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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Rick Warren » Rick Warren - A Faith That Can Heal Illnesses

Rick Warren - A Faith That Can Heal Illnesses

Rick Warren - A Faith That Can Heal Illnesses
TOPICS: A Faith That Works When Life Doesn’t, Faith, Healing

Hi, everybody, I'm Rick Warren, Pastor of Saddleback Church, Author of "The Purpose Driven Life", and Teacher of the Daily Hope Broadcast. Welcome back to our series, Through the Book of James, and we're calling it a faith that works when life doesn't. Principles for living through a pandemic. Now we're coming down to our last couple of studies as we finish up chapter five of the book of James. And we're gonna be studying the same passage of scripture that we did last time, but we're gonna look at it from a different angle. I told you in our last time together that the Greek word astheneo, which is the big word used in this text, is translated in the Bible as weakness, about half the time, and it's translated as illness or sickness the other half the time. So it's used both ways. It can mean weakness or it can mean illness.

So in our last time together, we looked at a faith that can transform your weaknesses. And if you missed that session, I hope you can watch it online at either or A faith that helps us transform our weaknesses. But today we're gonna look at what James says about a faith that can heal illnesses. A faith that can heal illnesses. I want to begin by pointing out that physical healing was a major part of Jesus' ministry. Matthew chapter four verse 23 tells us this. Jesus went everywhere teaching, preaching, and healing people who had all kinds of diseases and sicknesses.

Now, Jesus was a Teacher, He was a Preacher, and He was a Healer. He didn't just care about saving souls. He also cared about educating minds, He was a Teacher. And He also cared about healing bodies, He was a Healer. You would be accurate in saying that one third, one third of Jesus' ministry was health care. That's why Christianity, our faith, is a preaching, teaching, and healing faith because Jesus went everywhere doing those three things. And as Christians, we build schools, and we build hospitals, not just churches. And here at Saddleback Church, we follow Jesus' model of preaching, teaching, and healing. You know, in the past 2,000 years Christians have started more schools and started more hospitals than anybody else, by far, doesn't even come close.

In fact, you may not realize this, it was the Church that invented the hospital. It was during the Antonine Plague in the 2nd century in the Roman Empire. And later they improved that idea, the Christians went into the cities showing hospitality and they started a new thing called the hospital, and later in the 3rd century where there was a Cyprian Plague, they improved on that idea of the hospital. So healing is a major part of our faith. Now, before we look at what the Bible says about a faith that can heal illnesses, I want to quickly point out three mistaken views about divine healing. Okay, three false views, errors, misconceptions, myths, these are common errors about healing that simply aren't true but you hear them all the time. So as your Pastor, I just want to call attention to them. The fact is that all healing, all healing, of any kind, comes from our Creator, God.

Now, God may use a doctor's hands, He may use medicine, He may use a miracle, or He may use something else, but God is always the source of all healing. He is a healing God. So let me just give you these first three common errors or myths about divine healing. Error number one, here it is. I can buy my healing by giving. I can buy my healing, I can purchase it by giving. Friends, that simply isn't true. You can't buy your healing. You can't bribe God to do a miracle in your life by giving an offering. You can't bargain with God either. Everything God does in your life He does by His own free grace. We don't deserve anything, we don't earn it, we don't work for it, and God can't be bought.

You know it's interesting to me, that about 500 years ago, there were some Christians who started selling what was then called Indulgences, they sold these things called Indulgences. They were like tickets to Heaven. In order to fund a church building project in Rome. And there were some unscrupulous people started telling the peasants that they could buy their way into Heaven, that they could purchase their salvation, and these were called Indulgences. And if you gave an offering or giving an offering to the building fund, then you could purchase your salvation to Heaven. That error is what incensed people and caused the Reformation, 500 years ago.

