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Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth.
Prayer is so important, but it is our faith that makes the difference! It isn’t the long, repetitious prayer that moves God to action, it is faith! (Matthew 6:7, And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.) It is not perfection that will get answers for you, although if you are choosing to live in sin and you are unwilling to deal with it or ask for forgiveness and change then obviously there is a wall between you and your answer from God! Just because someone is ill, it doesn’t mean they are living in sin! Elijah was made out of the same “mud” as the rest, but He believed God and His #1 motive in life was to serve God, he wasn’t perfect but he confessed his sins on a regular basis and was striving to be a godly man.
We all seem to constantly be looking for some “magical formula” to prayer when the Bible makes it very clear, over and over that is our faith that moves God. There were many times when Jesus told people, “it is your faith that has made you whole” and there were places He went where He didn’t perform many miracles because of their lack of faith (Matthew 13:58). Faith is believing that God will do what He has said He will do, we all know He can do anything. What if He says “no”? Then what? Does that mean you have sin in your life or He doesn’t care? No! God loves you and His plan is perfect for your life and He promises to do what is right and best! We do live in an imperfect world and bad things happen to good people and there are times we make decisions that land us where we are. Things don’t always change over night, but that is no reason to give up! Faith is believing that God will bring that answer or that miracle in His time and because we know that we hold on to our faith and believe and serve and follow Him as we wait! God knows what is best and that is what He is committed to!
Faith is knowing that God sees more than you do, and if He takes that person you love it may be that He is saving them from something by far worse than what you see today! As difficult as that it we have to believe that! I have lost many dear people to me over the years, including both of my parents and it is so difficult and we don’t always understand the timing or reason, but God is God and we have to trust Him when He says, “My ways are not your ways, and My thoughts are not your thoughts”, but we know that He is committed to what is best!
Now, we seem to have gotten away from this very important process that is mentioned in these verses above: “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up.” My daughter, Candace and I just had this discussion this morning! Why are we not in the practice of doing this any more? God is THE God of miracles and the God of healing! Pull together some godly people and people who are known for their faith and anoint that person and pray over them believing. If God has not told you, “no, you will not be healed” then pray, believe, anoint with oil! Satan has almost made us feel embarrassed to ask for prayer and to be anointed with oil somehow and we need to recognize his schemes and press into God and hold on to His word, believe and pray for miracles! Don’t give up, no matter what the doctors may say, God can do anything! Unless He tells you it is time, then you are called to have faith and believe! Share those prayer requests with us today and take them to the elders of your church! The best is yet to come!
“Faith believes in spite of the circumstances and acts in spite of the consequences.” Adrian Rogers