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Healing Principles – Intercession

HandsThis will be my last post on the principles that govern the healing that Christ provided for us on the cross. In my last article we saw how healing is based upon a Word from God. We need to really grasp this point.

Healing is not based upon my need. Neither is it based upon my love for the sick person or my desire to see them get well. Healing is initiated by a Word from God for me to take authority over that sickness.

That explains what James said in his letter.

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

We see two important thoughts in this verse. First of all there’s confession of need. I already talked about this one in a former post in this series. If nobody knows about your sickness, how can they be in prayer for you?

The word confess literally means to speak out where you’ve missed the mark. This includes if you are missing the mark of God’s perfect health.

The second thought is just as important, yet highly overlooked in our generation. James says to pray for one another for healing. I believed that we’ve totally misunderstood what he’s saying here.

He’s not talking about laying hands on people to bring healing. This verse is speaking about our daily routines. We should be praying and interceding for our brothers and sisters in Christ. Then, from time to time we will receive a Word for someone’s healing…or other situations they may be going through.

The last line of this verse clinches that for me. It says that the energized prayer of the righteous is a mighty force.

Energized prayer – I believe he can only be talking about prayer in the spirit by using that term. Paul talks about it in that way as well.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.
Romans 8:26

When I intercede in the spirit for my fellow believers, I’m praying beyond my limited knowledge. Then the Holy Spirit is free to give me a Word for their healing. That’s the precise way that the healing ministry of Jesus took place.

Jesus gave them this answer: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.”
John 5:19

The whole ministry of Jesus was Word based. He heard from the Father, and then did what He saw. Of course, that meant spending a large amount of time in the spirit, listening to the Father’s voice. That’s the biggest hurdle for us. We need to take the time necessary to operate at this level.

I believe that the day is coming when the church will finally be so upset by our lack of power, that we’ll press in and learn to hear God clearly. That’s what will initiate the final harvest before the coming of the Lord.

We need to be a people of prayer. Prayer in the spirit and intercession for others should be a part of our daily walk. This will bring us to where we need to be as God’s people.

Question: What would the church look like if this was in place?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

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Healing Principles – The Word

BeamI’m taking a few posts to talk about the Biblical principles surrounding divine healing. I believe that God wants to use the church to the same degree that Christ healed the sick when He walked the earth. The problem is that we don’t understand all of the things involved.

One big key to healing is found in the book of James.

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.
James 5:14-15

I feel that in this modern age we really don’t get what James means by the prayer of faith. I get the impression that we think it’s all about quoting the Bible and tacking on “in Jesus name” at the end. James has a whole different perspective.

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

The example he uses is Elijah stopping the rain from falling in Israel. What would cause him to do something like that? There’s an assumed chain of events that led to his famous prayer.

He was at home, in prayer, when suddenly he heard a Word from God. That’s the only explanation for the boldness he had. 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.

Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.
Romans 10:17

This verse literally says that faith comes by hearing the rhemaWord of God. That’s the Word that God Himself speaks to us. But in order to hear this Word, we have to spend time in His presence listening to His Spirit.

That’s what we find so hard to do in this generation. We want everything to come instantly. No waiting on the Lord in prayer. We just want the perfect spiritual formula that will assure us the answer every time we pray it.

Unfortunately that’s not how God operates. Over and over again in the Scripture we see that healing is associated with receiving a Word from God.

He sent forth his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave.
Psalms 107:20

If we want to see more healings in the body of Christ then we have to do it His way. We must spend more time in prayer and prayer in the spirit. That’s how we will position ourselves to hear from God. Faith will rise within us. Then the Word of healing that we speak will be powerful and effective.

Question: How have you seen divine healing operate through God’s people?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2015 in Faith, Healing, Prayer, Word of God

 

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Healing Principles – Truth

MirrorFor the past couple of posts I’ve been talking about God’s divine healing that was provided by Christ on the cross. So far we’ve seen that sickness is a part of the sin nature and our healing is based in the authority of God.

Today I want to talk about a problem I see in the lives of some believers who erroneously believe that denial is the path to their healing. Nothing could be further from the truth.

But first, I need to make it clear that I wholeheartedly believe in the confession of the Word of God. We need to speak out our faith. The words of our mouth must line up with God’s view of life as found in the Scriptures.

That being said, there are those who take this too far. If the doctor gives them some bad news, especially when it’s something like cancer, they start to deny it. When they’re with other believers they’ll act as if there’s nothing wrong. You ask them how they’re doing and they say, “I’m healed and whole.”

It actually all comes down to fear. They’re afraid that if somehow they slip up in their “faith confession”, God will never heal them.

The fact is that because sickness is a part of the sin package, it’s to be treated the same way that any other kind of sin is taken care of.

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.
I John 1:8

Because sickness is a part of this package, you can replace the word sin with sickness. The principle is that claiming you’re not sick, when you are, means that you’ve deceived yourself. We cannot sweep sickness under the carpet and expect to be healed. Denial is never God’s method for anything that needs to be removed from our lives.

