Post Deliverance Counseling

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Post deliverance follow-up

post deliverance counselingEven after having successfully administered deliverance to a person in need, your service is not yet complete. The bondage may have been broken however; the person may yet need inner healing of emotions, relationships, rest, and suggestions on how to continue living free of bondage in the future, counsel and other types of help. As a member of the ministry team, perhaps you do not feel qualified to help in all of these areas but we all need to be prepared to give significant help in various areas.

This help should always include prayer and counsel that freedom is not automatic and it is necessary to make some decisions to preserve it. Help them with suggestions to continue walking in freedom.

Practice healthy spiritual living

  • Time in prayer
  • Daily bible reading
  • Involvement in the local church
  • Active participation in a small group
  • Seek out a leader and share what is happening

Break bad habits

The person may need to break old harmful habits and there is a good chance that he won’t be able to do so just because he has received deliverance from demonic oppression. Help the person see the importance of changing bad habit patterns. Each time people find that they have fallen back into a bad habit, they must consciously decide not to follow that pattern; they should remind themselves that the spirit that formerly tormented them has been cast out. They should ask God to help them change their habits. They may have to train their minds. It will help if they appropriate and thank God for giving them the mind of Christ and not give place to the devil. Some people have to work consciously for several days, weeks or even months in order to change their habits, but eventually old habits die and new ones replace them.

Learn to forgive yourself

Explain that forgiveness is a decision and not a feeling. We can forgive others even if we do not feel like it. We can choose to forgive. The human spirit is above emotions; and it is necessary to forgive ourselves for our own good. Explain that it is necessary to forgive quickly for protection against present hurts.

Explain that forgiveness of past hurts is like pealing an onion; it happens in layers. You may forgive your father today for everything that the Holy Spirit has revealed concerning him. However, later, after a few days, you may remember something else that he did or said against you that hurt or irritated you and this causes feelings of revenge or thinking of a way to “pay him back” for the cruel words that he spoke against you. These signs point to the need for additional forgiveness. This process may last for an extended period before all hurts are resolved.

Participate in a small group

Joining a small group is one of the most important steps that a person can take. A support group, with trustworthy members is vitally important. If the person does not yet participate in a small group, help him to get connected to one as soon as possible, explaining that those who do not belong to a small group functioning as a body of Christ have no protection against spiritual attacks.

Promptly take all of your hurts to God for healing

Hurts will certainly come in this life, but we do not have to allow them to imprison us. Encourage those to whom you minister to ask God to heal them each time that a word or event hurts them physically or emotionally. Advise them that they might have to resist the urge to cultivate hurts that give way to self-pity.

Break all soul ties

Encourage him to restore any tangible or intangible thing of which he has defrauded others and to forgive those who have defrauded him. This is an important part of preserving freedom. If he does not move toward the necessary reconciliation and forgiveness, these situations will build up and form a spiritual burden that will hinder his spiritual walk and intimacy with the Lord.

Give other suggestions on how to continue to walk in freedom. You should make sure that he is aware that Satan is not happy with his deliverance and can send strong temptations to return to old habits and sins so that the demonic entryways can be opened once again. Encourage him to resist the temptation and give him some suggestions on how to do this.

After deliverance following these instructions:

  • Praise God, singing or listening to praise music; reading the Psalms
  • Pray in the spirit
  • Take authority of the spirit of temptation; in the name of Jesus, tell it to leave
  • Thank God for your deliverance
  • If you fall, repent quickly and shut the doors to the enemy again
  • If Satan accuses you of being a sinner, just tell him that he is correct but you have been forgiven and have been made the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus
  • Find new ways of remembering that Jesus is your Lord. Make it a priority to serve God as your Lord in every area of your life and ask his Spirit to fill you daily.

Consider helpful scriptural passages

Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. (Galatians 5:1)

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)

These passages will greatly help those for whom you minister to, make a list of other passages and give it to them.

Here are some things that can be included in your prayers during the deliverance ministry time:

  • Thank God for delivering the person for whom you prayed, and continue to pray
  • Encourage the person to continue to repent and forgive as part of his spiritual walk
  • Pray for his success in overcoming the practice of wrong habits of the past
  • Pray that he or she learn to remain free
  • Pray also for healing of inner hurts such as loneliness, confusion, depression or other emotional needs that have become apparent during the ministry time. Do not rush this time of prayer. Allow the Holy Spirit to guide you.

Show God’s love to those for whom you are praying and if they begin to cry, console them. Do not hesitate to embrace those who are of the same gender. The Holy Spirit may be operating deep inner healing in the person so you should not rush the process. Pray for other needs separately if you have time. Remember your principal focus must be on the person who is likely festering emotional hurts.

