SYNOPSIS OF THE SERMON
In this week’s sermon, using the story of the man who was healed at the Pool of Bethesda, Rich taught that healing (physical, emotional, spiritual, relational) is the birthright and mark of the Christian church. But somewhere along the way, the message and ministry of healing has fallen by the wayside. How did we get here? What stifles healing? What are the obstacles to the Christian church practicing divine healing? The problem of worldview, technique, complacency, disillusionment, and religious opposition all play a role in stifling healing. And in order for us to recover healing, we must train for it, we must practice, we must risk, and we must spend time with Jesus.
GETTING THE CONVERSATION STARTED
These questions can be used as ice-breakers in the beginning OR interwoven between the questions below to draw the group into the discussion.
1. How has all the talk of swine flu affected you recently? Do you get nervous? Are you indifferent? Why? Briefly explain.
2. Do you know of someone who was mirculously healed?
3. Have you been sick recently? Did you ask someone to pray for you? Why or why not?
4. Have you ever prayed for someone to receive healing? Have you ever personally received healing? Briefly explain.
5. What do you think is the biggest obstacle in your life that keeps you from praying more for healing?
INTERACTING WITH THE SERMON
1. Briefly give a synopsis of this week’s sermon. What insight, principle, or observation from this weekend’s message did you find to be most helpful, eye-opening, or troubling? Explain.
2. Read Mark 5:21-43:
21 When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around him while he was by the lake. 22 Then one of the synagogue leaders, named Jairus, came, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet. 23 He pleaded earnestly with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” 24 So Jesus went with him. A large crowd followed and pressed around him. 25 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26 She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering. 30 At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?” 31 “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ “32 But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. 33 Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” 35 While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher anymore?” 36 Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” 37 He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James. 38 When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. 39 He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.” 40 But they laughed at him. After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. 41 He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). 42 Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished. 43 He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat.
- How are Jairus and the woman in verse 25 different? How are they similar? What are their needs? What are their fears?
- Why do you think Jesus publicly calls the woman out? How does she respond to Jesus’ call?
- Jesus tells the woman, “Daughter, your faith has healed you” in verse 34. What do you think it means to have faith for healing?
- Why do you think that not everyone that we pray for gets healed?
3. In this weekend’s sermon, Rich taught that in order for us to recover healing, we must train for it, we must practice, we must risk, and we must spend time with Jesus.
- Set aside time during group this week to “practice” praying for healing. Take a risk and pray for someone who is in need of physical healing. (You can follow the Vineyard Prayer Model which is found below.)
- What are some practical ways that you (and your small group) can practice “greater healing” this week?
The Vineyard Prayer Model
1. The Interview. This answers the question: “Where does it hurt?” or “What is wrong?” Or you can start out asking, “What would you like Jesus to do for you?”
2. The Diagnostic Question: This answers the question: “What is the root cause of the problem?” or “Why does this person have this problem?” Different kinds of sicknesses:
- Sickness of the spirit: Caused by a person’s own sin.
- Sickness of the body: Caused by disease, accidents, poor health maintenance, psychological stress, or spirit affliction.
- Sickness of the emotions: Caused by being sinned against; may need help with forgiving.
- Sickness of demonic affliction: Caused by demonic spirits harassing or afflicting the person in mind or body.
- Sickness from alienation from relationships: Social brokenness that makes it hard for people to connect with healthy or redemptive relationships.
3. The Prayer Selection: This is where we decide how to pray.
- Petition: Join them in asking God for healing.
- Command/speak to the pain or condition.
- Intercession: Pray on their behalf.
- Rebuke the demonic.
4. Ministry Time: We pray and observe (look, ask, listen); watch the person for indications of what God is doing; and wait on God for impressions.
5. Post-Prayer Direction:
- Help the person process and digest [what has happened].
- Directive: Make things right with another person; “Go and sin no more.”
- Seek the Lord on one’s own.
- Commit to a church or fellowship group.
- Read specific scriptures: “Read and pray over the following Scriptures….”
- Invite them back for more prayer at another time.
The following are tips from practical wisdom regarding using the prayer model:
- Keep the interview brief.
- Ask for the compassion of Jesus.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to come; wait on Him.
- Pray with your eyes open.
- Don’t pray with too many words.
- Pray with quiet faith.
- Pray with authority.
- Pray believing God will speak to you.
- Pray taking risks.
- Don’t be afraid to fail.
- Ask the person how they are doing and what they are experiencing.
Physical phenomena are sometimes associated with the Holy Spirit’s activity. These phenomena should not be equated with the Holy Spirit; they are an individual’s physiological and emotional responses to the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. Our attitude should be one of balance and discernment. Examples of phenomena that are sometimes associated with the Holy Spirit’s activity include:
- Change of breathing.
- Rocking, weaving, or acting drunk.
- Laughing or crying.
- Glistening, glowing, or perspiring.
- Heat or coolness.
- Fluttering of eyelids.
- Rippling of skin.