Now, today, 500 years later, nobody's trying to sell you tickets to Heaven. Nobody's claiming that you can buy your salvation by giving. But all you have to do is turn on a Christian TV channel to find that people are selling Indulgences, 500 years later, only today they're not for salvation, they're for healing. And the pitch goes like this, if you turn on the TV, if you'll just send me a certain amount of money I will send you a prayer cloth, or some special oil from the Holy Land, or some Holy water, or some other little trinket that will bring physical healing to your life. Of course it's bogus. And it's the same principle as an Indulgence 500 years ago. Only it's not about salvation, it's about healing. You can't buy your healing. But by the way, that's not a new problem. It happened, even in the Bible times.

Let me show you, in Acts chapter eight. Acts chapter eight verses nine down to about verse 22 gives us an example of a guy, a magician, whose name was Simon. Let me read you that, Acts chapter eight. "There was a man named Simon, who used magic tricks for many years to pose as a miracle worker. He amazed everybody, and He claimed supernatural powers. He had a large following and people called him the Great Power. But when Philip", that's one of the apostles, "preached Jesus in His town, Simon himself believed, and He was later baptized". So this magician, this conman became a Christian. Then it says later on, "when Simon saw the Holy Spirit healing people through the prayers in the hands of Jesus' apostles, he offered them", that's the apostles, "he offered them money to buy this power. But Peter said, 'you and your money will end up in Hell if you think God's gift can be bought. Your heart is not right before God, turn from this wicked attitude, and pray, and ask God to forgive you for trying to use God to make money.'"

Hmm, I think there's some people need to pray that last line, today. "Ask God to forgive you for trying to use God to make money". Evidently, pretty quickly, people started figuring out that they could make money in a religious racket. But they weren't the real deal. And that's why Paul says in 2nd Corinthians 2:17, "unlike so many others we do not peddle the Word of God for profit". Okay, He says, "unlike many we don't peddle the Word of God for profit". You know that I don't take any money. I've served Saddleback for free now for 40 years, as the Pastor. I don't take the salary from our Church. I don't peddle the Word of God for profit. On the contrary, Paul says, "in Christ we speak before God with sincerity".

Now, you may be wondering, these people, Rick, that are on TV, doing this stuff, are they truly believers? Or are they just fakes and phonies and con men? Well, I tell you what, that's for God to judge. But here's what Jesus had to say in Matthew chapter seven verse 22, Jesus said, "on judgment day, on judgment day many will say to me, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name? And did we not drive out demons in your name? And did we not perform many miracles in your name? And then I will say to them, no, I never knew you and you've never been Mine. Go away from Me, your word was evil". So, not everybody who claims to be doing miracles in the name of God, Jesus said, actually knows God, or knows Jesus.

So you need to be careful about that. You can't buy a miracle, you can't buy a healing. Here's the second misconception, or myth, or error about divine healing that you hear a lot of this day. And here it's this one, error number two. People will say, it's never God's Will for me to be sick. It's never God's Will for me to be sick. That sounds good, and the people who teach this sincerely believe that God always wants you to be well. They believe that illness is never God's Will for your life, and that if you do get sick, it's because you lack faith or you have sinned. And these teachers are often called, Health and Wealth Gospel Teachers, and if you're sick they say it's your own fault, you just need more faith. And if you've gotten ill, you just didn't have enough faith. And they act like Earth should be perfect, like Heaven. But there's a big problem with the second view too. And it's the Bible teaches the exact opposite.

In fact, the Bible teaches us that problems, and pain, and suffering, and yes, even illnesses, are a part of God's discipling process for building our Christ-like character in bringing us to full maturity. You know, God did not exempt His own Son, Jesus, from sorrow or suffering. Jesus had sorrow, Jesus had suffering, Jesus had sickness, Jesus had pain, Jesus had even torture and death. So why would God exempt us if He didn't exempt His own Son? Let me show you some scriptures that you can use when somebody says, well you just don't have enough faith, that's why you're sick. Or you've sinned, that's why you're sick.