Don’t hesitate to pray for relationships that need healing, like with spouses, children or employers. Pray that the Lord guide them in their relationships with these people in grace, patience and forgiveness.

When you pray for someone with these needs there is no more need for the other team members to refrain from touching and reassuring them while they are receiving prayer. It is even better if there are several people ministering at the same time so that your time together is more effective because of the participation of a greater number of people.

Hidden spirits can appear at this stage. For example, a person can break down in tears when you begin to offer prayers for healing. If you ask the right questions, you can discover strong spirits of pain, fear, or other emotions, then you can deal with them in prayer and intercession.

Maintain contact with the person

We can deeply touch others through our constant zeal and this can be a great encouragement. Check up on them and offer them prayer and encouragement.

Offer a list of suggestions on how to maintain deliverance.

It will be a great help to the people who you minister to if some of your suggestions are written down and given to them as a reminder. You can prepare a list of the most common suggestions, truths that have helped you greatly. From time to time, you can update the suggestions that you have included.

If you have been ministering to more mature believers these lists may be a great help together with your prayer. If they are new believers however, we must be careful not to overload them with too many suggestions and too much information.

Always try to include others to pray together with you. You will benefit from their intercession and they can help you listen to the direction of the Holy Spirit. In addition, the presence of others is important in case a serious problem occurs during the ministry time.

Sometimes those for whom we pray will bring a friend, relative or family member to the meeting, or they may want to have someone they know present during the ministry time. This can frequently be very helpful. Generally, the friend or relative is eager to help deliver those for whom they care and if necessary, can encourage them to cooperate. This person can also be a key help to those we pray for to retain their freedom after their deliverance. In addition, the friend or relative can help those who are receiving ministry identify problems that they may have forgotten.

Be a teacher. Help the person see what you are doing – how you locate open doors, how you close them, how you break the power of evil spirits and how you cast them out. Tell those to whom you minister that they will be able to help with others in the future. Remind them that they can also become ministers and in the future, they can practice what they have learned from you.

Remember that you as a servant of the Lord, having helped others to gain freedom can also suffer the attacks of Satan. You may encounter sickness, discouragement, difficulties at work or at home, confusion and weariness. You can command any spirit that attacks you to leave in the name of Jesus. If you cannot get free on your own, call up a friend who you trust and ask them to pray for you.

Keep up your own defences

  • Be careful to maintain your spiritual activities
  • Pray in the spirit
  • Walk in repentance as a lifestyle!
  • Walk in love, peace and joy!
  • Always give an account to God
  • Continue to be accountable to your spouse, leader and discipler
  • Consider each satanic attack as an opportunity to demonstrate God’s great power!
  • Rest in God. Ask Him to show you how to react to the attack (James 1:2)
  • Ask God to defeat Satan for you. (James 1:5)
  • God is your strength and savior! (Psalm 18:1-2)

Keep your eyes on your family

If Satan is not able to get to you, he may try to attack the members of your family. Pray and rest in God because unless the LORD guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. (Psalm 127)

How to deal with supernatural manifestations

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Demonic manifestations vs. Holy Spirit manifestations

supernatural manifestationsWe can conclude that a manifestation results from a demonic presence if it begins when a preacher or member of the ministry team starts praying against demonic oppression. However, the opposite is true when the minister or team member prays for a blessing, direction, or endowment of a spiritual gift. Any manifestation under these conditions is probably of the Holy Spirit.

There may be occasions when the circumstances of a particular ministry time do not indicate if a physical manifestation is an effect of the Holy Spirit or if a demon is manifesting. In such cases, observe the following:

If the person through their physical manifestation is physically hurting himself, herself, or anyone else close by or if they attempt to bite or scratch it is clearly a demonic manifestation. Self-flagellation is a clear indication of demonic manifestation.

The physical appearance or semblance of a person can indicate a demonic presence. These signs include bodily or facial contortions, sudden or strange changes of voice; refusal to look the minister in the eye, rolling back of the eyes so that only the white part is visible, yelling, screaming or hostile behavior.

Other things that suggest demonic presence are:

  • Sudden headaches
  • Nausea
  • Sudden violent actions
  • Destructive movements like kicking or breaking furniture
  • Whistling, mocking
  • Scratching or tearing movements
  • Uncharacteristically obscene language

However, if a manifestation appears when you are ministering to a sick person, it could be a sign that the Holy Spirit is working in his or her body. Such manifestations are generally smaller, like feelings of heat, tingling or electricity pulsing through part of the body, fluttering eyelids, falling on the floor or a quiet ceasing of any movement, or sometimes laughter.

In situations where there is any doubt, ask the person whether they are feeling good or bad. If the person feels peace then the Lord is speaking and the Holy Spirit is working. If the person feels afraid and hopeless or under a spiritual attack, or if he does not answer in his normal voice, it is probably a demonic manifestation. The gift of discerning of spirits and the leading of the Holy Spirit are very valuable tools at these times. Pray for the gift and ask the Holy Spirit to come with his direction in your ministry times.

