Praise, prayer and healing

James 5:13-16 NLT says, “Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray. Are any of you happy? You should sing praises. [14] Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord. [15] Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven. [16] Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.”

In this passage it touches on some important things that can help us in our daily lives.

1. Prayer and praise –

We should pray to God in hard times to ask for help and praise Him with thanksgiving in the good times. The key for us as Christians is to be in contact with God always. As 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, “Always be joyful. 17 Never stop praying. 18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”

2. The Elders can help

The Elders of the church should be called if we are sick to anoint us in oil. This is a symbolic thing of rubbing oil on someones forehead (usually) and praying for God to heal them. The Scripture says the Lord will make you well.

3. Confess and be healed

This passage also says to confess sins to each other. There is power in sharing your struggles with someone you trust. You can pray together and ask God to heal you of the issue. They can also check in with you and see how you are going regularly.

Prayer and praise brings good results. Healing if you are sick and healing if you are struggling with sin.

Have faith in God

Mark 11:22-26 says, “Then Jesus said to the disciples, “Have faith in God. [23] I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart. [24] I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours. [25-26] But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.” There are some great truths contained in this passage. 1. Faith and belief in God is vital for answered prayer. We must have a firm belief that God exists and answers prayer. Hebrews 11:6 tells us that without faith it is impossible to please God. So faith and belief is the starting point for answered prayer. 2. God can do absolutely anything. Nothing is impossible for Him. Jesus uses the extreme example of a mountain being thrown into the sea to illustrate the point. This shows that there is nothing in this life that God cannot do. He can help us with our small problems and our gigantic ones! We believe in an all powerful God who can do anything. 3. Prayer and doubt do not mix. We must believe God will do what we ask. This does not mean we “name it and claim it” like asking to win the lottery or getting a Mercedes car. But it means we ask God for what we need and we allow Him to answer and give us what we need in accordance with His will and wisdom. Remember God is a good God who gives good things to His children. Believe God will bring good and don’t doubt. 4. Forgiving others is a key to having our prayers answered. This is blunt and straight forward. It you want God to answer your prayer, you can’t hold grudges against people. We need to remember that God has forgiven us, we need to  forgive others too. Forgiveness and letting go is not only good for us, but it allows God’s answers to our prayers to flow.

The approval of God

“Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.” ‭‭Galatians‬ ‭1:10‬ ‭NLT‬‬

At times the people around us will understand why we do what we do in our service of God. At other times they will not. It is important in these times to follow God and be obedient to Him. It is more important to win the approval of God than the people around us.

I have found that in time most things we do become clear and people see why you did what you did, even if it didn’t make sense to them at the time.

As the Apostle Paul said in the above verse, “If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant”.

Obedience to God is the key in all things to pleasing God.

Dear God, help me to obedient to You in the things I do. Help me to be more interested in winning Your approval than the people around me. Amen.

The bread that satisfies

“Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” ‭‭John‬ ‭6:35‬ ‭NLT‬‬ For many years of my life I wondered if there was more to this life. In my quiet moments I felt like something was missing and I had a hole inside me. In time I worked out this spiritual emptiness that was me searching for more. In the verse above Jesus describes Himself as the bread of life and talks about not being hungry or thirsty if we come to Him. Our spiritual hunger and thirst is satisfied when we come to Jesus. Jesus is the author of life and when we come to know Him and trust Him as our Lord and Saviour, it fills a hole inside us like food fills an empty stomach and water quenches thirst. I no longer walk around with a spiritual vacuum inside me. I know Jesus is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6). I know He is my Saviour (John 1:12) and He has a place prepared for me in heaven (John 14:2). If you would like to end your spiritual hunger and thirst, I would encourage you to visit my “peace with God” page today.

Pay careful attention to your own work

“Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else.” ‭‭Galatians‬ ‭6:4‬‬‬ God tells us that He prepared good works for us to do before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 2:10). When we focus on our own work, we are able to give it our best effort. We are also too busy to look around and compare ourselves to others and what they are doing. Focusing on our work also helps us to be satisfied that we are playing our part in God’s unfolding plan for this world. Remember, we could have be born at any time in history, but God chose for us to live now to do certain things for Him. Let us all pay careful attention to them today. Prayer Lord, help me to keep focused on the work You have created me for and called me to do. I pray that I will not compare myself to others and the work they are doing. Help me to remain focused on You and Your work for me. Help me to give it my absolute best. Amen.

Why we never give up

In 2 Corinthians 4 there is a great passage that gives us hope and encouragement. It says…

“That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.” 2 Corinthians‬ ‭4:16-18‬ ‭NLT‬‬

In these three verses there are three great truths…

  1. Our bodies are dying, but our spirits are being renewed each day.
  2.  Our present troubles will not last long.
  3. Despite our troubles we focus on the eternal which last forver!

We have two great hopes. Our spirit is being renewed each day to become more like Christ and we have the hope of eternal life with Christ.

This is why we never give up!