The Lord never told us to pray for the sick in the sense that we ask Him to heal them. He told us to heal the sick. There is a big difference between the two. It has to do with operating in the authority He has already given us. Look at these commands the Lord gave His disciples: “Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick” (Luke 9:1-2). “And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease” (Matt. 10:1). “And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give” (Matt. 10:7-8). Jesus told us to heal the sick, not pray for the sick. What a radical statement!
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Is Your God Too Big?
At the risk of sounding like a heretic, I believe one of the biggest deceptions in the world of Christianity is the concept of God controlling all things. It seems to be the default response for anything in life that we don’t understand. For every sickness, natural disaster and political upheaval, there is a religious cliché ready to go. “God moves in mysterious ways.” “There is a purpose in everything.” “God is testing us.” “God is judging us.” “I’m like Job.” “This is my thorn in the flesh.” And the list goes on and on. Continue reading “Is Your God Too Big?”
We may bind the power of Satan over a community, making it easy for men to
accept Christ. “Whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
Whatever in Jesus’ name we set free, God in Heaven will make good.
What power we have! Let’s use it! Will we arise to our mighty, heaven-given
privileges? Look at the bound men and women everywhere, and the Word
challenges us to go out and set the prisoner free.
What does this mean? All that it says, thank God. You can set diseased men free.
Matthew Henry: Authority and The Keys
It is the power of the keys that is given, alluding to the custom of investing men with authority in such a place, by delivering to them the keys of the place. Or as the master of the house gives the keys to the steward, the keys of the stores where the provisions are kept, that he may give to every one in the house his portion of meat in due season (Luk_12:42), and deny it as there is occasion, according to the rules of the family. Ministers are stewards, 1Co_4:1; Tit_1:7. Eliakim, who had the key of the house of David, was over the household, Isa_22:22.
3. It is a power to bind and loose, that is (following the metaphor of the keys), to shut and open. Joseph, who was lord of Pharaoh’s house, and steward of the stores, had power to bind his princes, and to teach his senators wisdom, Psa_105:21, Psa_105:22. When the stores and treasures of the house are shut up from any, they are bound, interdico tibi aquâ et igne – I forbid thee the use of fire and water; when they are opened to them again, they are loosed from that bond, are discharged from the censure, and restored to their liberty.
4. It is a power which Christ has promised to own the due administration of; he will ratify the sentences of his stewards with his own approbation; It shall be bound in heaven, and loosed in heaven: not that Christ hath hereby obliged himself to confirm all church-censures, right or wrong; but such as are duly passed according to the word, clave non errante – the key turning the right way, such are sealed in heaven; that is, the word of the gospel, in the mouth of faithful ministers, is to be looked upon, not as the word of man, but as the word of God, and to be received accordingly, 1Th_2:13; Joh_12:20.