Let me just show you some verses. 1st Peter 4:19 says this, "those who suffer, according to the Will of God, according to God's Will, should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good". That's 1st Peter. Did you notice the phrase, "those who suffer according to God's Will"? Sometimes you get sick and it's God's Will. Yeah, it's not your fault, just part of living on a broken planet where nothing works right. People are getting COVID-19 right now. They didn't do anything wrong, they just got it. Some of the greatest Christian Saints of history, lived their entire lives with chronic illness. I mean chronic illness, chronic pain, and they were never relieved of it. And God used that chronic pain in their lives and that perpetual illness to draw them close to Him and actually make them great Saints. You know, last week we talked about Paul's ailment, which He called a thorn in my flesh, He called it.

Some kind of, we don't know what it was, some kind of bodily infirmity, a weakness, an illness, and three times He asked God to take it away and God didn't. And He said, instead, I'm gonna leave it and I'm gonna give you the grace to handle it. You remember that when we started this book of James, the very first thing He said was this. "Don't be surprised when you have troubles, and trials, and pain". Don't be shocked by it. So, of course, it's not always God's Will that you're gonna be, your perfect in health. Things are gonna go wrong in your life, you're gonna have trials, and troubles, and tribulation. In fact, Jesus said, in John 16:33, "in the world you will have trouble". So there's no way you're gonna go through life free of illness.

Let me show you three things that Paul said in the Bible about this second error, of that it's always God's Will for me to be well. Philippians 1:29, "for you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ, but also the privilege of suffering for Him". That's part of the privilege of being a Christian. Colossians 1:24, Paul says, "there are things that Christ still suffers through His body, the Church". And Paul says, "I am accepting in my body, my part of these things that must be suffered". "I'm accepting in my body the part of these things that still must be suffered". He said, the Church, which is the Body of Christ, still has sufferings. And you're part of the Body of Christ, so there's going to be sufferings in your body too. 1st Thessalonians 3:3, Paul says, "we want no one to be unsettled". Otherwise, you know, blown away, "by these trials. You now, you now know quite well, that we were destined for them". Whoa, 1st Thessalonians 3:3, we were destined to actually have some pain in our lives. You know, all sunshine and no rain makes a desert, as the old saying goes.

Now, there's a third error about divine healing that you need to know that's not true before we can look at the text. And here's the third error or myth. Some Christians who say that miracles ended with the completion of the Bible. Okay, some well meaning Christians believe that there are no more miracles today. That all the miracles you see in the Bible, that when Jesus was resurrected, and He went back to Heaven, they believe that all the miracles He did to prove He was the Son of God, were no longer necessary. Okay, well, I get your point, obviously Jesus went back to Heaven, He proved He was the Son of God through the resurrection. But in order to believe that view, that there are no more miracles happening, then you have to, number one, ignore a whole lot of commands that Jesus gave us regarding asking in prayer for miracles. And two, you have to explain away a number of promises that Jesus made. And then number three, you have to explain away the billions of miracles that have happened in the last 2,000 years.

Jesus, His desire to heal people, has not changed one bit. Hebrews 13:8 says this, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, and forever. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever". The same Preacher, Teacher, Healer of 2,000 years ago, wants to preach and teach and heal today, through His body, today. And who is His body today? You and me, the Body of Christ. Even today, Jesus is still our Teacher, He's still our Savior, and He's still our Healer, and He's our Redeemer. And with that settled, those three things, I just wanted to get those out of the way, we can now look at James chapter five. This will go quick but it's a faith that can heal illnesses.

James chapter five verses 13 to 18 says this. James five, starting with verse 13. "Are you hurting? Then you should pray. Are you happy? Then you should sing songs of praise. Are you sick? Then you should call the church elders to pray over you and anoint you with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer that is offered in faith will heal the sick person and the Lord will raise Him up. And if you've sinned, you'll be forgiven. Therefore, confess your faults to each other and pray for each other that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a believing person is powerful and effective. For example, Elijah was a human being, just like us. Yet when He prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, there was no rain for three and a half years. And then He prayed that it would rain, and it poured down and everything began to grow again".

