Perhaps the different methods of healing found in the Bible have made you wonder what the proper way to get healed is. The good news is that there is more than one way to get healed, and all of the methods work! Some are easier than others. God has made provision for everyone from the newest believer to the most mature Christian to be healed. These are roughly in order from the easiest methods to the methods that require stronger faith.
Manifestations of the Holy Spirit
Sometimes the Holy Spirit uses a believer as a vessel to heal someone who is not exercising faith for his healing. The Bible describes gifts of healings as a manifestation of the Spirit in 1 Corinthians 12:8-11 and 1 Corinthians 12:28-30.
Sometimes even unbelievers receive healing this way. The gifts of healings operate as the Spirit wills, so you cannot "claim" that you will be healed by a special manifestation of the Holy Spirit. However, you do not necessarily need any faith to receive this way. This is probably the easiest way to receive a healing.
At other times, there may be a word of knowledge for a certain class of person, and you may be asked to come forward in a service. You may need to exercise some faith to receive from the anointing. Sometimes the anointing can be so strong that you won't need any faith at all. The stronger the anointing, the less faith you need. If there were no healing anointing at all, you could still receive 100% by faith, as pointed out below.
This can be linked closely with the laying on of hands, although it is possible to be healed through the gifts of the Spirit without hands being laid on you. For example, I have had people get healed while I played the piano or sang. Some ministers announce healings through the word of knowledge without touching people. Sometimes people come forward and the anointing is so strong that they can't even walk up to the minister to get hands laid on them. (Occasionally, the anointing may be so strong that the minister can't get off the floor, either. Hey, it happened in Solomon's temple under the less-glorious covenant, so why not now?)
The glory of God
In services where Jesus is worshipped in spirit and in truth, there may be a manifestation of God's glory in the service. When this happens, people sometimes get healed spontaneously, whether they were expecting anything or not. At other times, the minister may direct those needing healing to just believe they receive while God's presence is being manifested in this way. It is easier to receive your healing when the anointing is all over the place. I have found that even if you don't get healed, you may be pain-free as long as the anointing stays; the anointing seems to be a very effective painkiller. (I will admit that this is a personal observation from experience; I do not claim to have a verse to back this up.)
I remember preaching a particular service, expecting to have a time of laying hands on the sick at the end. When we got to the end, I sensed that the healing anointing was in the room, but I had no leading to lay hands on anyone. The only thing I felt led to do was sing a worship song and play the piano. People were healed of serious problems without anyone touching them. To be honest, I almost freaked out. People started coming up and testifying of how the power of God suddenly hit them, instantly healing them. I was probably the most surprised one of the bunch. I had become so used to laying hands on the sick at the end of services that I had slipped into a mindset that this is the official way God heals people at church. Yes, it is one way, but God has other ways. This "no-contact" method is a lot easier on the minister. In large evangelistic crusades, God may have to move this way just because so many people need healing.
Believing + Medical Help
If you are not ready to simply believe for your healing, it is no sin to use whatever natural means you can to get healed, or at least to get some relief for your condition until you get healed. This is not God's best, but it beats suffering. You can ask God to give the doctors wisdom to figure out what to do about your condition. You can believe for a speedier recovery than usual. You can find something you can believe for even if you are not ready to believe for your complete healing.
I am not saying that you should believe that by Jesus' stripes you were partially healed. That would not be true. But since healing is rightfully yours, you can legally believe for any part of it. Many times, you can have more than one condition, and you are ready to stand in faith in one but not the other. It's better to be healed of one (for now) than to keep them both!
You can't receive something you can't believe for. If you can believe for wisdom for the doctors and a speedy recovery, but can't believe for a complete healing, go ahead and receive what you can believe for. We're all growing in this, and you have to operate where you are in your faith walk, not where you'd like to be someday. Don't let anyone ridicule your faith if you trust God to guide the surgeon. I would rather hear that you believed God for a successful operation and had a supernaturally good one rather than hear that you tried to believe God for a complete healing and died.
Anointing with oil and the prayer of faith
This method only applies to those who are too sick to go to church on their own. Please understand that this is a commandment, not an option. If you are sick and in the hospital (or laid up at home), you are supposed to call for the elders of the church to come and lay hands on you, anoint you with oil in the name of Jesus, and pray the prayer of faith over you. The Lord will raise you up, and you will be forgiven for any sins you may have committed, including the ones that may have made you sick in the first place. If you don't have a church, we have just identified one problem you need to solve right away. The televangelist cannot come anoint you with oil in person. (I'm not against televangelists unless they try to tell you that you only need them and not your own local church.)