Your personal preparation

1. Above all, this should be a ministry of love

Behind all deliverance, there must be a loving heart from God for suffering souls. Pray daily for grace to manifest more of the love of God that has been poured into your heart and to be a channel of His love for others. When the ministry of the Holy Spirit becomes evident, pray specifically for His love for those to whom you minister. The principal objective of the ministry is not to punish demons, but to help people who God loves.

2. The key to deliverance is to use the authority of the name of Jesus

Demons respect authority. If another person “dilutes” the authority of the leader during the ministry time, assuming any self-authority, he or she will complicate the situation and prevent the leader from effectively dealing with the demon that is involved.

Limitations of a deliverance ministry

It is useless to cast out a demon . . .

  • Against the will of the person who is oppressed
  • If the person isn’t willing to change the lifestyle that caused the oppression
  • When it is contrary to a pact that the person has with Satan, unless he specifically and audibly renounces the specific pact

Under these circumstances, the demon will return, bringing several others with him.

When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation. (Matthew 12:43-45)

The minister must keep in mind that a demon cannot oppress anyone unless in some way he gains legal access provided through the person’s lack of forgiveness, hate, abuse, sin, illicit sex, sickness, trauma or other type of circumstance that gives place to evil spirits. We call this type of access “open doors”.

Demons are very legalistic, generally refusing to leave a person unless the victim verbally renounces the demonic access points. There is a double objective in deliverance ministry:

  • Cast out or send the demons away
  • Close all doors of legality to evil spirits to enable the person receiving prayer to maintain his or her deliverance.

When to begin ministering

Ask the Holy Spirit to come and help you before the ministry time. The Holy Spirit takes great pleasure in helping you to minister to people. Ask for his help and wait for his direction during each step of the way. He will help you!

Remember that the person that is receiving prayer is probably a hurting person. He or she may have gone through several verbal and physical abuses, traumas, frustrations, conflicts, satanic rituals, or extended sicknesses. The person may cry excessively or may suppress their grief and sadness. Do not hesitate to suspend the 10-step prayer model in order to heal these wounds. You may need to do this several times during the ministry time.

Generally, it is more effective to work with a team of two or three people with one person leading and the others offering prayer support, discerning, note taking, etc. However, to avoid diluting the authority of the leader, generally the others should refrain from speaking directly to or touching the person receiving ministry and should communicate with the leader through written notes or by speaking softly. The leader will then decide what to do with each suggestion of the support team. In a long period of ministry, the ministry team members can take turns leading one after another.

The precaution of not allowing more than one team member to touch the person who is receiving prayer does not apply to periods of prayer ministry for inner healing. On these occasions, the possible dilution of the authority of the leader is not an issue.

Post healing prayer ministry

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post healing ministryWhen we pray for the sick, we must pray for visible and definitive results. We stop praying when:

  • The person receives complete healing
  • The person wants you to stop praying
  • The person is tired or if you simply feel that you should stop
  • The Holy Spirit tells you that it’s time to stop
  • You received no further directions on how to pray and you feel like you are not gaining ground

After praying, consider the following suggestions:

Encourage the person you have been praying for to develop his or her walk with the Lord. You may share a verse of Scripture since an appropriate Bible passage can be extremely meaningful and encouraging.

If the problem is a result of the person’s experiences with the occult or habitual sin, consider suggesting a change of lifestyle, to avoid the repetition of this problem. If those for whom you pray are not healed or not completely healed, do not accuse them of a lack of faith for their healing, or of sin in their life.

Encourage the person to receive prayer from others if you perceive little or no evidence of healing, or if the healing was not complete. Encourage the person to come back at another time to receive more prayer. Sometimes healing is progressive and it may only occur after praying a number of times.

Warn the person not to be surprised if he or she experiences spiritual attacks after healing. Help the person prepare for resisting these attacks. If any symptoms return, teach them how to command them to go away again in the name of Jesus. If a bad habit is involved, he or she may be tempted to fall into an old habit for a while. If he or she falls into temptation, quick repentance is necessary as well as prayer for God’s help. Above all Love the person! As a minister of healing, do everything in love.

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up. (1 Corinthians 13:4)

The more people who you pray for, the more healings you will see!


The following is an interview and a prayer between the intercessor (Paul) and a person with severe back pains (Alex). This example illustrates the use of short prayers interspersed with interview questions and approximates the real situation.

The situation

Alex comes to Paul as a friend to receive help for his back problem. His back hurts so much that he needs help when he sits down in a chair and has a hard time getting up again.