Now we read that passage last week but we're coming back to look at it from the angle of illnesses, not weaknesses. You know, I really love that last phrase, where it says, after Elijah prayed, "and everything began to grow again". Friends, that's a verse of hope, that's a verse of hope that we all need in this season of the COVID-19 global pandemic. I'm praying for everything to start growing in your life again. So many people need healing today, not just those who are sick physically, some of them are sick from the pandemic, and others are sick from other kinds of illnesses. But there's so many people needing healing today, not just physical healing, but economic healing, financial healing. The economy is sick, our culture is sick, our nations are sick. And we need healing in so many, many areas. That's why this is an important message today. I want you to know this, that in that passage I just read, James five, in just six verses, James mentions prayer, seven times. If you're taking notes go back and circle the word pray or prayer, seven times in six verses. He didn't want you to miss the point. Here it is, healing comes through prayer. Not through Healers, healing comes through prayer. When someone prays for you, there is the healing there.

So, what I want to do in just the last few minutes, is simply ask four questions. When should I pray for healing? Number two, why aren't people healed every time we pray? Number three, who can pray for healing? And finally, how do I pray for healing for myself and for other people? This is a very important message. So I would encourage you to take notes on it. Number one, and you can download it on the websites. Number one, when should I pray for healing? Well, in that passage I just read, James mentions four specific times to pray for healing. And we find these four circumstances in the four different words and phrases He uses. First, He says, are you hurting?

Remember last week I told you that Greek word kakopatheo. Kakopatheo means you're having trouble, you're having a tough time, you're suffering, hurting, you're hurting. And then He says, are you sick? That's astheneo, which means I feel weak, or I feel sick, or I feel ill, it can be weakness or illness. Then He says, the sick person, that's the Greek word comma, which means I'm weary, I'm worn out, I feel like giving up, I'm tired, I'm drained. That's the word kamno. And then He says, and Elijah prayed, and it didn't rain for three and a half years. And so He prayed for rain and it sent a gully washer. And no rain for three and a half years, he's talking about a drought, a dry spell. Some of you, right now, are going through a dry spell in your life because of this pandemic. Everything's been shut down in your life. You're going through a spiritual dry spell, or a physical dry spell, or an emotional dry spell. Things have dried up in your life.

So, based on those four things He just said in that passage, here's the answer the first question. Okay, write this down. When should I pray for healing? Four things, any time I'm hurting, sick, tired, or empty. That's it. Any time I'm hurting, I should pray for healing. Any time I'm sick, I should pray for healing. Any time I'm tired, I should pray for healing. And any time I feel empty, I should pray for healing. I know some of you are thinking, Rick, those four words describe the totality of my life right now. I'm sick, and tired, and empty, and hurting. Well, then this is the time to pray for healing in your life, and have other people pray for healing in your life.

Next question, question number two, why aren't people healed every time? Well the answer is pretty simple. We simply don't know God's Will. God's not gonna give you something against His Will, because God always wants what's best for you. You don't always know what's best for you. I, you know, I could pray for things that really wouldn't be good for me, but I don't know God's Will. And God uses illnesses in many ways. So when we pray for healing, we're asking God for healing 'cause all we know is, all we can see, is our side. And God says, just pray what you ask for, pray what you desire, pray the desires of your heart. But then we trust God, that if it's not His Will, because He knows something else, He's not gonna answer with a yes on that. God answers every prayer, sometimes yes, sometimes no, sometimes wait, sometimes you gotta be kiddin'. We don't have time to list all the ways that God uses illness and sickness in our lives. But let me just mention three.

Why does God sometimes allow sickness in my life? Three reasons, number one, to get my attention and to redirect me. To get my attention and redirect me. Sometimes God has to lay you flat on your back in order to get you to look up to God. He makes me lie down in green pastures. Psalm 19 verse 71 says this. "It was good for me to be afflicted," that's sick, "It was good for me to be afflicted, so that I might learn your decrees". Sometimes God uses illness to just get my attention and head me in a different direction. Another good verse is Proverbs 20 verse 30, look at this verse, Proverbs 20 verse 30, in today's English version. "Sometimes it takes a painful experience to make us change our ways". Anybody want to give a testimony on that one? You could all give a story in your small group on how it takes, sometimes it takes a painful experience to make us change our ways.

