Questions for reflection: divine healing

Christian traditions have approached divine healing in a number of ways, and this issue gives every believer history to consider. Either on your own or in a group, think more deeply about divine healing with the questions below.

1. Which of the many stories of divine healing shared in this issue most resonates with you? Why? Which stories felt most foreign to you? 

2. What Scriptures are your favorites when thinking about divine healing, and why? If your church regularly talks about divine healing, what Scriptures does your church most often turn to when discussing it?

3. In what ways is the ministry of healing practiced in your church or denomination?

4. What is one surprising fact you learned from our lead article (pp. 8–11)?

5. What were some characteristics of Jesus’s healing ministry (pp. 12–15)? How can we show these characteristics in our ministries today?

6. Why did medieval Christians focus on the saints in their theology of healing (pp. 16–18)? Are there saints in your own life that you connect to stories of healing?

7. Why were some Protestant Reformers skeptical of medieval approaches to healing (pp. 19–22)? Which of their questions do you share? What other questions do you have about healing that they did not raise?

8. The article about the Great Awakening (pp. 23–25) names “moderates” and “radicals” with respect to healing miracles. Where would you place yourself and your church on this spectrum?

9. The Blumhardts connected healing miracles to prayer for all those suffering and care for the wider creation (pp. 26–28). How can you learn from these approaches in your own spiritual life?

10. How was Dowie’s healing ministry different from some that had come before (pp. 29–31)? Where do you agree and disagree with his approach?

11. What emphases characterized early Pentecostalism (pp. 34–37)? Why? What about the Charismatic movement (pp. 38–40) and the Third Wave (pp. 41–43)? Did anything surprise you about these movements’ early days?

12. What commonalities do you see in the many stories of global healing on pp. 44–46 and 56–60? What in these stories encourages you, and what do you want to know more about?

13. What guidelines would you put in place when praying for God to fulfill material needs? How do they compare to those discussed on pp. 47–49?

14. Name one new thing you learned from our interviews with medical professionals and scientists (pp. 50–52 and 53–55). Where have you seen prayer used in a medical setting? What issues (scriptural, theological, psychological, medical) surround the idea of scientific testing of prayer?

By the editors

[Christian History originally published this article in Christian History Issue #142 in 2022]

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