Preliminary steps

  • Paul: “where does your back hurt?”
  • Alex: (pointing) “right here at the base of my neck.”
  • Paul: “When did your back start hurting?”
  • Alex: “About three months ago”
  • Paul: “Do you know what caused this problem?”
  • Alex: “I hurt my back while carrying some furniture.”
  • Paul: “Did you go to the doctor?”
  • Alex: “Yes, he is treating me because of a dislocated vertebra.”
  • Paul: “Did he help you?”
  • Alex: “Yes, I feel better each time I go to his office. But the pain comes back and it is getting worse.”
  • Paul: “Did you need help to carry the furniture?”
  • Alex: “Yes, I asked my roommate to help me, but he didn’t. He never helps me with anything at home.”
  • Paul: “Do you need to forgive him?”
  • Alex: “I suppose so.”

Paul leads Alex in a prayer of forgiveness for his roommate for not helping him carry the furniture, releasing him to God, understanding that he cannot change him but must bless him anyway. Note that Paul could have led Alex in a prayer to forgive his roommate for all the times that he disappointed him. He should do this soon, if not immediately. Paul should suggest that Alex do this at some point.

  • Paul: “Now let’s see your back. Try to move it. How is the pain now?”
  • Alex: stretching his back he is surprised. “It feels much better!”
  • Paul: “Is the pain completely gone?”

Note: anger is frequently the cause of back pain. Sometimes a person is completely healed merely by forgiving the person that has caused them pain.

  • Alex: “No but it hurts much less.”
  • Paul: “Okay we will pray about this. Let me check if your legs are lined up first.”
  • Paul checks Alex’s legs, and discovers that one is a little shorter than the other. Paul prays for the short leg to grow, and it does. Paul asks Alex to get up to see if the pain has left his back.
  • Alex: “Well it’s much better, but I still feel a sharp pain here.” (Alex touches his back.)
  • Paul: “Put your hands on the place where it hurts.” Paul prays: “In the name of Jesus, I command that all pain leave Alex’s back. Now stretch your back again.”
  • Alex: “It’s better, much better.”
  • Paul: “Is the pain completely gone?”
  • Alex: “It is almost all gone; it’s still a little tense and sore.”
  • Paul: (puts his hand on Alex’s back and prays): “In the name of Jesus, I command every spirit of pain or soreness or tension, leave Alex’s back. Now let’s check it again.”

In this case, the pain completely went away and Paul concluded the prayer time. Paul asked Alex to thank Jesus for his healing. If the pain had not gone away, Paul could have given one or more commands, until the pain left completely or until there was no more progress:

  • “I command all the vertebrate of Alex’s back to line up appropriately one above the other.”
  • “I command all of the discs in Alex’s spinal column to be restored in their size, form and proper place.”
  • “I command that every pinched nerve be freed and every damaged nerve be healed.”
  • “I command that every calcium deposit or abscess on Alex’s back dissolve and disappear.”

Note: if Alex also felt pain extending to his legs, it could be because of damage to the sciatic nerve. If this type of pain develops while Paul is praying for Alex’s back, it could be caused by a sciatic spirit. If he feels that it is appropriate Paul could pray as follows:

  • “Jesus, I command that Alex’s sciatic nerve be healed.”
  • “Jesus, I command that the sciatic spirit come out of Alex’s body.”

If there is any improvement, Paul offers a prayer of thanksgiving and asks the Holy Spirit to help Alex live in continuous forgiveness with his roommate so that he can experience complete restoration.

Practical suggestions for healing ministry

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Healing ministryWhile ministering healing in a team effort for maximum effectiveness keep your prayers brief or give direct orders or instructions. If changes in the conditions of the person that you are ministering to can be rapidly determined, it is appropriate to keep your prayers short alternating them with questions from time to time, to see if there is any progress.

  • “How is the pain now?”
  • “See if you can read the sign now.”
  • “Do you still feel heat in your stomach?”
  • “Try to move your knee now.”

It is possible for someone to receive partial or complete healing without feeling anything. The person may not perceive the healing until he tries to use the affected part of the body. If the person is able to do something that they could not do before, or could not do without pain, you can perceive the difference that prayer has made.

When a prayer or command results in partial healing, continue praying until you make sure that no further healing is taking place. Many prayers and commands directed at physical healing in the Bible are very short.

  • “I am willing, be cleansed.” (Mark 1:41)
  • “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” (Mark 5:41)
  • “God, be merciful to me a sinner!” (Luke 18:13)
  • “Please heal her, oh God, I pray!” (Numbers 12:13)
  • “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” (Acts 3:6)
  • “Jesus the Christ heals you. Arise and make your bed.” (Acts 9:34)

If a partial healing comes after a long prayer, it is difficult to know what part of the prayer or command was effective. Therefore, it may be necessary to repeat the whole prayer. However, short prayers are not always the best. When it is not possible to rapidly determine any progress, for example in the case of diabetes, frequent interviews do not help, unless there are some type of manifestations that can help understand what is happening. For example if the person feels an increase of heat with certain prayers, then these quick prayers and interview questions may be appropriate. Even if the quick prayers are appropriate, healing may not occur immediately after them, but only after a long period of prayer.