Now, this first reason is what the Bible calls, a sickness for discipline, or a sickness for training. The Old English word is a sickness under chastisement. But this is, sometimes God allows us sickness to redirect us, get our attention and redirect us. Second reason, sometimes God allows the sickness to be a testimony for others. Did you know that? He knows He can trust you with an illness, and He knows that you'll be a good example to other people, particularly unbelievers. Paul says, in Philippians chapter one verse 12. "I want you to know, my dear brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has helped spread the good news". Where is Paul, he's sick and in prison in Rome, when He writes that. He's sick and in prison, and he's in a lonely damp, dank, dark, cold prison dungeon. He says, "I want you to know that what's happened has help spread the good news".

I could spend a whole message on this but I'll just say it like this. After walking with God for six decades, I've been a Christian now, 60 years, I have come to the conclusion that maybe the greatest witness, you, you will ever have in front of unbelievers and other people who don't know Jesus yet, is your example, the way you handle pain. I have found that to be true in my own life. That in the moments of pain in my life, God was using that as a witness to my neighbors and to the world. Christians aren't exempt from problems. We have the same ones everybody else does. We just have our relationship to Christ to strengthen us, and comfort us, and encourage us, and give us hope and wisdom.

Sometimes God lets you be ill 'cause He can trust you to be an example of patience and Godliness to others. And the Bible calls this kind of sickness, a sickness to the Glory of God. A sickness unto the Glory of God. Jesus talks about it when Jesus went to heal Lazarus, who had died, that was a deadly illness. Jesus, announced this sickness, this is John 11, chapter 11 verse four. "This sickness, will not end in death. It is an illness for the Glory of God, to bring glory to the Son of God". Did you know that there have been illnesses in your life that God wanted to use to bring glory to Himself? Now if you're griping and complaining and being bitter the whole time, there's no glory going to God on that. But when you respond to pressure and pain in a positive way, it brings Glory to God.

So there's a sickness for discipline and training, there's a sickness for bringing Glory to God, but sometimes God just allows the sickness, number three, to take this into eternity. To take us in, this is called, the Bible calls this a sickness unto death. And He said about Lazarus, that's not a sickness unto death, it's the second kind. A sickness unto death. If you could be healed by every illness, just by having enough faith, then if you had enough faith you'd never die, and you'd end up living on this Earth forever. 'Cause anybody had a lot of faith, would just never die. And that certainly isn't God's Will. Hebrews chapter nine verse 27 says this, "God has already appointed a time that each of us will die". Did you know that? It's one appointment you're not gonna be late for. God has already appointed a time that each of us will die and then our lives will be judged by God.

So, one of the reasons God allows illness is sometimes He wants to take you home. Okay, He wants to take you to Heaven. Your time on Earth is done. And if you could be healed every time, by everything, then you'd never die. What I'm saying is, we pray for healing, trusting for God's Will to be done. As Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, Father, if it's possible, and He says, I know it's possible, take this cup from me, don't let me to go through this pain. Nevertheless, thy will be done, not mine. And that's what we do when we pray. God, it's my desire that you heal me, it's my desire that you heal my son, my wife, my brother, my sister, my friend. Nevertheless thy will be done. 1st John 5:14 says this. "This is the confidence that we have in approaching God, that if we ask anything according to His Will," underline that, "anything according to His Will, He will hear us".

All right, so we've looked at when we can pray for healing, four different times. We've looked at what happens, why some people don't get healed, why every prayer isn't answered with a yes. Number three, who, who can pray for healing? Do you have to be the Pope, or a Pastor, or a Missionary, or somebody super Holy? Who could pray for healing? Write this down. Any child of God can pray for healing. Any child of God can pray for healing. You can come to your Heavenly Father and say, daddy, I'm sick, I need your healing. This is what James five verses 16 and 17 says, Let me read it again to you, "the earnest prayer of a believing person is powerful and effective".

