S198P8 – When God’s people pray: healing comes

Jam. 5:13-15

Is anyone among you in trouble?  Let them pray.  Is anyone happy?  Let them sing songs of praise.  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.  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.

It was just a senseless comedy skit at the time.  A man had gone outside and gotten into his car to drive to work.  When his car did not start, he began to try to fix it.  He started by kicking the tires, looking under the hood, and refilling the windshield washer fluid.  He obviously knew nothing about cars and had no idea what to do, but that did not stop him from trying several different things.  He even went so far as to wash and repaint the car, which was not going to change is problem.  I cannot recall the point behind the skit, but I remember laughing to myself as it reminded me of every time in my life when I tried to solve a problem without having a clue how to approach it.  This is how some of us tackle spiritual issues, and that is no laughing matter. 

Fundamentally, to pray means to ask, and prayer acts to right that which is wrong through spiritual power.  When we pray for provision, the prayer is not really about food or money or shelter.  We are praying against a spiritual injustice which creates that need.  This aspect of prayer becomes more obvious when we think about praying for someone who is sick.  We know that illness is the result of sin reigning in this world, so it is clear that our prayer for healing is to correct the injustice of sickness.  The reality is that every one of our requests is for God to bring his will to correct something that is wrong.  Prayer is about healing people, souls, and circumstances.  Prayer is about taking that which is incomplete and broken and asking God to restore it properly.

A common issue for the modern Christian can be the utilization of prayer only as a last resort.  We seem to have so many avenues by which we can fix our problems ourselves, so we take that approach first and leave prayer for later, if needed.  Yet, we have the greatest resource available to us in every circumstance of need, and our Father wants to be that resource for us.  This is about working cooperatively with him, and He gives us prayer so that we can do that in everything.  If we want the wrongs to be made right, we must go to the source of all healing and approach the troubles of this life from a place of spiritual power through prayer.  Father, teach us to go to You first in every trouble, every sickness, and every need.