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© George Hartwell, Agape Christian counselling Toronto Ontario, HealMyLife.com, 2002

Prayers for Healing

Applying my new model for prayer to prayers for Healing

Prayer Seminar © George Hartwell, Nov. 30, 2002


  1. The New Model of Prayer:

  2. Evangelizing of the Heart change and physical healing

  3. A Few Ways to Pray for Healing:

  4. My Persistent Listening Project
  5. The Crafted Prayer Project


1. The New Model of Prayer

A new model of prayer is being revealed to the Body of Christ. In the new way one does not pray whatever one wishes. One prays God's will, lead by the Spirit.

Prayer is not to control or manipulate God. Therefore, you do not pray at will. You do not pray your own will. Because the human soul, including the will is fallen; is out of touch with God's Holy Spirit.

Prayer born out of the human will, apart from being lead by the Spirit, is of the soul; is of the flesh. Jesus says that "Flesh can give birth only to flesh"- John 3:6.

The cross must be applied. The human soul comes under the guidance and control of the Holy Spirit. Our resources, plans and will become subject to God.

Those that would be lead by God must learn to listen and submit to what they hear. This new wisdom concludes that I will not pray what I do not sense to be the will of God.

We learn to be still. "Be still and know that I am God" - Psalm 46:10. 

I still myself before praying. Some people are left wondering because I said I was going to be pray and then silence. "Did you want me to pray?" they ask.

 "No, I am just stopping to listen before I pray."

2. The new model and prayers for healing

How does this new model of prayer apply to prayer for healing? For one thing it means we do not assume that we know how to pray. All the arguments that God's will is to heal are good and strong arguments. Of course God's very nature is life and health and in His presence there will be no illness or disease. We still need to listen. We listen of God to know how and if to pray. We submit our wills to God. We don't presume - we ask.

Remember the voice of the Father to the disciples: "This is my beloved Son. Listen to him." Mark 9:7, Matthew 17:5, Luke 9:35. We don't assume we know how to pray. We listen.

In the old model prayer assailed heaven. We plead for what we want. For example, when my mother was in intensive care we tried to unite in prayer as a family and vision her well. We tried to get more people praying. We wanted to get in the big names in prayer. But God had been telling me for several days that mother was dying.

I remember the first time I went into the hospital and was headed down the corridor to mother's room. I felt overwhelmed with grief. I wanted to turn aside to cry.  I don't remember seeing her in her room - in a coma - because this first event is so real to me to this day.

God's message to me was clear - in my spirit - mother is dying. This sickness is "unto death." Our prayer was an attempt to twist God's arm and avoid the loss of mother.

God allowed us to struggle thus with the reality until, the night my younger brother John and I abandoned the vigil at the hospital, she died. That morning as we got the news two doves perched on the phone line in front of the family home. My sister Janice heard heavenly music that evening at her place.

Death and grief is confusing and painful enough. We deepened the confusion by insisting that we could manipulate God in prayer. We left questions in people's mind about whether God listen to prayer. Does God care? Martha, convinced by her visions for mother, began to doubt that she heard from God. The old models of prayer allowed for manipulating heaven; for prayers as pleading, for attempting to control God. The new model involves closer communion with God.

Isn't it time for a new model of prayer for healing - for listening to God.

3. The new model in practice

1.  When praying for others for healing say something that indicates an attitude of humility rather than arrogance in prayer. You might say: " God can use me to bring healing to you. However, it is not my prayer that is important but God at work. God may use this time but remember that it is God at work. There is nothing magic or special about what I pray. Pay attention to what God is doing and let me know what you experience."

2.  Listen before you pray. Wait upon God. Jesus said: "I only do what I see the Father doing." Be the same.

3.  Speak as God leads. As the words become clear in your mind - pray them or speak them. If you see or sense something - pray or speak that. TOP

4. Evangelizing the Heart

Often inner healing is a potential that can, with gentle leadership, accompany physical healing. You will notice that when the person realizes that they have been healed they become emotional. There may be tears. Pay attention to this moment! They are being touched personally and emotionally by what God is doing. Their heart is being touched. This can be a moment for "evangelization of the heart" as the Sandfords call it.

Your part is to get them to talk about it. Ask them what they are feeling and what they are thinking. Your job is to get them to articulate the truth - the new heart belief - that God is revealing to them at this moment. You find out what the revealed truth is in this positive emotion. You work to consolidate this truth, this revelation, this rhema, in their heart. Consolidate this new belief by getting it spoken and having them thank God for it.

Why does someone have tears when God heals them? Because they can let go of their fear that God doesn't love them or want to heal them. Look for them to say that they realize that God loves them or that God really does want to heal them. You can reinforce that they are loved and precious to God. This is good news - a mini-sermon - brought on by God's presence and love revealed through physical healing. Go ahead. Evangelize the heart when it is ripe!

Times of emotion are times when our heart is open

One of the principles of Listening Prayer Therapy: Times of emotion are times of heart openness and can be used as times of belief consolidation or change. When the heart is open, in times of emotion, messages are written deeply into the heart.

In the example of praying for healing, a person is emotional when they sense God's healing touch. The Listening Prayer Therapist knows that doubts about God's love can be dissolving at this time. It is an important time to consolidate God's truth and truth about God. The heart is open. TOP

A Few Ways to Pray for Healing

In a Healing Service

A speaker from England taught the following a few years ago at an Anglican Renewal Conference in Toronto. The congregation is at a healing service. Those who want healing are asked to stand up and get together with someone else who is standing. They are to pray for one another. At the end of the service there will be an opportunity for to go forward for more prayer.