Be persistent. If you try a type of prayer or command and you have results but not complete healing, continue. Explain to the person why you repeat the same process so that they do not grow impatient when they hear the same prayer repeated.

Sometimes a person expects you to stop praying after the first time. If you perceive no results immediately after the first prayer, the person may grow impatient thinking that you should stop. Encourage the person to allow you to continue and explain that sometimes healing comes after repeated prayer. Continue praying until you perceive that God has ceased His activity, or when you feel you have prayed sufficiently.

If the healing comes partially and appears to have been blocked, wait a little while. Then continue praying for some time to see if the wave of healing will come again.

Observe the person’s behavior

  • You do not necessarily need to pray aloud all the time.
  • Explain that you may not always pray aloud.
  • Listen to the Holy Spirit – He may give some directions that you would not receive in any other way.
  • Pray with your eyes open – observe the person for whom you are praying.
  • Be careful to look for the signs that God is operating in the person for whom you are praying – for example the movement of the eyelids, any trembling throughout the body, or perspiration.
  • If you notice something is happening, or if the person mentions a change in the amount of pain or relief or any other type of progress, thank God and bless what He is doing and continue to pray in the way that brought on the progress.
  • If you are not accustomed to praying with your eyes open, this will require practice!
  • Use your normal tone of voice – yelling or praying in a loud voice does not make prayer more effective.
  • Do not preach, do not give counsel, and do not prophesy, just pray for the person.

See if there are obstacles to healing

A new interview may reveal obstacles to healing – if after some time, you do not see any more progress, continue the interview process.

  • “Can you try to remember again if any significant event happened around the time that your problem first appeared?” (Something may have happened that was forgotten in the first interview process)
  • “Does any other member of your family have the same problem?” (If this is the case perhaps, you are dealing with someone who is being affected by a hereditary spirit or curse.)
  • “Do you have excessive fear of anything?” (Fear can be the cause of various physical and spiritual problems)
  • “Is anyone in your family a member of Freemasonry?” (Involvement in Freemasonry or other occult organizations can interfere with healing.)
  • “Are you aware of anyone who has declared a curse over you or your family?”
  • “Have you ever had any other accidents?” (If the person has a predisposition for accidents evaluate whether he or she is under a curse)
  • “Have you ever participated in a game or practice of the occult?)

Consider other possible ways that an evil spirit may be present – If the problem has persisted for a long time, or if it is a sickness resistant to medical treatment, like cancer, diabetes, Parkinson’s or AIDS, consider the possibility that there may be an evil spirit that is causing the condition or resisting the healing. If so, command it to be gone: “in the name of Jesus, I command any spirit of arthritis to leave this woman!”

Healing of the soul

Many times a person that request prayer for a physical problem also needs emotional healing – the healing of wounds that result from trauma, physical or emotional abuse, real or imagined rejection, frustrations or fear. These hurts can accumulate over a period of many years.

Pray for the healing of each emotional wound, just as you would with each physical problem. It is appropriate to ask if the Holy Spirit has placed other specific necessities on the mind of the person for whom you pray. Allow those who are receiving prayer the freedom to cry, you can even encourage them if they begin to cry. Allow God to use you to love them, comfort and console them.

The person is under medical treatment

You will have the opportunity to minister to people who are seeing psychologists or psychiatrists. This will probably not be a problem if you are ministering physical healing such as broken bones or back pains. However if there was healing of emotional problems, you should suggest that the person get approval from the doctor or psychiatrist concerning their prayer requests. This is especially important if they are on medication.

Sometimes a person that is using medicine for diabetes, asthma, arthritis, heart problems etc., believes that they received their healing when you prayed for them and they conclude that they can stop taking their medicine. You should never counsel someone to stop taking their medicine after ministering to them. The person’s medical doctor should make this decision if he thinks that it is appropriate.

People with multiple problems

Pray for one thing at a time. As a rule, it is better to finish praying for one problem before beginning prayer for another problem, unless the Holy Spirit guides you otherwise. Passing from one problem to another is a distraction and the faith of the person will grow if there is complete healing before moving to a different problem.

The sick person may request that you pray for a second problem as soon as you have finished praying for the first problem even though the first problem has not been resolved. Gently explained that it is best to pray for one thing at a time and persevere until healing comes.

