healing. Many say it is inconsistent and does not justify bringing religion into medical practice.
In an attempt to fully understand how faith healing works, the people in the field of science published different insights between the connection of the human body and the methods of healing. While there are doubts about how these are performed, the insights created by science can explain what happens inside the body as the process is ongoing. Here are some of the statements regarding this matter.
Faith Healing is a Matter of Adrenaline
Derren Brown, the creator of a Netflix educational show called “Miracle” has always been curious as to how people can heal through these methods. In his show, he was able to experience what it was like to spearhead a similar flow. In a Youtube video from Big Think, he explains that when someone is being healed, their adrenaline rushes and increases greatly.
Adrenaline is a painkiller. He emphasizes that the process of faith healing touches the psychological aspects of high adrenaline presence. He adds that just like how someone can hit their toe to be followed by a lion entering this person’s room, a person can easily ignore the pain of the toe caused by the adrenaline of wanting to escape the room with the lion.
Faith Healing is a Placebo Effect
The concept of the placebo effect has been known for years. Basically, this is the tendency of the mind to dictate the body’s condition as the brain is strong enough to alter what a person thinks he is feeling. The placebo effect is used in experiments like the ones with the weight loss pill. There are two sets of people given a pill, the first set was told that the pill had no effect on weight loss while the second set was told the opposite.
The pill that was given to them actually had no weight loss properties. But at the end of the study, the second set showed results of weight loss. This was because of the affirmations that they are going to lose weight with the pill. Just like this, many people associate faith healing with the placebo effect.
The Truth About Faith Healing
Just like how we can ever explain the vastness of the universe God created or the twist of time God planned, the full effect of God’s grace is immeasurable. Faith healing does exist, it has existed before and it is still existing now. Although the studies can give us a hint of what is happening inside, we can never truly understand the complexity of God’s power – and that’s okay!
Though it might be hard to comprehend how faith healing is possible at first, we should remember God made the world’s foundation (Job 38:4-30 ). But with the presence of faith, everything will come accordingly. Remember, faith is the first and most important step of healing. We can never truly explain the world’s mystery fully but as Galileo Galilei said, science is the language God has written the universe. Everything is possible with God and if we have faith, we know that this sentence is as true as His Love for us.
The Biblical Lessons of Faith Healing
While there are attempts of scientific narratives in explaining how faith healing works, the Bible has a more simplified answer to this. First, the Bible does touch the subject of faith healing. This is seen mostly in the time of Jesus and yes, God can heal anyone anytime. For example, in Matthew 9:18-26, a woman who was bleeding for twelve years had faith that if she could only touch Jesus’ cloak, her healing would be guaranteed. So, when she did touch His cloak, Jesus looked at her and said that she has been healed by her faith. At that very moment, the woman was healed. The lesson taught here is that when we simply reach to God in faith, he will respond.
As Christians, a sick person should also offer their prayers in faith so they can be healed (James 5:13-16). In the New Testament alone, faith healing has been done numerous times by Jesus. He lived and healed, addressing different severe ailments from different people. But, if we take a good look at all these people Jesus healed, their process all began with faith and none of them failed in getting healed by Jesus. Still, there are some other clarifications about how the Bible describes faith healing:
Humans Hinder Healing
Of course, no human would want to have a lifetime illness. But sometimes, we don’t even notice that we do not heal because we didn’t allow God to heal us in the first place. In John 5:6-7, Jesus asked a lame man if he wanted to get well. Who wouldn’t, right? Considering the man was lame for 38 years, it was an odd question to ask. Perhaps the question given by Jesus was to address why the man isn’t seeking the Lord’s healing. Probably, Jesus saw the man’s liking to the attention and charity he receives from other people.
James 4:2 addresses our tendency to want something but we don’t receive it because we don’t ask God. This doesn’t go only for the subject of healing, all our desires can be acquired, all our pains will be succored – only if we ask God. We need to seek Him and that’s the first step. From there, God will start working on our lives and heal whatever’s taking up our bodies and souls.
God Can Say “No”
Faith healing involves the vessel which is our body and the blessing which is God. As great as being healed through faith may be, God can say “no” sometimes. God’s approval works, but He does not always give us everything we want, including healing (Romans 8:32). For some, this can be a little concerning but, it’s for the best.
God has His unfailing plan for our lives. As early as the world was made, He already knows what to do with every second of our lives and the good news is, He has destined greatness for us at the end if we choose to follow and accept Him. So when God says no to healing despite our high levels of faith, it is because He has greater plans for us or higher healings for us.
We Need to Confess
The concept of faith healing revolves around accepting and announcing that God is going to get rid of our sickness. With that in mind, we cannot do this if we have sins we choose to hide from God. Of course, God knows all our sins but, He wants us to confess it. Healing demands confession (James 5:16). It is easy to say that we want God to heal us and therefore, we believe that He will. But we need to release ourselves from the sins we carry. And until then, God can start working His ways. God wants more than simply proclamation, for faith healing, He needs our full submission!
God Can Do Everything
Another important lesson faith healing tells us is how God can do anything. It doesn’t just go for healing, He can change, create, and remove anything in a split second. But as how the Bible reveals us the miracles and the wonderful blessings done by God, the recipients of His blessings are actually those who believed in Him.
Experiencing a successful faith healing cannot be done without acknowledging that God is bigger than whatever barrier and burden we carry in our lives. Sometimes, people can overestimate their problems while underestimating the Lord’s immense power. But really, it should not be this way. We have to know deep in our hearts that the Lord can do everything.
We Will All Experience Ultimate Healing
Yes, all of us are bound to experience the ultimate healing in the Heavens called death. For others, this might sound like an eerie topic and that’s normal, death can sound terrifying at first. But death is the ultimate healing (Revelation 21:4). When we die, we will no longer experience sorrow, sickness, or pain. This is why it’s the ultimate healing we cannot run away from.
No person would want sickness or even death but, if we open our minds to what really happens in the big picture, we can understand. This doesn’t mean that we should just give up and embrace our deaths. Instead, we just need to accept the concept of death as it is inevitable.
Just like Lazarus, Jesus brought him back to life (John 11:1-45) because Jesus still had a mission for him to do in his life for God’s grace. Still, this does not eliminate the truth that humans are destined to reunite with their Creator after their lives on Earth. Faith healing does not cancel a person’s death because everyone is bound to die. Instead, faith healing expands only the time before a person dies in perfect sync of God’s Will.
Throughout history, there are people who claim to practice the kinds of healing only God can do. Again, faith healing does not come from the supernatural powers of the faith healers, they are mere vessels of the Spirit blessed to heal people. This does not make them in any way dependent on their own power. However, now, there are people out there who claim to be faith healers when they are actually not.
There have been numerous instances of people using the concept of faith healing for business. They trick sick people into buying their services or products and use the idea of a false faith to give an illusion of healing. This is an insult to God and therefore, should not be avoided at all costs. If anyone is planning to contact a faith healer, start with your faith first. Why? Remember, the best person to contact at times when we are desperate for healing is God Himself. He’s just there and He’s waiting for us to call His Name.
Faith healing is just one of the countless blessings God has for us. Truly, it is amazing to the extent that some people doubt it. But as for the believers, we know that this is just one of the many things our faith can do to us. The Bible has many pages explaining how faith saved many people. So, the truth of what faith healing does is not something unfamiliar. Together, let’s keep our faiths high as God sets our burdens and sickness lower. Remember, seeking God is setting up an appointment with the greatest Healer in the world! He will heal you and He will succeed.