Did the ancient biblical prophets have the power to heal like the later twelve disciples did besides prophesying?
Many of the prophetic books do not give us insight into the personal lives of the Old Testament prophets. They are the writings of these prophets to Israel. But we do catch a glimpse from time to time into the lives of these prophets.
For instance, throughout the lives of Elijah and Elisha, we notice miraculous signs that accompany their ministries. In one case for each prophet we see boys being raised to life again (1 Kings 17:17-24; 2 Kings 4:18-37) and Elisha’s dead bones raise a dead man (2 Kings 13:21). Resurrection from the dead is rare in the Old Testament, but we see it in the prophetic ministry is of Elijah and Elisha.
Other times prophets are consulted concerning healing for someone. One example of this is Naaman (2 Kings 5:1-14). Elisha rescues Israel’s King by taking on the problem of the Gentile who wants to be healed of leprosy.
He gives him instructions to go to the Jordan River and dip seven times. Naaman is indignant that Elisha won’t even meet with him. But when he finally gets over his pride and follows the prophet’s instructions, he is healed of his leprosy.
The ability to heal is a “byproduct” of the power of the Holy Spirit. In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit comes upon those in the offices of prophets, priests, and kings. In the New Testament, the Holy Spirit indwells Christian believers.
Healing, we can infer, is part of the prophetic office. Although we only see examples in a few of the prophets’ lives, it’s most likely that all of the Old Testament prophets had the same power to heal. Some of them speak of healing in their prophecies.
God is the same not only throughout the Scriptures but also today (James 1:17; Hebrews 13:8). He used the Old Testament prophets to heal peoples’ diseases. Healing was a prominent hallmark of Jesus’ ministry. And God still heals today.