Because “for God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life,” it is his will for the sick to be healed when the gospel of the kingdom is shared with the lost. The miraculous healings are the evidence to the that Jesus is the Messiah and open up the hearts of the lost to Jesus.
John 14:11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves.
John 10:38 But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.”
Jesus gave his disciples power and authority over demons and diseases, and then sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.
Luke 9:1 When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.
Then he also sent out the 72 disciples, and commanded them to heal the sick before proclaiming the kingdom of God.
Luke 10:9 Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’
When Jesus commands us to “heal the sick” it obviously means that it’s his will for us to heal the sick. It’s his will for the sick to be healed when we are proclaiming the gospel. Why? So that those who hear the gospel will believe it—after they witness the supernatural evidence for it. God wills to heal the sick miraculously so that some who witness the convincing miracle will believe in His Son and receive eternal life.
But what about healing for sick believers who already believe in Jesus?
God’s priority to heal infirm unbelievers might be greater than healing for sick believers. If a terminally ill unbeliever dies, he or she has no hope at all. But if a terminally ill believer dies, he or she appears in heaven where he or she will be completely whole.
However, James does offer hope for infirm believers.
James 5:14 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.
The condition for infirm believers to be healed is confession of sins to one another. If that condition is met, then the “prayer of faith” will make them well and the Lord will raise them up. It is therefore generally God’s will for sick believers to be healed when the condition is met. The issue then remains the meaning of the “prayer of faith.”
Traditionally this is thought to signify asking God to heal the sick, and then after that leaving the results entirely up to Him. When such traditional healing prayer is offered, however, very rarely (if ever) are there any immediate miraculous healings as we see in the New Testament.
It is because the Church has misunderstood what James meant by “praying over” the sick.