Saturday, May 01, 2010
5 things to pray for before you pray for healing
James 5: 13 Is anyone among you suffering? He should pray. Is anyone cheerful? He should sing praises.
14 Is anyone among you sick? He should call for the elders of the church, and they should pray over him after anointing him with olive oil in the name of the Lord. 15 The prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The intense prayer of the righteous is very powerful.
Tim Keller presented what he called "a mini-guide to life." He said that five themes of the entire book of Proverbs can be found in verses 3-12 of Proverbs 3. They also mesh in very well with what we should pray for when there is an illness question You and I should pray to the end that these five things will appear fully formed in daily life of those we love, in our families and in our church:
First, pray that they would put their heart's deepest trust in God and his grace. We should pray until those we love are living from within the context of God's unconditional love. Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. Trust in the LORD with all your heart. -- Proverbs 3:3-5a
Second, pray that they would submit their whole mind to Scripture. Pray until those we love are bringing Scripture to bear on every area of life. Lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. -- Proverbs 3:5b-6
Third, pray that they would be humble and teachable toward others. Pray until those we love are forgiving and understanding rather than critical.Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. -- Proverbs 3:7-8
Fourth, pray that they would be generous with their possessions, and passionate about justice. Pray until those we love share their time, talent, and treasure with those who have less. Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine. -- Proverbs 3:9-10
Fifth, pray that they would accept and learn from difficulties and suffering. Pray until those we love recognize hardship as a refining process and not punishment. My son, do not despise the LORD's discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in. -- Proverbs 3:11-12 This is our prayer: To see a people "rooted in God's grace, obeying and delighting in his Word, humble before other people, sacrificially generous toward our neighbor, and steadfast in trials."