Each person who prays for another is limited to one simple short prayer. They are to bless what the Holy Spirit wants to do in that person. That is all. "I bless what the Holy Spirit wants to do in you, in Jesus name. Amen." Notice the humility in this simple prayer. We are yielding to the Holy Spirit.

What happens with such a short simple prayer is that 50% of the people prayed for receive healing.

Another result is that those who go forward for prayer after the service are usually able to ask and receive prayer at greater depth than usual. TOP

Intercessory Praise

The technique is a method of praying for another who wants healing. This involves engaging with the person who wants healing by opening your heart to them as they share their need.

They are talking to you about their need. They share their need with you. You ask them to state what they need from God. "I want to be healed."

As a person who cares you feel for this person. As an as an intercessor you may receive a burden to pray for this person. You have engaged with the need, now engage with the answer.

 Engage God by praising Him. Move into praise and worship. Continue this until the burden lifts. One might call this "Praise Intercession." TOP

Peace to Receive

God's life is constantly being poured out upon us. This life includes God's healing. Like the sunshine, God's life and healing is always being poured out upon us.

A flower concealed from the sunshine receives no sunlight. Our body and spirit can be blocked from receiving God's light, life and healing. Anxiety and tension becomes the block that shuts out God's healing. Therefore anxiety and tension will produce illness in body, soul and spirit.

The answer is peace - God's peace. God's peace heals us and makes us strong because only the heart at rest can receive of His life-flow. Peace allows us to receive God's life.

So I pray for the one who wants healing to receive God's peace. I usually ask them to be still or to picture something that reminds them of peace and let me do the praying. I pray that they would receive God's peace. I paint the picture of the plant opening to sunshine.

People like this way of receiving healing because there is no pressure, no expectations, no attempt to create faith - just entering peace to receive. TOP


My Persistent Listening Project

There is power in God's very word spoken to us. The spoken word is God's word being spoken now. The spoken word is God's will here and now. It is God's spoken word that is living and active and effective.

The way to hear God's word is similar to needing God's peace to receive healing. We may need to have times of quiet and stillness so that we can hear God's voice.

God also speaks through His written word. One may want to spend time reading and mediating upon his written word.

To receive God's word on healing you may want to read scriptures related to healing; read books written about healing and listen to tapes about healing.

I believe God honours regular daily input. So I spend mornings reading books like Andrew Murray' s "Divine Healing." I looked up scriptures on healing. When a particular thought or verse seemed powerful to me, I wrote it out in coloured felt pen on a blank page and put it in a three ring binder.

Then each day I would review and meditate upon the words that I had in my binder. The binder got quite full. I had almost 50 pages.


It happened about five years after my life was committed to God. At that time I was dealing with duodenal ulcers. I took medication for this and had been told that I needed an operation. This was well before much of my own inner healing and before I knew about alternatives to medication. What I did each day was to read a chapter of Andrew Murray's book "Divine Healing."  Suddenly one day I had such a strong sense of being healed. I received a deep feeling of assurance that I was healed. And I was. All pain was gone. I went off the medications.

But I was under a lot of stress - trying to complete my masters thesis. Unwisely, I stopped that practice of daily reading Andrew Murray's book on  healing. Within a few weeks the pain was back. My ulcer was back! I went back on medication.

I learned two things from this experience. First of all that God's healing comes through when My mind and heart have become saturated with His Word on healing. Second, that My faith can easily dwindle if I fail to keep saturated. As faith dwindles my disease may return.

I need to feed the faith of my heart with the bread of God's Word daily.  I needed fresh manna everyday. Bread goes stale and faith depends on fresh bread.


During the summer as I waited on God, I changed: First of all, I developed a hunger to hear from God. 

Second, I found that my feelings were close to the surface. I was closer to tears. I was touched more easily. On reflection I saw this as good - that I had become more available for relationship with God and others because my heart was open. Could this be the broken and contrite heart that God does not despise?

Third, I found that I had a greater desire for this closeness to God than for my healing. I was developing a hunger for God and this felt good. I had found something more precious than healing. 

Months later the healing did begin to come in an unexpected way. God was in it. I am now regaining energy, lung capacity and my zest for life! TOP

The Crafted Prayer Project

Graham Cooke wrote a prayer to establish his heart during a time of pain, betrayal and brokenness. Completely removed from a place of ministry to digging graves in Southampton, Graham struggled with bitterness and despair.

God had him write out a prayer just like David the psalmist did. He would describe what was happening and then what he wanted God to do in his heart during this time. He asked God to use the trial to chisel off his rough edges. He asked for wisdom, comfort and encouragement.

So write a prayer. Sorry. It is not that easy. Remember prayer is not about controlling or manipulating God. How can you write a prayer that does not force your will and desire on God?

The answer is listening to God and staying close to scripture. A group can listen and share what they get. One can craft together the words and images they you receive or that others have given to you. That is where the crafting comes in. You write based on what you hear. You craft your prayer.

The point is to be praying God's will. When we ask according to His will we know that we receive what we ask for.

Graham uses the crafted prayer on a daily basis to sing, shout or say his prayer. He prays nothing else but this prayer unless there is added revelation. He now prays until something happens.


The Prayer Series

1. Spiritual Warfare
2. Job Interview Prayer
3. Safe Prayers of Protection
4.  Prayer is a Life-style
5. Faith of the Heart
6. How to pray for difficult people
7. How to pray in a personal crisis
8. How to pray for physical Healing
9. How to break Curses

References to this article:  Blog on Learning about Healing Through Prayer