In any case, it is important to prioritize the leading of the Holy Spirit! If the Holy Spirit clearly leads contrary to human instruction, we must recognize that He is Lord. If you are praying for someone with respiratory problems and their injured foot begins to throb inexplicably, stop praying for the respiratory problems and pray for the foot. Bless what God is doing and pray cooperating with what He is doing. Go back to the respiratory problems after the foot problem is resolved, or until the respiratory problem begins to manifest differently.

Remove any guilty feelings if there is no healing

Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you and expect to receive direction. Never allow the person for whom you are praying to assume guilt with respect to lack of results in prayer. Don’t make the person feel guilty if no healing comes. If you suspect that you have committed a mistake, do not worry, the Holy Spirit is bigger than your mistakes!

A Five-Step healing model

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five-step healing modelObviously, there are several different ways of praying for the sick. The following five-step model is not the only method. If you have discovered another way that works effectively for you than you should be already using it in your own ministry. In previous posts I have stressed the importance of prayer for the sick since healing through prayer was an integral part of Christ’s ministry as well as that of his disciples. Healing is part of the “doing good” that Christ did as he walked among us as a man. It is the duty of the church to carry on this ministry thus the need for a practical model for prayer.

1. Initial interview: creating a proper atmosphere

Briefly interview the person that is requesting prayer. Be kind and attentive. Your attitude of love will make a great difference in assuring the person that he is in good hands. Ask the person what the physical problem is without going into excessive detail. For example:

  • “What is your name?”
  • “What would you like me to pray for?”
  • “How long have you been in this condition?”
  • “Do you know what the cause of your problem is?”
  • “Have you seen a doctor about this problem?”
  • “What did he say about your condition?”
  • “Did anything remarkable happen in your life when this condition first appeared?”
  • “Did something dramatic happen at the same time?”

Perhaps you will have to explain to the person why you are asking the last two questions. Generally, these questions will yield enough information for the initial interview. Perhaps you already know the nature and cause of the condition. In some cases, you might not know the cause of the problem and will have to ask additional questions, or simply ask the Holy Spirit for more guidance. If the direction that you receive is not clear, you should evaluate the nature and cause as best as you can.

2. Diagnosis: identifying the root problem

If you know the cause of the condition, go ahead and choose the form of prayer. For example, if the cause was due to an accident; the cause was natural. However, the person that you are praying for may have to forgive the person that caused the accident, even if they were the ones that caused it, if such is the case. Perhaps, he was born with this condition, and it is due to natural causes or possibly a hereditary curse.

The condition may be caused partially or totally by emotional stress. Perhaps the person may have been having headaches since they lost their job. Perhaps the person has been having back aches after being betrayed by someone. Who knows, maybe someone developed cancer several months after a divorce, or after the death of a parent or a child.

Another possibility is that the cause may be spiritual. Maybe the person has been having nightmares after an experience with the occult. Perhaps the condition is the result of habitual sin, or the effect of some type of curse.

If you are unable to determine the cause, ask the Holy Spirit for guidance concerning the nature and possible cause of the condition during your prayer for healing. Perhaps you will need to consider other causes for the condition than were considered at the beginning; or perhaps you may want to go back and ask more detailed questions (see the comments on the fourth step about a second interview with the person).

3. The choice of prayer: deciding how to pray

There are two types of prayer used when ministering healing: commands such as: “in the name of Jesus, I command that this tumor shrink and dissolve”; “in the name of Jesus, I command the spinal cord to straighten itself and be healed!” or you can make requests: “Father, in the name of Jesus, I ask that you restore the vision of this eye;” “Father, I ask in the name of Jesus, that you come and strengthen this spinal column”.

A command is appropriate in the following circumstances:

  • When you have already gone through the initial step
  • When there was a word of knowledge for healing
  • When God indicates that he wants to heal the person immediately
  • When requests were made in prayer but the progress stopped
  • When you cast out the spirit of affliction, or any other evil spirit
  • When a curse or pact was broken and the Holy Spirit leads you to do so

Before you pray for any healing, explain that all parties in the wrong must be forgiven – if it appears that someone was responsible for causing the condition because of some sin or injustice, find out if the sick person has forgiven those involved. If there was no forgiveness, explain that they must forgive all sin against them before you pray for healing. Lack of forgiveness can be a great obstacle to healing.

If you feel that someone must forgive, asked the sick person to forgive whoever is involved – even if the person is not conscious of any resentment toward those involved. For example:

  • A woman suffers from arthritis in her spinal column for five years. Her sickness began right at the time when her husband left home with another woman. Did she successfully forgive her ex-husband and that woman? Jesus said that we should forgive, and not that we should probably forgive. Emotional stress can cause sickness and make healing difficult. Sometimes a person is angry with God and must repent.
  • A pastor has been feeling back pains for the last 10 years, ever since there was division in his church and some of his closest friends turned against him. Ask him if he already has forgiven the leaders of the division, his old friends and all of those involved.

