In the gospels Jesus proclaimed that the Kingdom of God was coming or was near. This proclamation was often accompanied by signs and wonders that included physical healing, casting out of demons, and raising the dead. When he sent out his followers, he commissioned them to go and do these same things.
We believe this commission carries on to us today. Such supernatural expressions of God’s power are ways that people who are far from God can have an immediate, tangible experience of his love. Prophetic ministry and physical healing are specific ways this can happen. By prophetic ministry we mean showing God’s love and care for someone through a prophetic word or blessing for them. By physical healing we mean, well, seeing someone physically healed!
But how does this happen? What does it look like? And how do we “cross the chicken line” to actually engage people in our lives with the power of Christ? Here are five simple steps to get you started:
1. Pay attention to the signs
We often miss opportunities to minister to people because we’re simply not paying attention. Seeing, meeting, or “running into” someone who needs healing probably happens to us on a daily basis, but we don’t think of ourselves as the person God has placed there to bring his presence.
The first step in paying attention is to slow down. This may sound simple but it’s surprisingly counter-cultural today. Make time in your day to connect with God. Reading scripture, journaling, listening to worship music, or even just sitting in silence can be helpful. Ask God to speak to you and guide you in all your activities. This kind of preparation is a critical part of collaborating with God in ministry.
Once you’ve slowed down your internal clock and become more aware of the Spirit, you’re now ready to begin noticing the people around you. Ask God if there’s anything he wants you to know or pay special attention to. The sense or “inner knowing” we get from God is an important part of this process.
2. Listen to God
There are a lot of ways to hear from God for someone else. Each of them is God’s unique way of letting us know that he wants us to do something. Here are a few things you might experience:
- A sense or “gut feeling” – you could be walking down the street and have a strong sense of what someone is facing or carrying
- A mental picture – of a person, a piece of clothing, a physical ailment; you might see this picture in your mind’s eye and then pay attention to notice it in the people and places around you, like a scavenger hunt
- Associated pains – you might feel the pain of another person in an abnormal place or way
- A written word or picture on a person – like “headache” or “pain here” on a person’s body
- The audible voice of God telling you about someone’s need for healing or just a word of encouragement, admonishment, or blessing for someone
- A “spontaneous utterance” – you might find yourself talking and saying things you are not prepared for, almost like it’s not you talking
3. Be curious
If you’re curious and ask questions, people open up about their life. People love to talk about themselves, so approaching with curiosity and not just healing is both loving and breaks down barriers.
It’s also important to remember that a prompt for healing may not be for the actual healing. It may be for bringing someone before God, ministering to them by simply knowing there’s something wrong for them, or speaking something such as a blessing over them. If you come from a posture of curiosity you will remain open to what they need and what God might want to do. Allow yourself to be surprised!
4. Follow through
The reason we do this type of ministry is not only so that people can have an experience of God, but also so that it will awaken their hunger to pursue him more. Always have a next step or invitation in mind when doing this ministry. This might be an invite for further prayer, inner healing, coffee, dinner, reading the Bible, or an invitation to an event.
Don’t let a powerful encounter with Jesus go to waste. Always have a next step.
5. Just go for it
Jack Canfield once wrote, “Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” This type of ministry can often feel uncomfortable, foreign, and even at times scary, especially when we don’t have much experience. But the only way to get experience is to start. If your ego becomes more important than seeing someone encounter God, that’s a good time to ask God to give you his compassionate heart. This compassion will often push us past fear so that we can see someone healed, set free, or simply loved. It often takes the necessity of being at our end for God to come and do his work.
Finally, be prepared that sometimes people aren’t open to being prayed for and, even if they are, sometimes healing doesn’t happen. Don’t take it personally if someone isn’t interested, is confused by your offer, or isn’t healed. Allow God to be God in the situation. Who knows how he will work in you and in the other person simply by your acknowledgement and invitation!
Want to hear more? Listen to a brief recording from CRM’s 2014 World Wide Conference in which Alan Mullikin and Alastair Rundle (both now living in Redding, CA) discuss the power and practice of this type of ministry, including some of the points above and stories of how this ministry looks in real life.
LISTEN NOW: Prophetic & Healing Evangelism
This post was originally shared in 2015.