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What is the key to healing?

Question: “Why are some healed with prayer and others not healed?  Is there a special key for those who are not healed to gain healing?”

Bible Answers

“We often hear Christians confessing, “I’m trusting the Lord for my healing” or “I’m standing on His promises.” Some find healing and others don’t. I have probably laid my hands on thousands: some received healing, but many didn’t. I’ve sought to understand why. After all these years, there’s one thing that I’m convinced of: something is missing in the church when it comes to receiving miraculous healing!

We all know of Christians who died of cancer. Why can’t our “trusting the Lord” and “standing on His promises” bring more widespread and successful supernatural healing of diseases like cancer?

I believe part of the answer is this: there is often a KEY to each individual healing, and that key is often more than just “trusting” or “standing on promises”. For one, the KEY may indeed be to just “trust the Lord for His healing”. But, I believe this is the exception. To read about how somebody laid claim to their healing and received a miracle, and to try to emulate their KEY, without making sure that that is also your key is, in my opinion, clearly a mistake.

A key is something that opens a closed and locked door. Many have an illness that is seemingly closed to medical and spiritual attempts to open it, at least temporarily. They seem “locked” into their physical bondage. But, somewhere is a God-given KEY that will open that door. With Hezekiah, the key was a poultice of figs (Isa. 38:21). With Naaman it was washing 7 times in the Jordan River (II Ki. 5:10). For those who lived in Gennesaret, it was to touch the hem of Jesus’ garment (Matt. 14:36). For some it was a piece of cloth from Paul the Apostle (Acts 19:12). For the Corinthians, it was to repent of their wrong attitude: For this cause many are weak and sickly among you (1 Cur. 11:30). For sick folk in Samaria, it was to attend the revival where Philip the evangelist was preaching (Acts 8:4-8). For a few, it was to be first in the pool of water that the angel troubled (John 5:4). For one man it was to have mud and spit put on his eyes and wash it off. (Jn. 9:6). See how personal a KEY can be? Different people often had very different keys.

Many believe that the “Official” method of healing is to find a promise of healing in God’s word, claim it, confess it, believe it, and vigorously fight the devil and unbelief until you receive your healing. Now, don’t mistake me in this article, I believe in doing that too!  This isn’t a false method, but it is a method. One which, it appears, the above people didn’t use to finally get their healing. Yes, do “fight the fight of faith” (1Tim. 6:12). But, as well, find any KEY to YOUR HEALING!

David Yongi Cho is the pastor of an Assembly of God church in Seoul, Korea, the largest church in history (over 750,000!).  He built this church to a great extent by his personal faith. He relates how when he would pray for people’s healings, he noticed how even though he prayed the same way, claiming the same promises, some people received their healing and some didn’t. This disturbed him (as it does all of us), so he sought the Lord and the Lord gave him a very important revelation. God showed him the difference between the Word of God (the logos) and the Word of the Lord (the rhema). The logos, all the words in the whole Bible, reveals that it is God’s will to heal us, in general, and that God is a good God who wants us well (III John 2). But, in order to receive a miracle of healing, one often needs a rhema: that is; a more specific and personalized “Word of the Lord” (either out of the eternal scriptures or out of the present mouth of God). When a rhema is received concerning a person and their disease, believed and acted upon, healing results.  Without that rhema (this personalized revelation), it may be harder to receive a miracle.  

This truth helps explain why one is healed in the prayer line and one isn’t. But, you might ask, “Well then, what about the promises in the Word that promise healing?" God’s Word is sure, from heaven’s viewpoint (“Thy Word, oh Lord, forever is settled in heaven.” Ps. 119:89). But, whether or not that scripture will become manifest on earth, in your personal life, is often dependant on getting hold of your unique KEY and using it. Why? Because, there are all kinds of mitigating circumstances happening down here on earth: demons resisting, sins blocking, unbelief hindering, God’s timing in the matter, God’s chastening hand, God’s bigger picture, etc. These usually unknown factors can vary the equation of healing for each individual. This is why if simply “standing on God’s promises” and being prayed for hasn’t resulted in your healing, you should begin earnestly seeking God for further direction, for a personal rhema, for YOUR KEY to YOUR HEALING.