It is possible for someone to receive healing even before praying simply because the person effectively forgave the people who caused the stress that eventually caused the sickness. Healing can also result by merely repenting and asking forgiveness of God for sin, resentment or anger.

  1. Repentance for one’s own improper conduct and sin – if it appears that the current condition came about because of sin, gently ask the person if they agree that this is the cause. If there is agreement, encourage the person to repent and ask God for forgiveness. This should occur before the prayer for healing. Not all sicknesses are consequences of demonic action:
  • Un-confessed sin can impede healing
  • Anger can cause back pain and certain kinds of depression
  • AIDS can be a result of a wrong lifestyle
  • Lung cancer may be caused by smoking

In any case, we should always be sensitive. Ask the person if his condition is a result of his lifestyle. However, never accuse a person of having caused their own sickness because of their sinful actions. This attitude does not help and you may be wrong.

If the Holy Spirit is leading the person, they will generally indicate the specific sin, that is causing the problem and not sin in general. Generalized accusations of errors and transgressions do not help and are probably from the enemy.

4. A receptive attitude: it is time to receive

Ask the person not to pray while you are praying for him or her. Again, be gentle and loving. Say something like, “I know that this means a lot to you and you have probably prayed a lot about the situation. However, right now I need you to concentrate on your body. Just relax and tell me if any symptoms appear in your body like heat, numbness, electrical impulses, and a change in the intensity or location of the pain etc. If you are praying at the same time, or even agreeing in prayer as I pray, it may be more difficult to concentrate on what is happening in your body and may get in the way of your healing.” Sometimes, certain people think it is very difficult not to pray. Do not be discouraged by this. Pray for them anyway.

5. Ministering in prayer

Ask the Holy Spirit to come – you can simply say, “Come, Holy Spirit!”, or, “come Holy Spirit with your power to heal.” You can also offer a more extensive prayer.

Wait for the Holy Spirit for one or two minutes – tell the person that is receiving prayer that you will be quiet for a couple minutes, so they do not wonder what is going on. If the presence of the Holy Spirit becomes evident, as in the case of when the person feels heat, numbness or some other manifestation, continue waiting until God finishes what he wants to manifest at that moment. When the manifestation subsides, check to see if the healing is complete. Otherwise, continue praying.

Remember: always pray or give a command in the name of Jesus!

And these signs will follow those who believe: in my name […] They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover. (Mark 16:18)

And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. (Colossians 3:17)

Don’t forget to use the name of Jesus! – There is power in his name. Some who possess the anointing for the ministry of healing simply repeat: “in the name of Jesus” several times while they pray for the healing.

Thank God for what he does – You can never thank God too much!

Deal with the causes and not with the consequences – for example:

  • “Father, in the name of Jesus, I ask that you heal the problems in the retina of this eye.”
  • “Father in the name of Jesus, make this scar disappear from this eye.”
  • “Oh God, restore the vision of this eye, in the name of Jesus.”
  • “In the name of Jesus, I command that this fractured disk be healed and filled with fluid, and that every pinched nerve be freed.”
  • “In the name of Jesus, I command that this pain leave John’s back.”
  • “In the name of Jesus, dear God, I ask that you heal this pancreas. Father, in the name of Jesus I ask that you touch this pancreas with your power and healing and make it work normally. Restore its ability to produce insulin, and that all diabetes be healed, and that complete health be restored.”

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, this model is merely a suggestion. Experience shows however, that lack of prayer for the sick is not generally due to lack of model but lack of faithfulness in applying the model at hand. Here is a model, if you already have one them use it, if you don’t, then use this one. In any case, I believe that the Holy Spirit is counting on you and your ministry to pray for the sick.


Christ’s commission to heal the sick

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The ministry of Jesus as a commission to heal the sick

commission to heal the sickHealing the sick was an integral part of Jesus’ ministry. In most places where the Gospels speak of his ministry, they also mention healing that accompanied it. Christ’s earthly ministry can never be justly accused of mere religiosity. We can safely say that the ministry of Jesus consisted much more of action and power than preaching. The amount of time that Jesus invested in training his disciples in practical services far outweighs that of public discourse and sermonizing. If Christ is the model for Christian ministry then Christians must imitate the example that Christ left for them. The ministry of healing should never be peripheral in the Church since it was  central in Christ’s own ministry.

And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people. (Matthew 4:23)

Jesus commissioned his 12 disciples to heal the sick

And when He had called his twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease. These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying: “Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. (Matthew 10:1, 5, 7-8)

Jesus commissioned the 70 to heal the sick:

After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before his face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go. Then He said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. And heal the sick there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ (Luke 10:1-2, 9)

The commission to heal the sick is for all Christians

And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” (Mark 16:15-18)

For this reason, we minister to the sick and “those that believe” in Jesus’ name with the laying on of hands. This certainly includes each member of the body of Christ!

