Acts 3: 6-8
Then Peter said, ‘Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.’ Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk.
The crippled man asked for money but he's about receive so much more than he expected.
Notice what Peter and John didn’t do. They didn’t call a prayer meeting to gather and intercede for their new sick friend. Not that I have anything against prayer meetings – I love them. But praying for the sick is not about convincing God to do something He doesn’t want to do. It using the power and authority He has given us to do what He wants to do through us.
I noticed something recently as I read the Gospels and it really shocked me: Jesus never prayed for a sick person. Before you cancel your subscription and label me a heretic, think about it. Find one place where it says that Jesus prayed for a sick person.
Whenever Jesus encountered sickness he didn’t speak to God about the sickness, he spoke directly to the sickness in the power and authority of God.
He almost treated sickness and disease as a person, a personal enemy, and told it to get lost.
Let’s look at what He did:
“A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, ‘Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.’ Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. ‘I am willing,’ he said. ‘Be clean!’ Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy.” (Matthew 8: 2-3)
Jesus didn’t say: 'Heavenly father, you can see how ill this man is, and so we ask you to please touch him.' No, he simply spoke to the leprosy with power and authority and said: Be clean.
“Jesus said to the paralysed man, ‘Get up, take your mat and go home.’ Then the man got up and went home. When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe; and they praised God, who had given such authority to man.” (Matthew 9: 6-8)
Again, no big long prayer meeting – just a command spoken with power and authority. One more:
"Jesus put his fingers into the man’s ears. Then he spat and touched the man’s tongue. He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, ‘Ephphatha!’ (which means ‘Be opened!’). At this, the man’s ears were opened, his tongue was loosed and he began to speak plainly.” (Mark 7: 33-35)
He spoke directly to the man’s ears and commanded them to open.
I could give you example after example, but the point is this – Jesus didn’t pray about sickness or the problem. When confronted with it, he spoke directly to it with power and authority and it did what He told it to do.
You might say – yes that’s Jesus. He was God. But look then at what he does – He gives the exact same power and authority to His disciples:
“When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases….” (Luke 9: 1)
Peter and John were simply doing what they had seen Jesus do, they were exercising the power and authority He had given them.
We, His church, His body, have been given power and authority.
· Authority is having permission to do something.
· Power is actually having the ability to do it.
I’m not saying that praying for the sick is bad, it’s really good to intercede on behalf of others, to bring other people before God in prayer. But there are times when we are confronted with someone and we need to stop speaking to God about the sickness and start speaking to the sickness directly in the power and authority that God has entrusted you with.
We'll take more time to think this through tomorrow.