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The Prayer of Faith for Healing

In my last post I talked about James’ view of divine healing in James 5:13-15. It’s clear that somewhere in that first few generations after Christ, something was lost. We’ve come a long way since then.

We’ve seen many men and women of God who were trusting God and speaking life yet died prematurely.

Now we seem to be resigned to the thought that when we pray over the sick, they’ll probably not be healed. Well, I for one am not content with the status quo. I want to see a new move of God in my lifetime. I believe that it’s here.

When I began to meditate on these verses, I started to ask things like; do I really know what it means to ‘pray over’ someone like James did? What did James mean by the prayer offered in faith? Did it sound even close to what we pray?

I know that we try to put faith into our prayers. We quote Scripture, hoping to get God to see our faith and move on our behalf. But is that what James is speaking about in his book?

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 5:16

I read this passage and I realize that there’s something missing. I also believe that it’s the foundation of the next move of God – the restoration of power to His church. The key is recorded in this very passage we’re looking at. James goes on to illustrate the prayer of faith that he’s talking about.

Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.
James 5:17-18

In these verses, James uses the prophet Elijah as an example to us. He tells us that this is the same type of prayer that will bring healing to the sick. Let’s take a look at the Scripture concerning Elijah’s prayer.

Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.”
I Kings 17:1

James said that Elijah prayed and the rain stopped. This is the verse he was referring to. Have you ever prayed a prayer like this? Have you ever heard a prayer like this? As far as I can see, Elijah was talking to the king, not to God.

What was the prayer in this verse? We need to understand that not all prayers fit into the “dear God” category. In this encounter, even though Elijah was speaking to the king, he was invoking the name of the Lord over the situation. He was speaking in God’s place to the king.

How does this relate to healing the sick? Think about the ministry of Jesus. How did He pray for the sick? He worked the same way that we see the prayer of Elijah working. He didn’t ask for God to heal, instead He spoke to the sick.

“Pick up your mat and walk.”

“Go show yourself to the priest.”

“Go rinse your eyes in the pool.”

It was the same for the disciples. Remember how they prayed healing for the lame man at the temple gate. Peter said, “Silver and gold I don’t have. But what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus, walk!” They healed the sick in the same way that Elijah stopped the rain in Israel.

Please understand that I’m not saying to just go out there and speak healing to the sick. There are plenty who’ve tried that without 100% success. Instead, I’m talking about the assumption that’s present in all of these cases. It’s the necessary ingredient without which all of these examples would fall apart.

Think back to the prophet Elijah. What would cause him to speak in such a way to the king?

There’s an assumed chain of events that led to his standoff with the king. He was at home, in prayer, when suddenly he heard a Word from God. That’s the only explanation for the boldness he had before King Ahab. God spoke to him and said that the rain would stop when he delivered the message to the king.

This is the very example that James uses to illustrate healing prayer. The assumption is that to pray this kind of prayer, you must have heard from heaven. It’s based upon hearing a Word from God. That, my brothers and sisters, is the missing ingredient in our generation. We’ve lost our ability to hear from God on a regular basis.

I believe that the more time we spend in God’s presence, listening to His voice, the more healings and miracles will be seen in the church.

Question: What will it take for us to start hearing God’s voice again?

© Nick Zaccardi 2017

 
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Posted by on May 5, 2017 in Faith, Healing, Prayer, Revival, Word of God

 

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Asking, Seeking, and Knocking…For Others

DoorI’ve been posting about how we go to God for the needs of others.  Let’s continue looking at the parable in Luke, chapter 11.

“I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man’s boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs.
“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
Luke 11:8-10

Listen carefully to the reasoning as to why the man was given bread.  It was NOT because of friendship or need.  It was because of boldness.  It was because the friend was willing to go to the neighbor’s house in the dead of night and pound on his door.

Other people who lived around started to wake up when they heard the commotion.  They looked out their windows to see how this man would respond.  It was only when it became a matter of his reputation in the community, that this man responded by supplying bread.

Our God is not going to be pressured because you’re begging Him for provision.  You can’t gain His sympathy by magnifying the need.  These things don’t affect God.

What He’s looking for is someone who’s willing to publicly declare the Word of God before men.  He’s looking for boldness.

The important part is found in verses 9 and 10.  This is the section that tells us that if we ask, it will be given, if we seek, we will find, and if we knock, the door will be opened.  Our normal thoughts are that this is all about me getting what I want from God.

In this context, Christ is speaking about going before God on behalf of the needs of others.  It’s about meeting the needs of those around us.  People we meet everyday – at our jobs, in our schools, and in the stores.

