Pastor Jim's Message

Jim

Pastor Jim's Message

 

Prayer is such a wonderful spiritual gift. But have you ever asked yourself, as I have, “How does the healing power of prayer work?” Whole books have been written about the many facets of healing, but the command associated with healing prayer seems to come from James 5:14: “Is any one of you sick? He should call for the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will make the sick person well…”

Yes, the elders should set an example for prayer, but all Christians should pray. God hears everyone’s prayers. Sometimes in my life I have thought there are certain people that seem to have a direct line to God with their prayers. I want them to pray for me! But remember it is not the person, but the faith. When Jesus healed the woman who had been bleeding for twelve years, He said to her, “Daughter, Your faith has healed you...” (Mark 5:34). When Jesus healed two blind men, He said, “…According to your faith will it be done to you” (Matthew 9:29). And when Jairus requested healing for his daughter, Jesus said, “Don’t be afraid, just believe, and she will be healed” (Luke 8:50). Acts 3:16 says, “…It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through Him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see.”

 

The lesson I learn is that I need to trust God more and more every day and I need to talk to God as often as possible. At Desert Palms, we pray for our brothers and sisters. We have a prayer chain. We pray for others before our Session and Deacon meetings. Following worship every Sunday we invite people to pray.

 

Two of our members, Syd and Grace Beckord, have been asking others for prayer for their son Andy who had a five percent chance of survival on account of cancer. They have come forward after worship to pray. Along with our church family, Andy’s aunts and uncles, cousins and friends have prayed. Christians in Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota and Arizona have prayed. Andy’s wife, Hollie, and his two daughters, Anna and Mina, have prayed. Today Syd and Grace want us to know that, after three operations and 23 months of chemo and an abundance of faith-full prayer, Andy is cancer free. Yes, it is important to pray, but it is also right to give thanks when God answers.
Sometimes God allows us to have infirmities which persist, infirmities that will cause us to look to Him for His strength and power. In 2 Corinthians 12:7, Paul says, “To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in weakness.’”

When Jesus healed people in the gospels, He often told them not to tell anyone about being healed. He did not want others to focus on His miracles, but instead to focus on the glory of God. When Jesus heard that His friend Lazarus was sick, He stayed where He was for two more days, saying, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it” (John 11:4). When Jesus arrived, Lazarus was dead so, instead of healing him, Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead! We may miss the whole message of Jesus if we are focused only on being healed from our disease and not on the Savior who heals.

Finally, not all are healed because it is God’s ultimate choice. We know that God is compassionate and merciful. He has full authority over all sickness and can choose to heal whomever He chooses, whenever He chooses. We don’t always know all of the answers as to why--just that His ways are higher than ours. Thus, we should continue to pray in faith and celebrate God for answering our prayers as God wills.

Ultimately, our full physical healing awaits us in Heaven. Revelation 21:4 says, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” It can be our goal to be less preoccupied with our physical condition in this world and to be a more preoccupied with our spiritual condition: “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship” (Romans 12:1). Keep praying in faith and praise God daily. Amen.

 

--Jim

 

Last Published: September 13, 2019 2:00 PM
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