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    Monday, June 8, 2009

    Biblical Healing (Pt. 2)

    Another important aspect of healing is prayer. Prayer is a powerful tool that we as believers possess!

    The scriptures are full of references on the power of prayer, the direction of prayer the purpose of prayer and the sheer connection to God that prayer brings. James is among the books of the Bible that describes prayer. James also connects the act of prayer to healing.

    The Scripture says: “Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective” (James 5:14-16).

    These few verses are extremely important to understanding Christ as our Healer. They are also extremely important for us who lead Christ’s church in how we are to use healing in our churches.

    The fact that Christ is a healer is indisputable, due to his many miraculous healing encounters.

    The question for us today is how do we do “Even more than He did” (John 14:12)? I believe the answer lies here in James 5.

    Erikson, an excellent theologian in his book Introducing Christian Doctrine describes prayer as this: “…prayer does not change what he has purposed to do. It is the means by which he accomplishes his end. It is vital then, that a prayer be uttered, for without it the desired result will not come to pass” (pg. 144).

    Later he says, “…[prayer] is not a method of creating a positive mental attitude in ourselves so that we are able to do what we have asked to have done. Rather, prayer is in large part a matter of creating in ourselves a right attitude with respect to God’s will” (pg. 144).

    So, when we are praying, we are not “tricking” God into doing what we want, we are simply positioning ourselves so we can receive fully what He wants.

    The same is with the prayer of healing. When the elders (the Spiritual covering of a member) pray for a member, they are positioning themselves and the member to receive whatever God has for them. God’s answers may vary from “I will heal now” to “It is more merciful of me to allow him to die of this illness”. He also may say, “I will heal in my time” or “I will begin healing now and continue the healing”.

    The reason James calls the members to their elders, is an act of submission, so they can better position themselves to receive whatever God would desire for them to receive.

    This is an amazing part of God’s healing and is very similar to the types of healing that Christ did on Earth. Jesus was constantly quoted as saying: “Your faith has healed you” or similar statements.

    If a member were to follow these verses, the elders would be right in saying: “Your faith has healed you” because they, in faith brought the matter before their elders, in such a way that they were positioning themselves to receive the healing God desired for them. Had they not had such faith, God may or may not have healed them, just as Jesus didn’t heal those in the crowd that did not seek him out.

    Keith Bailey in his book Divine Healing: The Children’s Bread puts it this way: “No limitations were placed on His [Jesus’] healing ministry on earth. Unbelief was the only recorded hindrance to healing” (pg.101).