How Healers Can Prevent Healing

by: Anthony Keith Whitehead

Do you have a tendency to shift the blame for things that seem to turn out wrong? Most of us do! The occurrance of nonhealing in the Christian ministry is no exception. Usually we shift the blame onto the poor individual with whom we are praying.
Look at most books on healing. They will have a chapter on nonhealing in which all the causes are attributed one way or another to person being prayed with.
The problems are fairly common, in the sense of occuring quite frequently. Ask yourself: which of the following is/are most likely to apply to you? That will put you on the road to significantly greater success in your praying for healing.
(What follows is inevitably a concise discussion. A fuller one, along with related topics, can be found in “The keys To Praying For Healing” at
1.Everything In The Bible Is True But Not All Truth Is In The Bible
John said in his gospel that the world would not have been large enough to contain an account of all the things that Jesus did and said (John 21. 25). How big would the Bible have to be to contain all truth?
We are concerned here only with healing. We can learn much about how to pray with others for healing from the gospels. But can the gospels tell us everything about it? Of course not. So we need to use some commonsense and prayer, in relation to our experience, to fill-in the gaps. If we are prepared to be self- critical and learn from our experience, in this activity as in others, we shall see a gradual increase in our success rate.
2. We Imitate Jesus But We Are Not Jesus
In our book “The Keys To Praying For Healing” my wife and I discuss this whole reality. Everyone Jesus prayed with was healed. That is a ‘target’ for us. It is not a ‘rule’ governing our experience in praying for healing. Notice that even Jesus’ near disciples had difficulties in sucuring healing when praying with others (e.g. Mark 9. 14 – 18). Since wew are not Jesus, sometimes we shall fail.
This failure may well be due to our own deficiencies on occasions. A deficiency is not necessarily the same thing as a fault. For example, we can have a deficiency because of ignorance. If we are ignorant of something, we cannot take it into account. But in other cases we may be ignorant of something we ‘ought’ to have known about. The we are at fault.
But read Acts and see how Peter learned from his observations of Jesus (e.g. Acts 3. 2 – 8). Compare his approach to Jesus’ approach. Can we not do that same? Of course. And from that we shall learn to increase our rate of success in the healing ministry.
Yet we shall never equal the success rate of Jesus himself. So a fundamental rule is: do the best you can at the time and do not become discouraged by what might appear to be failure. Allowing oneself to get down is a cause of failure we can (and certainly should) avoid. No prayer can be categorised as complete failure because God always responds to us in some way.
Is it not true that Jesus was sinless? certainly. Are you sinless? Hardly! So there were no obstacles to the flow of the power of the Holy Spirit through him. There ARE obstacles in us. These come from sin and sin comes from selfishness. So we need to concentrate our efforts on eliminating the latter. Greater success will follow, albiet as a long term achiement.
3. Lack Of Attention To Basic Problems In The Sufferer
Do you know the person you are praying with? Sometimes, of course, we know people very well. We need to make explicit use of that knowledge to isolate any possible abstacles to healing.
What is their expectation of healing going to be? Have they any experience of being prayed with? Do they remain still and receive or insist on praying as well? Are there any serious ares of sin in their lives of which you are aware which could constitute an obstacle to sin? (But be very careful how you approach these).
In some situations we may not know the person at all. When we are praying with people at public Christian meetings, days of renewal, conference and the like, we may often find ourselves ministering to strangers. Follow any information path which seems to be of possible relevance. There are often reasons for nonhealing tucked away in peoples lives.
4. Lack Of Proper Diagnosis
Would you be worried if your doctor began proscibing medicine at your next visit without asking about the problem or investigating its causes? We also need to investigate possible causes. One of the most common reasons for nonhealing lies with a failure to conduct a proper investigation into the person’s problem.
Do not feel that you have to get straight into the praying bit. Take your time and don’t let anyone hurry you unnecessarily.
5. Expecting God To Work Instead Of Ourselves
Who accomplishes the healing? God, of course. But does he choose to do it independently of us? Obviously so in some cases. But often he does not – or why do we bother praying with people for healing? If we are in the healing ministry he expects us to do that share of the work which he has entrusted to us. If we skimp on it, if we do not do all that we can if, in short, we fail to love our fellows, then we are at fault and healing will often not occur.
We need to do all we can, as part of our ministry, to ensure that healing happens. Always ask “why” when it does not. If there is no obvious reason lodging with the person being prayed with, perhapsthere is a fault which lies with us. If we examine ourselves in this way, we may learn something new for next time.

About The Author

Anthony Keith Whitehead
Over twenty-three years in Christian healing teaching writing ministries. Wide range of secular employments before being called by the Lord into full time independent ministry in 1987. With his wife Iris he has ministered both in the UK and USA. Has written several books on healing meditation and various aspects of spirituality. Formal qualifications include: B.A. M.Phil. Cambridge University Certificate in Religious Studies Post Grad Cert in Education.
Web Site:

This article was posted on August 16, 2005