Wednesday, June 24, 2015

When To Pray Part II

Is anyone among you suffering? Then he must pray. Is anyone cheerful? He is to sing praises. Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.  James 5:13-16 (NASB)

When to Pray – (Continued)
1.    Ask for Prayer When You Are Too Weak to Pray vs 14-15 Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him.
I do not think that James gave us a blanket formula for healing the sick.  In our churches we have prayed for the sick, and sometimes God has given healing.  But other times, He has not seen fit to physically heal the person.
The heart of the problem lies in just what James meant when he referred to the “sick.” Actually there is no reason to consider “sick” as referring exclusively to physical illness. The Greek word asthenei literally means “to be weak.”  Though it is used in the Gospels for physical maladies, it is generally used in Acts and the Epistles to refer to a weak faith or a weak conscience (cf. Acts 20:35; Romans 6:19; 14:1; 1 Corinthians 8:9-12).  
James was not just referring to the bedfast, the diseased, or the ill.  Instead he wrote to those who had grown weary, who had become weak both morally and spiritually in the midst of suffering.  These are the ones who should call for the help of the elders of the church. The early church leaders were instructed (1 Thessalonians 5:14) to “encourage the timid” and “help the weak” (asthen┼Źn).
But what is the prayer of faith that heals the sick?  The answer is in 1 John 5:14–15  This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.  The “prayer of faith” is a prayer offered when you know the will of God.  The elders would seek the mind of God in the matter, and then pray according to His will.
We do not always know how to pray for the sick. (Paul had the same problem; read Romans 8:26.) Is it God’s will to heal or is God planning to call His child home?  Will He delay the healing for another purpose or do it immediately? I do not know; therefore, I must pray, “If it is Your will, heal Your child.”
Those who claim that God heals every case, and that it is not His will for His children to be sick, are denying both Scripture and experience.  But where we have the inner conviction from the Word and the Spirit that it is God’s will to heal, then we can pray “the prayer of faith” and expect God to work.
Keep in mind that it is not one individual who is praying; it is the body of elders—spiritual men of God—who seek God’s will and pray.   James does not instruct the believer to send for a faith healer. The matter is in the hands of the leaders of the local church.

Please pray for our Breaking Free Youth Choir today as they are helping with VBS, performing concerts and participating in community outreach in Albuquerque, NM. 
Scripture to Claim:
Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved, for you are my praise. Jeremiah 17:14  ESV

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