Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Prayer of Faith

And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. (James 5:15-16)

People in the church are not alone. Members of Christ's body should be able to count on others for support and prayer, especially when they are sick or suffering. The elders should be on call to respond to the illness of any member (James 5:14), and the church should stay alert to pray for the needs of all its members.

"The prayer offered in faith" does not refer to the faith of the sick person, but to the faith of the people praying. God heals, faith doesn't, and all prayers are subject to God's will. But our prayers are part of God's healing process. That is why God often waits for our prayers of faith before intervening to heal a person.

Whether a believer is healed through medicine or through miraculous means, all healing is ultimately from the Lord. That is why prayers should be consistently offered for the sick (See James 4:3 for an improper attitude towards prayer). The New Testament teaches that sickness may be the consequence of sin (Matthew 9:2), but not invariably (John 9:1–3). Yet when sin is involved, confession is a prerequisite to healing (James 5:16).

Christ has made it possible for us to go directly to God for forgiveness. But confessing our sins to each other still has an important place in the life of the church. (1) If we have sinned against an individual, we must ask them to forgive us. (2) If our sin has affected the church, we must confess it publicly. (3) If we need loving support as we struggle with a sin, we should confess that sin to those who are able to provide that support. (4) If, after confessing a private sin to God, we still don't feel His forgiveness, we may wish to confess that sin to a fellow believer and hear them assure us of God's pardon. In Christ's kingdom, every believer is a priest to other believers (1 Peter 2:9).

The confession in James 5:16 is not necessarily between the sick person and the elders, though this is not ruled out altogether. Instead, this exhortation is intended for the sick person and any person with whom the sick one needs to be reconciled. What does James mean when he states "The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much." This can mean either that (1) prayer is effective when it is used or (2) fervent prayer accomplishes great results. The illustration of Elijah may favor the latter meaning, for he prayed earnestly (James 5:17-18).

The Christian's most powerful resources is communion with God through prayer. The results are often greater than we thought were possible. Some people see prayer as a last resort to be tried when all else fails. This approach is backward. Prayer should come first. Because God's power is infinitely greater than ours, it only makes sense to rely on it - especially because God encourages us to do so.

Our loving God wants His children to always feel comfortable in coming to Him in prayer. Let us always remember that God knows everything about us and that He wants us to reach out to Him when we are hurting and troubled. God also wants us to reach out to Him in a prayer of praise when we are rejoicing and celebrating. Is God an important part of your life? If not... reach out to Him today in prayer.

References: NKJV Holy Bible, Life Application Bible (NIV), and the Nelson Study Bible.


ebed_adonai said...

You wrote: "The prayer offered in faith" does not refer to the faith of the sick person, but to the faith of the people praying..

I couldn't agree more..

God bless..

Clint said...

We all know how important prayer is, so why do we practice it in such a haphazard way? This is something I continually need to work on in my life. Thanks, Lloyd.

A multi-dimensional life said...

Hi Lloyd,
This is a wonderful post. Yes, prayer should be a constant. God does love hearing from us day and night, coming and going. Praying for you right now! I'm sorry to hear about your recent problems with hackers. I checked my list of followers and you have disappeared from mine also! This is sad.
Bless you!

DebbieLynne said...

I appreciate your balanced approach, especially as you interpret Scripture with Scripture.

GOD thinker said...

This was an excellent post. I too often see the sick peole blamed for not bing healed by the the people who prayed for them. God is a healer. It is not the persons who is sick fault if they are not healed.

Also your poit on confession was great as well. We are to confess our sins e to another. Yes, it is humbling but it keeps us accountable and truthful before our brothers ad sisters.

DeanO said...

Prayer - so important and critical in the Christian life...yet so lacking in many Christian's life. "In all things give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus" Great and thoughtful post Brother Lloyd

lightworker said...

WoW...this post was so right on! Many times we only pray when something is going wrong or we need something. We forget that prayer isn't just asking for something, it is communion with God, just as you said! We can go to the Lord when we want to rejoice or give praise or JUST TALK.

It would be awesome if you did a post on HOW to pray. If you have already, I apologize, I am knew to your blog lol. I always start with "Thank you" and I pray with expectancy like it is already delivered. I actually learned that from my Pastor when I was coming to him for support when my cat was sick. He told me to thank the Lord for healing my cat because I must believe and declare. Sure enough, my cat lived four HEALTHY years with cancer and AIDS whereas most cats die within months of diagnosis of one, let alone two. So I think it would be awesome if you do a follow-up blog post with how to pray :-)

Wanda's Wings said...

I love that song. "when darkness seems to hid His face" He is still there. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Ouesm said...

I agree with you and may I add that when we pray and believe without a doubt, we will receive whatever we ask for in prayer. Thanks!

The Angulo's said...

Really awesome post Lloyd! I'm in full agreement with it. I would take forever just to write down all the times God has helped me through prayer. I just wouldn't make it in this world without it.

God bless you Lloyd. And have a peaceful week! :)

dfish said...

How many times I've heard the person wasn't healed because his faith wasn't strong enough. When Jesus saw the faith of the men who let the man with palsy down through the roof, he healed the man.

James tells us faith that doesn't take action is dead. One reason we fail to pray and see results is that our faith is dead.

Great Post.

Jessica FOUMENA said...

Yes, prayer is always in order. I think it's important we remind ourselves that when everything is said and done, we must pray, always...At this point, I always finish my advice by saying that I'll either pray for the person or ask the person to pray about it.

Crystal Mary said...

