A woman stands beside a wheelchair with arms upraised in praise at God's power to heal.

God’s Power to Heal: Miraculous Stories of Recovery

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Stories of healing fill the New Testament’s pages. From Peter’s mother-in-law’s recovery from a fever to Lazarus being raised from the dead, we read how Jesus and the disciples took seriously people’s physical suffering. God’s power to heal cannot be denied. 

Whether that healing takes a physical, emotional, or spiritual form, God’s power still shines forth. It’s all in His name and for His glory. 

Let’s look at several different ways Jesus healed people in New Testament accounts. 

God’s Power to Heal from a Distance 

In Matthew 8 we read the story of a Roman centurion whose paralyzed servant suffered terribly. The centurion had heard about Jesus and His ability to heal. Believing, he came and asked Jesus to heal his servant. 

Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.” But the centurion said to him, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof, but only say the word, and my servant will be healed.” Astonished by the faith of this Roman leader, Jesus praised him to the crowds, and then said to the man, “Go; let it be done for you as you have believed.” 

At that very moment, the centurion’s servant recovered.  

Imagine the joy in that household. Jesus only had to will it for it to be done. His power to heal extended far beyond where His physical body could be. Though we don’t know the end of the story, it’s not far-fetched to think the centurion’s household was never the same, and that they put their faith in Jesus. 

A hand reaching over the water at sunset shows God's power to heal from far off.

Power to Heal at Someone Else’s Request 

How often have you prayed for someone else’s physical healing? We just talked about the centurion’s servant. There are several other stories about others coming to Jesus on someone else’s behalf. The religious leader Jairus asked for healing for his daughter. The Syrophoenician woman‘s daughter from whom Jesus cast out a demon. But let’s take a closer look at the story of the paralyzed man whose friends brought him to Jesus. 

In Mark 2:3-12 we read the story from Capernaum of Jesus teaching many people who crowded into a house to hear him. There were so many people, there was barely room to move. Several men had a paralyzed friend. They wanted desperately for Jesus to heal him. They believe He could. But they couldn’t reach Jesus the traditional way—through the door.  

So what did they do? They climbed up on the roof, which would have been flat made of thatch and dried mud, and made a hole big enough to fit the pallet on which the man laid. Imagine the commotion inside that house as suddenly the roof opened up over their heads! 

Do you think it annoyed Jesus that these men believed so fervently that He could heal their friend that they took such extreme measures? Here’s what Mark 2:5 says, “And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven.’” 

I think Jesus smiled. I think Jesus loved the way this man’s friends took up the fight for him. Of course, forgiving his sins got Jesus in trouble with the scribes who were in the room. But He then put a stop to their questioning and said, “’But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins’—he said to the paralytic— ‘I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.’ And he rose and immediately picked up his bed and went out before them all, so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, ‘We never saw anything like this!’” 

Was God glorified by the friends’ faith and this miraculous healing? The last sentence says it all. 

Two men praying together can show God's power to heal when we pray for each other.

Healed Because They Asked 

In Matthew 9 we find the story of two blind men following Jesus as He traveled from town to town. Even though they were blind, they followed Him, crying for mercy. When Jesus entered a house, the blind men followed Him. Asking the men if they believed He could do this thing they asked, their simple response was, “Yes, Lord.” They knew what they wanted, and they asked Jesus to do this for them according to His great mercy. 

And then in Mark 10:46-53 we read the story of a blind man named Bartimaeus. He sat on the side of the road as Jesus passed, again crying out to Him for mercy. Even though everyone around him tried to silence him, Jesus heard his voice. Jesus asked a simple question: “What do you want me to do for you?” And Bartimaeus answered directly and with great faith: “Rabbi, let me recover my sight.” 

Oftentimes we neglect to ask for what we want. We think we’re being pushy or we’re afraid of what Jesus will say. But Jesus addressed that thought process in John 16 when He told His disciples that up to that point, they had asked for nothing in His name. He said, “‘Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you.’” 

And His brother James came from the other direction when he said, “You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.” 

A Black man in an orange shirt kneels in front of a church pew with a Bible by his side praying fervently for God's power to heal him.

God’s Power to Heal is Still Alive Today 

Guideposts contributor Peggy Frezon provides a powerful modern-day example of asking for what she wanted while giving Jesus full power to do His will. 

Peggy had an extremely painful toothache just days before she and her husband were to travel to Florida to be with family. Nervous about travel already, this toothache kept her wrapped in fear. But as she lay in bed the night before they were to leave, Peggy prayed, “God, please take care of this tooth, at least until after the trip. Then I’ll see the dentist, I promise!” she said. “Or you can heal this tooth if it’s your will. I trust you.”  

What happened next was nothing short of a miraculous healing. Ultimately, God not only healed her tooth, He healed her travel anxiety, giving her peace beyond what she could imagine. 

The Bible holds so many stories that tell of God’s power to heal: the woman with bleeding for 12 years from Matthew 9; the lame man at the pool called Bethesda who had no one to put him into the waters from John 5; the leper, whom no one had touched because of his terrible disease from Mark 1. No two are the same except for one thing: Jesus loved them and knew what they needed most. 

Ways to Pray 

God’s power to heal Peggy’s tooth and all the people we read about in Scripture, is readily available for you as well. Author Rick Hamlin suggests four ways to pray for healing in your own life.  

  1. Put your body in God’s care. As Rick says, “Healing starts with the Highest.” 
  1. Tell God what is wrong. God already knows, true, but He wants you to be honest with Him. 
  1. Step out in faith. Go ahead, ask. With the humility of all those we’ve read about today, ask God for what you want and leave the results in His hands. 
  1. Speak up. As Rick says, “Be honest in your prayers. Speak up. Acknowledge your needs. Then trust in God’s provisions and be healed.” 

Listen now to a short segment of this Abide meditation based on Mark 10:51 and the story of Bartimaeus.

We’ve all known people who never saw physical healing in this life. Sometimes God’s answer for us is “no.” Will you choose to trust Him when that happens? Are you willing to honestly say, “Your will be done,” as Jesus did in the Garden of Gethsemane before His Crucifixion? Believing God is a good Father means trusting that He knows what is best for us.

To listen to the full-length version of the meditation above, plus much more, download the Abide app and start a premium subscription. Our 1500+ guided biblical meditations, more than 400 Bible-based sleep stories, and daily devotions all exist to help you experience the peace of God and more fully understand His power. Use this link for 25% off.

Stephanie Reeves is the senior editor for Abide. She lives in Orlando, Fla., along with her husband, 3 adult kids, and 1 adorable grandson.