If you just have a cold or something, there is no need to call the elders together! This is talking about a serious situation. If people called the elders every time they had colds, many elders would have full-time jobs just visiting people. If you can make it to church, go and request prayer there.
You can get healed this way even if you personally don't have mountain-moving faith. God honors the prayer of the elders as well as your obedience to his command to be anointed and prayed for by them.
By the way, do not get mad if the elders don't visit you in the hospital if you never called and told anyone you were there. Amazingly, some people really get mad about this; I guess they assume that if the pastor were really "in the Spirit," he would just know that they missed church because they were in the hospital, as opposed to being on vacation or something. It is a violation of this Bible command to wait for them to call you. You are commanded to call them. (If you are unable to even make a call, have someone do it for you.)
It is also biblical to have an anointed cloth brought to you from a service where the healing anointing was in manifestation. But if you do so, you must do it in addition to the command in James, not instead of following that command.
It is a crying shame that most churches do not believe James 5:14-16. Instead of sending the elders to anoint with oil and pray the prayer of faith, the pastor (or whatever they call the leader of the church) comes out and prays for the sick person to have patience and peace in his trial. The sick person stays sick and is "remembered" (but not necessarily prayed for) on Sunday morning. This is simply disobedience to the Word. That's tough, but it's the truth. After all, how many ways can you interpret James 5:14-16?
It is implicit that the elders should not be sick themselves; otherwise, they would be unavailable to go and pray the prayer of faith that raises up the sick. The fact that the elders pray this for someone indicates that the mature believer should receiving healing some other way. However, if you're an elder and you get terribly sick, this method is still available to you.
Laying on of hands
This method is good for younger believers. Another believer (who believes Mark 16:18) lays hands on you in the name of Jesus, and you recover. This method of healing should be part of the basic education of every new convert. That's not my private opinion; that's God's opinion, as expressed in Hebrews 6:1-2. The laying on of hands is one of the six fundamental doctrines of Christ for a new believer to know. Laying on of hands can impart more than just healing, and I am not saying that laying hands for healing is the entire "doctrine of the laying on of hands," but it is surely an important part. (Jesus also laid hands on children just to bless them, to the consternation of the disciples. It is okay to have a time of laying on of hands just to bless people!)
This is one of the easier methods because someone else's faith gets involved with yours. Not only do you believe that Jesus told the truth about laying hands on the sick, but the person laying hands on you does, too.
Although this is ideal for new believers, it is certainly not a sin for a mature believer to request the laying on of hands for his healing, either.
The prayer of agreement
Jesus gave us the right to pray in agreement with one or more other believers. He guaranteed that he would be "in the midst of us" when we so gathered in his name. This Scripture, Matthew 18:18-20, is sometimes misunderstood to mean that Jesus is present whenever we have church. But Jesus is present even if one person shows up, because Jesus lives in believers. You don't need two or three, because where you go, he goes. It is bad theology to think that Jesus is not present unless you get two or three people together, and then he shows up. That's not what he was talking about. He was talking about gathering in his name to agree on something, and saying that he would be there in the midst of us (to make it happen) when we did so.
You and another believer agree that you are legally healed by the stripes of Jesus and that sickness must leave your body. This takes a little more faith on your part than the previous methods. If you do not really believe that you can do this because Jesus paid for your healing, you are not in agreement, and thus you are not truly praying the prayer of agreement! However, it is still easier to have someone agree with you than it is to just do it yourself. Many times, the prayer of agreement will be prayed along with the laying on of hands.
If you are praying for a sick person, it is important to enter into agreement with him. There is no point in "agreeing" that the person will be miraculously healed if the person can only get in faith for a speedier recovery than normal using medical methods. You should share the Word with sick people. If they are not ready to believe for their complete healing, at least find something that you can agree on. Do this even if you would believe for more if you were in their shoes (or out of their shoes and in their bed).