Finding the key starts with seeking God, asking God, hearing God, waiting patiently for the answer, and then taking action to do whatever the Lord instructs.

Jesus is The words of the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, who shuts and no one opens (Rev. 3:7). There are doors to healing that no doctor and no preacher can open. But, Jesus has the precise key that can open any door! The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever (Deut. 29:29). There are revealed truths about healing and there are “secret things” about healing that only the Lord knows. That doesn’t mean He doesn’t want to tell them to you or is purposely keeping them from you. But, there is often a price to pay to discover them: The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him; and he will show them his covenant (Ps. 25:14).  

Disease motivates us to seek medical help, which is proper. But, we should be even more motivated to seek God to see what the Lord is saying to us about this illness and any “secret” KEY that will bring our healing.

The 700 Club told the testimony of a woman whose husband was going blind.  She opened the Bible to the story where Jesus spat on the ground and anointed a blind man’s eyes. She knew this was her answer (her “key” or “rhema”) for her husband.  She went outside, spat on the ground & anointed her husband. And, God healed him! So, do you think you should go out and spit on the ground? Of course not! No, that was her key, her rhema! Yours will likely be quite different.

At times, the key to some people’s healing is simply to change their diet. The Lord has spoken to Kathy on more than one occasion and told her to add something to her diet. Jack Hayford tells how the Lord spoke to him to stop eating chocolate; explaining that he believed that the Lord knew that there was something about his personal makeup that made chocolate bad for him. Last year, I felt the Lord revealed to me that I should stop drinking coffee. But, unlike Jack, I drink chocolate almost every day. See, keys can be different for each person! For you, the key may be to have a surgery. For a family member, it may be a new prescription. Many of us could testify how the Lord supernaturally led us to a doctor or medicine that was the answer to some physical problem. But we will only know what our key is by seeking God.   


Often, though, there is a spiritual key to healing. I don’t know how many times I’ve had people with pain (back, neck, etc.) who didn’t receive their healing until they forgave someone toward whom they had held deep rooted bitterness. Forgiveness was their key. Other physical problems are directly caused by Satan. This is scriptural! A woman in the Bible “had a spirit of infirmity” and couldn’t lift herself up. Jesus healed her, explaining that she had been “bound by Satan” (Luke 13:11-16). If a demon can be the root of a disease, or some deep rooted attitude, or even some food you’re allergic to, you can see the importance of finding an individual key to healing.

Do attend meetings with evangelists and teachers with a gift of healing. They often help people discover their key. Pray in the Spirit for the answer to your “mystery” (1 Cur. 14:2). Fasting is one of the best ways to locate “lost” keys. Read the logos Word, expecting God to give you rhema Word to stand on. Your verse will “leap from the pages” and witness to your heart. And, finally, pray, pray, pray. “Ask, and it shall be given you. Seek and you shall find (your key!)” (Matt. 7:7-11).

“Whispering a prayer in the morning” won’t likely discover a death-defying key. It may take a great prayer search and faith fight, but oh, what glory your discovery will bring to Jesus!

Finally, remember, it is God’s design in creation to hide knowledge or truth, and then to challenge man to uncover it: It is the glory of God to conceal a thing; but the honor of kings is to search out a matter (Prov. 25:2). Many think they need only passively “trust the Lord” and in His goodness and “if it is His will”, He’ll eventually take care of their problem. No, this is not the way of God! God wants you instead to “search” and to “seek” Him for His personal solution to your problem. (Heb. 11:6; Jer. 29:13;  Prov. 28:5; Isa. 45:19; Ps. 105:4;  77:6; 69:32; 34:10; 9:10; Dan. 20:28;  Job. 11:6;  Amos 3:7).  

Your search for your KEY may be long and arduous, but, know that for God’s children, your KEY is safely handled by Jesus in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Col. 2:3). Your KEY ultimately is not in a doctor’s, scientist’s, or an evangelist’s hand. It’s in Jesus’ hands! Look to the one who died that you might be healed (1 Pet. 2:24). He’s more than ready to hand you your KEY!”(1)

In the same way, Jesus was always able to heal, because He heard from the Father what approach or key to use in each case, and Jesus said Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do (John 14:12a). In prayer, be sure to seek the Lord’s key for your specific situation.

(1) Dea Warford, Warford Ministries

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