Summary: Today in our passage of Scripture we’re going see James sharing w/believers some lessons on praying for healing. While he was speaking to people who were living almost 2,000 years ago I believe this Scripture is still applicable for us today.
“Pray for Healing”
James 5: 13-16
May 30, 2010
Intro: When we read the Bible we see stories of incredible healings. You can read @ Lazarus being raised from the dead in John 11. You can read @ a guy w/leprosy being instantly healed by Jesus in Luke 5. In that same chapter you see Jesus tell a paralytic to get up and walk! And guess what? He does!
-The past month we’ve been focused on prayer. We’ve talked @ praying w/persistence and praying w/power. But today our focus is going to be on praying for healing. I said earlier this month that prayer is one of the toughest spiritual disciplines there is. But you can count on just @ all of us becoming prayer warriors when we get sick or someone we’re close to gets sick!
-Now why is that? B/c it’s something that affects us NOW. It’s not one of those things where you say, “If I keep eating a box of donuts every day, if I keep smoking 6 packs of cigarettes a day, this eventually is going to cause me to have bad health.” When you get sick, you’re sick right then! So what do we do? We call out to God in prayer to heal us! We ask Him to make us feel better!
-Now I know some of us can get a little nervous when we start talking @ healing. And we can have some pretty wild thoughts @ how this plays out in the religious world today. But I do want you to know I believe God still has the power to heal people today.
-When I was a kid the doctors found a hole in my stomach. They said I was going to require surgery to fix it. At the time my dad was pastoring a church making $100 a week on the south side of Oklahoma City, which was a rough place. For me to have surgery was going to be difficult for my parents to afford. And not knowing what else to do, they began to pray for God to heal me.
-After praying for me, I went to the doctor for an x-ray before my surgery. And when they looked at the x-ray the hole in my stomach was gone! I no longer required surgery b/c God had healed me! Isn’t that a cool story?
Sermon Idea: Today in our passage of Scripture we’re going see James sharing w/believers some lessons on praying for healing. While he was speaking to people who were living almost 2,000 years ago I believe this Scripture is still applicable for us today.
TEXT: JAMES 5: 13-16
Bckgrd: It’s always important to know the context of Scripture. This letter was written by James, who was the brother of Jesus, to Xians who were living outside of Israel. James starts off this letter in ch. 1: 1 by addressing it to, “the 12 tribes scattered among the nations.” Why were they scattered? B/c there had been a wave of persecution that had hit Israel and caused the Xians to go to different countries to escape. And when they went to these new countries many of them weren’t well received. And once again they faced being looked down upon and persecuted b/c of their faith in Jesus.
-When James started off v. 13 by saying, “Is anyone of you in trouble” the overwhelming answer would’ve been “YES!” And it’s here James shares w/them some lessons on praying for healing. The 1st lesson he shares on praying for healing is:
DIV. 1: WHEN TO PRAY FOR HEALING (vv. 13-14)
Exp: So when do we pray for healing? I think the answer’s pretty obvious. I know I don’t pray for healing when I’m feeling fine! You pray for healing when you’re in trouble and are sick! What’s he talking @ when he refers to being in trouble? The word “trouble” means “suffering.” What were the people he was writing to facing? They were undergoing persecution. So he’s addressing the people who were being persecuted b/c of their faith.
A. That word is referring to people who are enduring evil treatment by others. He’s not talking @ physical sickness but @ people who are hurting b/c of what the world’s doing to them. My guess is that a lot of you are in good shape physically but you’re whipped emotionally.
1. I’m always amazed at how many people are actually suffering in their relationships; their relationships in marriage and their relationships w/their children. What’s the antidote to our suffering? Notice that James says it’s prayer. The fact of the matter is prayer is essential to enduring the sufferings of this life.
a. I’m not trying to sound trite, but endurance in our walk w/God is going to come w/us talking to God and pouring our heart out to Him. If you’re a practical person you might wonder how prayer’s actually going to help. Well, it’s one of the miraculous things @ our faith.