The preparation for ministering healing to others is very important as well as delicate. Each person that ministers must be a clean vessel for God’s use! God accepts anyone, but He does not use just anyone. Pray at all times whenever possible!

Pray in the spirit before and during ministry

You must fervently pray in the spirit as Paul encouraged and specifically ask God to be with you and to help you. God is the one who heals. If He does not answer your prayer, then the person for whom you are praying will not receive healing.

Reserve a time for extending forgiveness

Reserve time to ask the Holy Spirit if there are any offenses or sins committed against you that you have not yet forgiven. If there are, forgive once and for all, with all your heart.

Now King Herod heard of Him, for his name had become well-known. And he said, “John the Baptist is risen from the dead, and therefore these powers are at work in him.” Others said, “It is Elijah.” And others said, “It is the Prophet, or like one of the prophets.” (Mark 6:14-15)

Eliminate un-confessed sin

Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal any un-confessed sin that may exist in your life. If He reveals anything, sincerely repent and ask for God’s forgiveness.

Pray for the sick in love and compassion

Ask God to pour out his love to those for whom you pray. A ministry time operated in love will positively affect the sick person, even if their body is not healed. If the person for whom you are praying has doubts about God’s love for them this ministry time could be their first experience with the love of God.

Understand the sovereignty of God in healing

Be aware that physical healing can take different paths; it can come instantaneously, gradually and in stages, while you are praying. Healing can come after repeated ministry times; or it may not come at all. God is sovereign! In his own wisdom, he heals when he wants, how he wants, and whomever he wants. Do not be discouraged if God does not heal someone to whom you have been ministering. Our job is to pray. God is responsible for what happens when we pray.

Faith to heal the sick

Do not worry if the person receiving prayer appears to have no faith for healing. Faith helps, but God sometimes heals sick people who do not believe that he can or will heal them. (Sometimes not even the person praying for the sick person has faith and God still heals them.) Although God promises very little without faith, the power of God is not limited by the fragile faith of men!

There are no rules for healing the sick

Be flexible. There is no universal rule of how to pray for the sick that applies in all cases. There is nothing special about using certain words. The Holy Spirit is the only safe guide; He can guide you in different ways, from time to time. Practice hearing his voice and following his direction. The Holy Spirit can ask you to pray for something that the person has not even mentioned. In this case, include this in your prayer; however be careful and sensitive!

Get clear and objective feedback as you pray

Do not be afraid to ask if the person feels better or not. You must learn to overcome concern for your own reputation so that you can be a clean channel for God’s use. You are a minister and God is the agent of healing. He is the Lord and you are the servant.

Healing Ministry Precautions

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Precautions to address in healing ministry

Never minister without the Holy Spirit’s direction

Healing Ministry PrecautionsNot everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness! (Matthew 7:21-23)

The Lord seems to say that exercising great spiritual power, even in His own name, does not necessarily line up with God’s will. In this case, He considered the power of these excuse makers as illegal. Obedience to the direction of the Holy Spirit is essential for the execution of the ministry.

Never take credit for healing

Peter should be our example. After he and John healed the lame man at the Temple, many people who saw him and heard him speak with respect to the miracle, gathered around them.

So when Peter saw it, he responded to the people: “Men of Israel, why do you marvel at this? Or why look so intently at us, as though by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? And His name, through faith in His name, has made this man strong, whom you see and know. Yes, the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all. (Acts 3:12, 16)

Later Peter repeated this information to the high priest, authorities, religious leaders and teachers of the law that questioned upon what authority or in whose name had Peter and John healed the lame man.

If we this day are judged for a good deed done to a helpless man, by what means he has been made well, let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. (Acts 4:9-10)

Don’t be discouraged if not everyone receives healing

The apostle Paul wrote to Timothy: “but Trophimus I have left in Miletus sick.” (2 Timothy 4:20). Certainly, Paul and others had prayed for Trophimus however, he was not healed. Probably, not all of those for whom you pray will receive healing. We must not take credit when God heals, and we should not blame ourselves when He chooses not to use us at any moment.

Always minister with love and compassion

The most important thing to remember is first Corinthians 13, when Paul made it clear that even though we exercise spiritual gifts, having all faith to remove mountains, or making great sacrifices, nothing is worthwhile unless it is motivated by love. This passage makes it clear that the most important element in any ministry, including the ministry of healing, is love.

Healing can appear to be an activity of compassion in its essence; however, if we are not careful, we can end up ministering healing through wrong motivations. The believer that involves himself in any ministry must pray to receive the ability to love as God loves and become a channel of His love to those whom we minister.

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