They all have problems they’re facing each day.  Most of them have no access to God except through us.  We must throw out this idea that the blessings of God are only for me and a chosen few.  It’s God’s desire to bless the world through His people.

You don’t have to convince me that God wants to bless believers; that’s beyond question.  What I want to open our eyes to is the world around us that’s in need.  They need a Savior, a Healer and a Provider.  All of these things are found in Christ.

It’s up to us to take this message to the world.  Not just by saying, “God loves you.”  But by actually bringing the power of Christ into the lives of the hurting people around us.

Take the time to go before the throne room of God with the needs of others.  Trust God to perform miracles in those you pray for.  If you hear a Word from God for them, then act on it.

We must be God’s hands extended to the world.

Question: What are the specific needs you know about the people around you?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2014 in God's Provision, Ministry, Prayer

 

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How to be a Good Witness

I am hoping to wrap up my talk about faith with this post.  I hope that by now it’s obvious that faith is an on-going process of discovery and response.  It’s how we continue to grow in our walk with Christ.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.  This is what the ancients were commended for.
Hebrews 11:1-2

Actually, even though I usually like the NIV, it’s not really a good translation of verse 2.  The KJV is a little closer in saying that the ancients “obtained a good report.”  Literally, the verse says that in faith, the elders witnessed.

We must go from being a discoverer to a witness.  Let’s talk about our good friend Christopher Columbus again.  In my last post I talked about him coming to the New World and discovering America.  At some point he returned home.

At that point he has become a witness of what no one else in Europe has ever seen.  He tells anyone who would listen, “I’ve seen a New World.  I’ve discovered a land that no European has ever been to before.”

In the same way, faith is your witness.  Every time you see something new about Christ, you choose to respond to it.  You believe this new truth and embrace it.  As you begin to put your confidence in it, you become a witness to this truth.

In the last post I used the example of hearing for the first time that Christ is the Healer.  The Holy Spirit makes it real to you through the discovery of faith.  You then go out and begin to share with others that Christ is the healer, even if you’ve never been healed.

It’s not a matter of, “Well, the pastor preached about it so I guess it’s true.”  On the contrary – it’s on the inside of you.  Then, when you need it, it’s there to heal you.

If you lay hold of each new truth, you will continue to trust Christ even if the enemy tries to knock your faith out of your hand.  That’s why it’s so important that we see faith as a walk and not just an event.

The fact is, “we walk by faith and not by sight.”  It’s time for believers to pick up their shields and move forward.  Then, we must never back down, but respond in faith to each new discovery of the Word of God.

Question: How has your faith in Christ brought you through in your hard times?

© Nick Zaccardi 2012

 
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Posted by on November 5, 2012 in Faith

 

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How to Discover a New World

I have been posting about faith lately.  Our faith is seen in our choices.  As we learn new things about Christ, we then have a choice whether to believe it or not.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
Hebrews 11:1

We looked at this verse in my last post.  I said that being sure meant that our faith is a support to our expectations in Christ.  So each time I learn something new about Christ, and make the choice to believe it – I add a new support structure.  As long as this continues, my walk with the Lord grows.

The above verse also says that faith is being certain of what we do not see.  The word translated as certain means proof or discovery.

Faith, then, is the discovery of things not seen.  Notice that the writer of Hebrews did not say it was the discovery of things invisible.  Rather, faith is the discovery of things you haven’t seen.

We say that Columbus discovered America.  We understand that the New World was not invisible; it just couldn’t be seen from Europe.  Through a series of choices Columbus got to a place where he could see it.

In the same way, you can discover new worlds of faith in Christ.  You may not have known that the Lord paid the price for your healing.  Through a series of choices, you came to a healing service.  While there, you hear a message that touched your spirit proclaiming Christ as Healer.

As the Holy Spirit works in you, you choose to accept this truth by faith.  Now your faith is the proof, the discovery, of that which was not seen.

The things that God has prepared for me are not invisible; I’m just not in a place where I can see them.  Faith is the proof I need that they are there.

But if an unbeliever or someone who does not understand comes in while everybody is prophesying, he will be convinced by all that he is a sinner and will be judged by all…
1 Corinthians 14:24

When we let God speak through us, an amazing thing happens.  Someone may hear the message that has not yet accepted Christ.  He discovers that he’s a sinner.  If he embraces this new discovery, he can make the choice to cross over into the kingdom of God.

Faith is always discovery and response.  As I respond in faith to each new revelation, I lay hold of a new support.  Each positive response helps me to climb a little higher.  We must continue to live out this faith-walk and let God complete His work in us.

Question: What was the most recent discovery that added to your faith-walk?

© Nick Zaccardi 2012

 
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Posted by on November 2, 2012 in Faith

 

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