Prayer for your healing
James goes on to say that we (believers) should pray for one another's healing. (You can read his complete instructions in James 5:14-16.) You can have other people pray for you when you are sick, whether in person or not. One advantage of this method is that if there is some roadblock to your healing, the people praying can pray that God will reveal it to you so that you can get healed. Of course, I suggest that you get only those who believe that healing is in Christ's atonement, and thus legally yours, to pray for you. There is no sense in having other people "ask God to heal you." They should instead be asking God to help you receive the healing that already belongs to you. They can pray that you will be illuminated about this and that this fact will become real to you.
That God commands us to pray for each other's healing is proof enough that God will honor the prayer. God would never command you to pray for something that he was not already willing to do. If you had no other healing verses in the Bible, you could know that God is willing to heal people from this one verse alone.
Receiving by faith
You can receive healing anytime, anywhere, without anyone else's involvement, by following Mark 11:24. You first must understand that your healing has been purchased already and it is just waiting for you to take it. If you feel that you must twist God's arm to get him to heal you, you are not yet ready to receive your healing in this way.
You are simply receiving a gift from God that has been reserved for you since Calvary. Contrary to what people might tell you, this is not a difficult thing to do. Let's face it, the people in the Bible who touched Jesus' clothes did not have the wealth of Bible teaching that we have today. Yet they managed to have it "done unto them according to their faith!" If it didn't take them years to figure this out, it doesn't have to take you years, either.
Besides, if you are saved, you already know how to receive a gift that has been laid up since Calvary. That is how you were born again. You are a believer. Your spirit has been created in God's image in righteousness and true holiness (Ephesians 4:24).
The only thing that makes this hard is the enormous amount of junk teaching in the church world that makes fun of divine healing and those who practice it, and leaves you with the mistaken idea that you cannot really practice Mark 11:24 and receive your healing.
Speaking to your condition
A related, but slightly different, method is to speak to your condition directly yourself and command it to leave in the name of Jesus. The basis for this is Mark 11:23, where Jesus said that you could speak to a mountain and it would be thrown into the sea. He said that if you say something with your mouth and believe it in your heart, you will have whatever you say.
Jesus was not concerned with having you literally throw a mountain into the sea. That could cause trouble unless you also have the faith to stop the killer waves and other damage that could result from doing so. The point was that your words contain virtually unlimited power. You have the authority to speak a thing and have it come to pass.
You and all other believers are constantly using this principle. The trouble is that the immature believer uses it against himself. He gets into fear and believes what the devil says instead of what God says. He speaks what the devil says, and that comes to pass. Jesus did not say that you would have whatever you believe and say as long as it is good. You will have what you believe and say whether it is good or bad! Unbelievers can do this because this applies to whosoever.
The people that Jesus commended for having great faith were those who believed so much in the power of words that they did not need anything else.
In Matthew 15:22-28, a Gentile woman who was not under the Old Covenant persisted in demanding that Jesus do something about her demon-possessed daughter. Jesus merely spoke words. He did not visit the daughter. The woman believed the words Jesus spoke and her daughter was healed. Jesus said that this woman had great faith.
In Matthew 8:5-13 and Luke 7:2-10 you can read an account of a centurion who understood authority. He believed that Jesus could just speak words and his servant would be healed. He did not even ask for a personal visit. Jesus spoke words and the servant was healed immediately. Jesus marvelled at this man's great faith and said that he did know of anyone in Israel with such faith.
In John 4:46-53, a nobleman did request a personal visit, but Jesus simply spoke words instead, the man believed that his words had authority, and the man's son "began to amend" at precisely that moment. Jesus never visited or touched the boy.
Jesus demonstrated the power of words to his disciples when he cursed the fig tree. The next morning, there was visible proof that it was dead, although this process started immediately but invisibly. This is the context for Mark 11:23-24 as well as Matthew 21:18-22. This is a good lesson when you are using words to make the sickness in your body die. Like the fig tree, it may not immediately appear to be dead even though it starts to die the minute you speak. After a while, as long as you stay in faith, what was once only on the inside will manifest on the outside.
We can surmise from Jesus' statements about great faith that people who are experienced in walking in faith would use this method. A new believer would probably not receive his healing this way, although he is legally entitled to do so as much as a mature believer.
Take your pick!
You can be healed in any of these ways. Use whichever you feel like using. If you don't feel ready to use the more "advanced" methods, use the easier ones. The main idea is to get healed! In his mercy, God has given you many ways to receive your healing!