Prayer helps us to know we are not matter how much at times we feel we are.Praying with others gives a strength of knowing He is in the midst of us as He promises...and praying in secret, so that only ther prayer and God knows, that is so special. It believe praying is a display of faith, if you didn't believe you wouldn't bother..
"Take it to the Lord in Prayer." The very best thing to do.

Thess said...

Hello Lloyd,

god bless you!

Lloyd said...

ebed-adonai - I want to thank you for your visit and gracious comment. Blessings my friend.

Clint - I think we all have problems regarding our prayer life. I know that I have to make sure that I set aside a certain time each day for communion with God. What is so unique with our Lord and Savior is that we can come to Him in prayer anytime we choose too. God's blessings to you my brother in Christ.

A multi - Thank you for the kind comments. Thanks for your prayers. It seems like the problems with my blog was not at the hands of "hackers" but technical problems regarding the number of blogs I can follow. It appears that the limit is 300 blogs, but I have slightly more. I'm hoping to have the problem fixed soon. God bless.

DebbieLynne - I want to personally thank you for your visit. The only sure way to understand God's Word is to use a lot of common sense and let Scripture interpret Scripture. God bless, Lloyd

God thinker - Thanks for your comments. It is so true... the faith of the saint that is praying for the sick or unsaved soul is the important factor with our Almighty God. And, yes it is very humbling to confess our sins to another believer. But being we are all sinners and fall short of God's Glory, isn't it nice to know that other believers are facing the same humbling circumstances as you? Blessings.

DeanO - Thanks for the comments and visit. The Apostle Paul said to pray without ceasing... meaning that when we get up in the morning until we go to sleep at night we are thinking, talking, and having communion with our Lord and Savior. Blessings my friend.

lightworker - Thank you so much for your visit and comments. I have never written a blog that instructs how a person needs to pray, however, I do have several posts that relate to praying (see my labels). The easiest way to pray is to just talk with our Lord as if you were talking with your loving father or your best friend. God is always there for us and He will always be there too listen to our troubles, worries, and our joys in life. God bless.

Wanda - Thank you for your visit and comments. I also love the lyrics to the "Solid Rock" hymnal which of course goes along with the title of my blog. God bless.

Ouesm - Thanks for the visit. It is a biblical truth...that when we pray we will receive what we ask for, however, it will always be within God's will and not ours. God always answers our prayers and gives us what He desires us to have. God bless, Lloyd

The Angulo's - Thank you Mrs. A for you visit and kind comments. I am so happy that you enjoyed this post. I too am so thankful to our Lord and Savior for all the answered prayers He has provided in my life. Blessings to you and Mr. A.

dfish - Thank you for your comments regarding faith. There are lots of folks out there that believe that the sick or hurting soul or unsaved, need to be strong in their faith....not so - It is the faith of the saint that is humbling their self before God. Blessings.

Jessica - Thank you for your visit and comments. I also ask the person who is hurting or asking for prayer if I can lift them up to the Lord. If they say yes, I usually pray with them then if time allows. God bless.

Crystal Mary - It is always a pleasure to have you visit and comment on my blog. I agree totally with what you have written regarding prayer. We need to take everything to the Lord in prayer. God bless.

Thess - Thank you for your visit. And may God also continue to bless you. Lloyd

Susan Kane said...

Thank you for checking out my blog! I loved your post, and know the Lord is my strength and my deliverer.
My brother Bill was in law enforcement, and spent his life in danger. Eventually he died from complication of surgery, at age 44. I still feel the pain and loss everyday.
God bless you. Susan

Oladele R. Olunike said...

Waoooh! Lloyd, many thanks for visiting my blog. Here I acknowledging your kind invitation to visit.

You are sure doin a great work of end time evangelism and edification of the body of Christ here through your blog.

Accessing your blog felt like entering somewhere already enveloped by the presence of God. It church in here.

Thank you for the great work of edification and building of the saints that you are passionately doing even in your retirement.

Hope to see around often.

Many thanks for sharing.

Kind regards,

Sent from my iPad

Oladele is a quintessential polymath
who is not afraid to stand alone and
tread the path considered unpopular by others.
As a professional speaker and image grooming consultant,
he epitomises impeccable sartorial polish,
with a dramatic and effervescent delivery style
which illuminates any audience and imparts proven hands-on
and recreatable solutions. He believes that:
“If you know where you are going, your journey is short.
If you know how to get there, your journey is shorter.
If you know who has got there, your journey is 'shortest'.
If you are willing to submit to who has got there by apprenticeship,
and he or she is willing to take you on by mentorship, you are there!"
He yearns always to impart, impact but
never impress.
Skype: oladele.olunike


I used to have a punch list approach to prayer then I started the blanket system, you know one for all. Now I pray for God. I try to make him feel good.

God is good. How good can good get? I believe that good can get so good that it becomes personal. To me, that's God.

Long live God.

Hi Lloyd.

Signed, hobo

Faithful Mama said...

Great post! Nice to *meet* you, and we'll be reading! :)
I think it is so important that we, as the faithful, are on our hands and knees with faces to the floor each and every day in prayer. It is the only way we're going to make it through until the end. :) Blessings to you--S

Philip Verghese'Ariel' said...

Yet another informative post on prayer. Yes the Subject "PRayer" is the need of the hour. A constant talk with our creator is the only one He expects from each one of His creations. Thanks for the visit to my blog. Keep visiting. I am sorry in one of my previous comments i said there is no follow button in your blog, but scrolling down i found one but now technical problem several times i tried to follow by clicking the button but its not responding. I check again later today. Keep writing and keep inform. God Bless

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