orthopedic surgeons examined Tammys X-rays, and concluded that nothing could be done for her. They took Tammy home with the knowledge that she might remain in a neck-brace the rest of her life. It was then that their impassioned prayers touched the throne of God, and their daughter was healed almost immediately in the name of the Lord and has never been bothered again after more than forty years.

Some teach that the power to heal was confined to the apostolic age. God has imposed no such limits upon Himself. James recommends that regular church church people and officers, not apostles should carry out the practice. This implies that the ministry to the sick is not limited to apostles, or even to those with gifts of healing as mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:30. James counsel has permanent validity in the church. However, this is the only mention of anointing a sick person in the New Testament letters. Since many were healed without anointing, it is apparent that anointing is not required for healing prayer to be effective.

C. The Lord will Heal

It is God's power that heals. The prayer, anointing, and the calling out of Jesus name are not a magical rite. It is an opening for God's power to intervene. Alec Motyer speaks of the advance of medical knowledge, and says the discovery of medicines and the perfecting of surgical techniques are without doubt examples of the providential goodness of God. We must be careful lest we over-value the marvelous and the miraculous at the expense of the mundane and the providentialˇ¨ [The Message of James, (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1985), 192].

If we acknowledge God's sovereign hand in our bad times as well as the good, then our eyes should be on the Lord even when we go to the doctor. If an aspirin works, it is the Lord who makes it work. When a broken bone is set and it mends, it is the Lord who makes it mend. Every good gift is from above! Pay the doctor and praise the Lord!

Genuine prayer is always a commitment to the will of God, and it is best expressed in patience as we wait to see what He will do. The statement is without qualification: the prayer of faith will save the sick! This stands among the great prayer promises of the Bible. Jesus said, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heavenˇ¨ (Matthew 18:19). He also promised His disciples, I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Fatherˇ¨ (John 14:13).

These promises are given so that we might come with confidence to the place of prayer. They tell of an omnipotent God who can do all things, who is so generous that He will not withhold good from us, and whose ears are open to our every word. They do not allow us come with a stubborn insistence that we've got it right, and our will must be done. We are not to try to whip up a believing spirit, or pretend that we have it when we do not.

Prayers for healing are qualified