John Wimber’s 5-Step Model for Healing Prayer

I was miraculously healed as a baby by God through the prayers of my parents and pastor. You can read it in my testimony where I detailed the whole event. I believe God still heals today. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever (Heb 13:8). I write more about God’s PHD (preaching, healing, deliverance) program here.

In my search about healing prayers, I came across John Wimber’s 5-step model for healing prayers. It is not a formula that manipulates God but rather a guide. God is the only one that heals, not the person praying. We are merely a conduit.

Step 1: The Interview

The first step is to introduce yourself and ask for their name.

The interview consists of data gathering. Ask them, “Where does it hurt or what would you like me to pray for?” You may gather data on the Natural level by what can you see. But you must keep your spiritual mind open to God’s prompting. Sometimes, God gives you Words of Knowledge, discernment or visions. You need to keep silent before God to see if there are any special revelation He might want to download to you.

Recently, I was praying for a man and I saw the words “medical issue” in my mind’s eye. So I asked him, “Do you have medical issue?” He replied that was sick for some time and was suffering from stomach flu for the past five days. I did not know that and thus managed to pray for him more intelligently. That’s the importance of listening to God’s prompting.

Remember, it’s not a medical interview. You don’t need to get too in-depth. Just get the facts regarding the problem.

Step 2: The Diagnosis

After you know the problem, now you can probe deeper: Why do they have this condition? There are a number of reasons why:

  • Natural causes – disease, accident
  • Sin – committed by them or against them
  • Emotional hurts causing physical or other pain
  • Relationship problems – lack of forgiveness
  • Supernatural – may be demonic

Keep asking for God’s help and wisdom. You want to solve the root of the problem not just the external symptoms.

Ask them questions if appropriate.

Step 3: Prayer Selection

After you determined the problem and the causes, you’re ready to pray for the person. What kind of prayer should you pray?

Begin by asking the Holy Spirit to come and minister to the person. If it is a bodily sickness, lay on hands on their shoulder and ask for God to heal. You don’t need to touch the specific body part. Most prayers are intercessory for God to act.

You might feel led to give a command of faith (Acts 3:6) for healing – “Cancer cells be destroyed in the name of Jesus.” Or it might be a rebuke of demonic presence – You rebuke (break their power), bind them(contain), expel (get rid) it. “I rebuke lust and break all power in the name of Jesus. I bind you and call you up and out of the person at once in the name of Jesus.” Always use the name of Jesus. You have no authority in yourself.

Step 4: Prayer engagement

It’s important to keep your eyes open during your prayer! Keeping them open serves two purposes. Firstly, you look out for phenomenological signs (warmth, tingling, shaking etc). God might be doing something to them at that moment. Secondly, the person being prayed for might have demonic manifestation and you don’t want to be caught off-guard. Once you see certain signs of manifestation, use the name of Jesus to bind the devil.

It’s okay to ask questions during your prayer. Find out what God is doing. Ask them how are they feeling.

When should you stop praying? Stop when: 1) they think it’s all over, 2) the Spirit tells you it’s over, or 3) you’ve run out of things to pray. Before you remove your hands, tell the person that you’re stopping.

Step 5: Post-Prayer Direction

If the person you prayed for is healed at that moment instantaneously, thank God. If not, the healing might be gradual. In order for them to keep their healing ,we follow Jesus’ instructions in the Bible – “Stop sinning” (John 5:14) Tell them to read their Bibles, spend time with God, get involved or keep involved in the local church.

Now, I need you to note this. If they are healed or claim to be healed, ask them to check with their doctor first. Don’t tell them to stop their medicine. You are not a medical professional. Only a doctor can check them and certify that are healed. Before that, they must keep taking their medicine.

Let’s face it. Not everyone we pray for is healed. This requires a sensitive touch so that they do not go away feeling angry with God or disappointed with their “lack” of faith. Don’t attribute their lack of healing to a lack of faith! The fact that they came forward for prayer demonstrates their faith that God can heal. Always remember that. Reassure them that God loves them and encourage them to keep on asking. God is sovereign and may choose to heal them at another time.

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