Fervent Prayer According To God.

I find it interesting to compare our learned concepts of God and how we react toward God's word; to what the bible actually says about His character; and with how bible people of faith reacted to Jesus.

How do we react to our perception of whether God is hearing our prayers? Does He seem to have favourites, and how do we react to what we perceive? How do we react if we're told God may not grant 'our' request as against someone else's, because of His sovereign will?

This raises the question, "Can God do other than His word (break His word) because His will is sovereign? -- Not my God. My God is not a liar or a deceiver. That's another spirit!

To illustrate this perhaps we could consider what James has to say about fervent prayer in Chapter 5 of his letter.

We can camp on James, Chapter 5, verses 13-16 for a while, for instance, and check out what he had to say there!

Jam 5:13 Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

First we see that James tells us we should always have an attitude of 'prayer and thanksgiving' towards God. This is only right knowing how much God loves us and has done for us and knowing that He lives in us and will never leave us. But in terms of prayer James tells us that if anyone is sick they should call on the elders in the Church to pray for them.

Now you will know that God has given ALL believers the authority to heal the sick. This is shown in Matthew, Chapter 10, verse 8 as an example.

Mat 10:8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay.

That's Jesus saying "You" Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers and cast out demons! The "You" is understood, or should be by all believers!

Obviously then James is referring to believers/Christians who are not walking in this gift that Jesus has given them. So, since they are not able to exhibit this gift Jesus tells them, through James, to call on the elders, who should be walking in the Spirit and who can show them the way!

And what does James say the elders will do?

James says that they will pray for them (In the name of the Lord) and anoint them with oil (In the name of the Lord) and this prayer offered in faith WILL make the sick person well!

Jesus expects the elders in the Church to be men and women of faith who walk in the Spirit and exhibit the gifts that He has given to the believers, including healing!

You will notice that James also says that 'The Lord will raise him up'. This illustrates the point that the power is the Lord's but the authority is ours. We have to command it to happen. Peter in giving healing to the crippled begger at the gate commanded - "In the name of Jesus, rise up and walk".

Peter did not beg and plead and ask God if it was according to His will and He was in a good mood and there was an 'R' in the month, could He look down on His poor pitiful servants and in His mercy and sovereignty deign to bring a healing touch to this poor crippled man!

That is NOT what Jesus told us to do!! He said that we were sent in the same manner that He was sent, and He commanded diseases to go and demons to come out of people.

John 5:8-9 Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” 9 And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.

Jesus commanded healing and Peter followed His example because that is what Jesus taught!

Acts 3:6 Then Peter said, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk."

And the people were healed! Jesus healed EVERYONE who came to Him. No-one was sent away still sick because 'it wasn't God's will'! No sick person was told THEY did not have enough faith! Elders like the disciples who failed to heal others were told that 'they' lacked faith but NOT the sick people who came to them for help!

The other thing that WILL happen is that "If they have sinned, they will be forgiven". This is the only conditional statement in the passage and yet it's an 'absolute' conditional! If you've sinned you WILL be forgiven. If you haven't sinned presumably you don't need to be forgiven! But if you have sinned just tell of this and God will forgive you and you will be healed. The prayer of the righteous man/woman will avail much. Of course you do know that as a Christian you are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus; don't you?! (2 Corintians 5:21)

2 Cor 5:21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

God has promised us a lot in His word. We have to believe Him and follow the promptings of Holy Spirit as He leads us to acheive them! We are unlikely to achieve 100%, at first, but we should just realize that Jesus showed what a human being perfectly surrendered to following Holy Spirit could do - we typically have some growing to do to reach His maturity!

* It isn't God who hasn't done His part. His work in salvation, deliverance and healing is finished, just as Jesus said on the cross! *

As we grow in maturity and renew our minds we will become people who forgive others; who do not hold a grudge against others; who do not harbour hatred and envy against others; who love one another and indeed all mankind. And, as we grow, God's blessings will become more and more available through our authority, enabling us to bless others.

Eph 3:20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us,...

So let's be believers who actually believe, and "press in" to grow in faith (that tenacious fighting belief that God will do every good thing that we ask of Him) and receive God's promises. According to how much we allow Holy Spirit to work within us. Shalom!

Best wishes for grace and the peace of Jesus.


Another thought....