Summary: James explains to us how to pray for healing: There’s the confession that precedes it. There’s the intercession that provides it, there’s the illustration that proves it.
I want you to take your Bibles tonight and turn with me to the fifth chapter of the book of James. That wonderful book of James that deals with such practicalities, things that we need to know and learn and to hear over and over again.
Tonight I want to speak to you on the healing power of prayer, on the healing power of prayer. James chapter 5 and verse 16: “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And, he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit” (James 5:16–18).
The Healing Power of Prayer. I want you to know that I believe as surely as I’m standing here that God heals. I believe that God heals naturally, I believe that God heals supernaturally, I believe that God heals instantaneously, and I believe that God heals in time, but I believe he is the Lord our God who heals all of our diseases. I believe that God heals through medicine and I thank God for the doctors and I believe that God heals through miracle and he heals beyond the doctors’ art.
We have some very fine medical doctors here in our congregation as I look out among them, and the thing that thrills my heart is to know that these men while they’re men of science are also spiritual men, and they’re men of prayer, and these are men who pray and ask God to do what they themselves cannot do. And, I believe that God has healed me and answered a prayer. I believe there’s some of you that are here tonight who have been healed because of the prayers of God’s people, and God has miraculously, supernaturally, intervened and healed you in a way that He would not have healed you had we not prayed. Oh, I believe ladies and gentlemen, that many of us, many of us have forfeited the blessing of God because we’ve not learned something of the healing power of prayer.
Now, prayer is a powerful force. One man that will always bless you if you read what he’s written is Andrew Murray. Andrew Murray was a man that walked with God.
Andrew Murray said this in relation to prayer. He said, “In relation to his people, God works only in answer to their prayer.” Now, that’s a big statement. He didn’t say, “God works in answer to their prayer,” but “in relation to God’s people”, Andrew Murray said, “God works only in answer to their prayer.” And then he said, “In prayer we change our natural strength for the supernatural strength of God.” We change our natural strength for the supernatural strength of God.
Dr. R. A. Torrey, whom I quote frequently, said this, “Nothing lies beyond the reach of prayer except that which lies outside the will of God.” Nothing lies beyond the reach of prayer except that that lies outside the will of God. Another great preacher of yesteryear said this. Dr. A. C. Dickson said, “When we depend upon organization, we get what organization can do, and that’s something. When we depend upon education, we get what education can do, and that is something. When we depend upon money, we get what money can do, and that is something. When we depend upon singing and preaching, we get what they can do, and that is something.” But, then Dr. A. C. Dickson said, “When we depend upon prayer, we will get what God can do.” And, then this great preacher went on to say, “What all the churches and all the homes and all the schools and all the individuals need is what God can do, and how shall we get what God can do? By prayer out of hearts that are right with God.”
Now, the message tonight is going to deal with the healing power of prayer, but I want to remind you that there is more than the healing of the body. There are souls that need to be healed. There are churches that need to be healed. There are homes that need to be healed. There are fellowships that need to be healed. There are spirits that need to be healed. There are minds that need to be healed and indeed there are bodies that need to be healed. Now, James tells us how to pray so as to bring the healing power of God into our bodies, into our minds, into our spirits, into our homes, into our relationships so that God, who is the God that heals our diseases, will move in and heal us. Several things I want you to notice.