God’s way is just the opposite.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
I John 1:9

Never deny your sickness. Denial is based in fear and it causes us to leave the path of truth. What we must do with sickness is to confess it so that He can remove it. We do this to let Christ purify us – body and soul.

This agrees with the Word in other parts of Scripture.

Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. 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.
James 5:13-14

This verse tells us some good advice. If you’re going through troubled times, then pray. If you’re cheerful, sing. If you’re sick in some way, call elders in Christ.

Please realize that depending on the church this may or may not be the official elder board. This verse is talking about those who know God’s Word concerning healing.

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.
James 5:15

This is God’s divine order for the sin package. Confession of the problem and removal by the prayer of authority based upon faith in God’s Word. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a physical sickness or a sinful activity.

Question: How have you experienced confession and removal in your Christian walk?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 
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Posted by on September 28, 2015 in Faith, Healing, Power of God, Prayer

 

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Healing Principles – Authority

KeyI’m taking a few posts to talk about the guiding principles that surround God’s provision of healing for His people. In my last article I showed that sickness is a part of the sin nature. It misses the best that the Lord wants for us.

Now I want to talk about our authority in Christ Jesus. We’ve been given that name that’s above all other names.

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Philippians 2:9-11

The Lord expects us to walk in and use His name in all of our activities. That means I need to strive to live the way He lived. That’s the only way I can adequately represent Christ to the world. It also means that I have a responsibility to seek the Lord’s way of ministry.

How did Jesus heal the sick? He’s our example for how it’s to be accomplished.

“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him.
The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.”
“Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.
Mark 10:51-52

This is one of the many healings that are recorded in Scripture. One thing that strikes me right away is the boldness that Jesus had. We see the same thing in the ministry of the Apostles after the resurrection. Look at what happened in the Temple courts when Peter met a crippled man.

Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God.
Acts 3:6-8

In both cases Jesus and the Apostles were acting under the authority of God. What we need to understand is that the prayer for healing is a prayer of authority. That means that you don’t have to ask God to do it. It is a command that the healing be manifest.

It’s the same as when demons are cast out of an individual. I’ve had the privilege of delivering someone from the bondage of demonic possession. I didn’t ask God to do it. I took authority over the demon in the name of Jesus Christ.

I commanded it to leave based upon the clear teaching of Scripture that we’ve been given authority over all the power of the enemy. Sickness is the same way. The Word shows us that God hates sickness. It’s a blight on His perfect creation. We have His authority to command it to be healed.

The church needs to once again walk in the authority we’ve been given. Of course, as I’ve said before, this carries a responsibility to live as Christ lived. I think this might be the biggest hindrance to us living it out.

One more thing about our authority in Christ. Some people think that this is the only issue and run off to try it and fall on their face – spiritually speaking. In my next post I’m going to deal with another major principle that needs to be in place for us to see more healings taking place in the church.

Question: How have you used the authority of the name of Jesus recently?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 
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Posted by on September 25, 2015 in Healing, Power of God, Spiritual Warfare

 

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Healing Principles – The Sin Nature

TargetI believe that Christ is the Healer. I believe that in His death, burial, and resurrection He paid the price for all sickness and disease to be healed. That being said, I also understand the reality that not everyone is healed at this point in church history.

Just like it’s God’s desire for all to be saved, I believe He wants us all healthy and whole. But please understand, I’m not one of those who lightly says, “You just didn’t have enough faith” when someone’s not healed.

There are certain kingdom principles that I think we’ve missed along the way. I want to take a few posts to talk about some of these as they relate to the healing that’s available to all believers.

The first is the principle of the sin nature. We need to understand how this relates to sickness. I covered this aspect in great detail in a series I posted called Healing 101. To read that series click here.

The bottom line of what Scripture teaches is that sickness is a part of the sin nature. Let me be clear – sickness is not always caused by a specific sin in our life, but it is a part of the total sin package that Adam embraced.

Sin means to miss the mark. Adam was created to never be sick. Sickness misses the mark of God’s desire for our health. Jesus Christ himself made reference to this fact during His ministry on earth. This took place when a group of men lowered their sick friend to Jesus through a hole they cut in the roof.

When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”
The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, “Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’?
But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins….” He said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.”
Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God.
Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, “We have seen remarkable things today.”
Luke 5:20-26

In looking at this event in the life of Jesus, it’s important to note that the Greek word that we translate as forgive literally means to remove. Therefore, according to Jesus’ own testimony, in order to prove that He could remove sin – He removed sickness.

Jesus would not have made such an amazing statement unless it was true. This is one of the most important concepts we need to hear. When a person is healed, a manifestation of the sin nature is removed from their life.

In order to understand how healing works in the church, we must first come to grips with this truth. God feels the same way about sickness that he feels about any other sin – He wants it gone!

That’s good news. I don’t have to worry about whether or not it’s God’s will to heal me. It is. I just need to understand the guiding principles about how that healing is accomplished in me.

Hopefully, over the next few posts I can bring those across. My prayer is that as you read these, you can lay hold of it. If the result is that your healing manifests, please share it with us in the comments so that God can get the glory for His work in you.

Question: How has God healed you in the past?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 
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Posted by on September 23, 2015 in Healing, Ministry, Power of God

 

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