Now let me stop there. "The earnest prayer of a believing person". It doesn't say you have to be a super Saint. You just have to be a believing person, and you have to be earnest. "The earnest prayer of a believing person is powerful and effective". "For example," He says, "Elijah was a human being just like us, yet when He prayed earnestly". And you know the rest of the story, all those miracles happened. Elijah's life was filled with one miracle after another, but the most comforting thing about that verse is this, Elijah was just like us. He's just like you, he's just like me. He wasn't some super Saint. God used Him because He dared to pray for miracles, he dared to pray for healing. Okay, if He didn't have to be somebody special, He said he was just like us. I mean He had the same temptations, he had the same weaknesses, he had the same sins, same faults.

If God only heard the prayers of perfect people nobody's prayers would ever be heard. God hears the prayers of sinners, of failures, of all of us who are imperfect. You know, earlier in this text, James says, "you can call the elders of your Church to pray for you and anoint you with oil". And of course, we do that at Saddleback Church, we do it all the time. And we've talked about this many times. But in our Church, we've only got about a dozen elders, and we've got about 30,000 members, so we can't keep up with everybody. Now, what is it, what's He talking about there where He says, "while you pray anoint with oil". Well we've talked about this before. Oil is simply a symbol of the Holy Spirit. That's all it is. Just like water in baptism is a symbol of your death, and burial, and resurrection in Christ.

Just like water in baptism, oil in praying for healing, it's just a symbol of your faith and trust. There is no healing power in any kind of oil, so don't go writin' off for some kind of special oil. You know, you could use Crisco, or whatever, it's just oil, just like the water in a baptistry is just normal water, but it's a symbol of your faith, that's what matters, that symbol of your trust. Now, you don't have to be an elder to pray for other people. There are many, many, many other scriptures in the New Testament. Talk about praying for each other, praying for healing for each other, and we even anoint each other in the name of the Lord. You know I talked to our elders, last week, knowing that I was gonna be teaching on this about planning a drive-thru anointing service during COVID-19.

So you look forward to that, I'm hoping we can do that at every campus. Drive-thru anointing service. So stay tuned. But in the meantime, as your Pastor, I authorize all of you, in your small groups, to pray for each other, to pray for healing for each other, and to anoint each other in the name of the Lord. Why? Because Jesus said this, in John 14 verses 12 to 14. Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in Me will do what I've been doing". What was He doing? He was just, the verse right before that, He's talking about the miracles that He'd done. All the miracles He'd done. And He says, then He turns to His disciples, after talking about the miracles, and He says, "I tell you the truth, anybody who has faith in Me will do what I've been doing. He will even do greater miracles than these because I'm going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask, in My name". Here's prayer, "I'll do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father".

Wow. Now, I don't see many of us doing greater works than Jesus Christ. How in the world are we gonna do greater works than Jesus? Well, I'll tell you how. Because when Jesus was here in His physical body, He could only be in one place at one time. So He could only heal one person here and then one person there. He couldn't be in China, and in Europe, and an Africa at the same time. But now, the Body of Christ is spread all around the world. We are the Body of Christ. And 2.3 billion people can pray for healing for people at the same time, in every continent, and every country, and every city, and every state, and every province. So that's how we do the greater works, together, together. We're not limited to one body, the Body of Christ is now spread out all around the world.

Finally, let's look at, real simply, how do I pray for healing? How do I pray for healing for myself? And for that matter, how do I pray for healing for others? Did you know that God wants to make you to be a healing agent? Yeah, you, normal you, you don't have to be an elder, God wants to use you to pray for healing in people's lives. It's not that complicated. Just three things James teaches us. Number one, make sure my heart is clean from sin. Okay, that's the starting point. I can't have behold manta unconfessed sin, and then go out and pray for either myself or for somebody else at same time. That's why, in verse 16, He says this, "confess your faults to each other, and pray for each other that you may be healed".

I said it last week, I've said it thousands of times, revealing your feeling is the beginning of healing. Confess your faults to each other, clean out your life, take out the garbage, confess your sins, get 'em out, get rid of 'em. Now you're never gonna be perfect. You've heard me say before, you will never be sinless, but it is possible to sin less. You're never gonna be sinless, but you can sin less. And you can confess, and be cleaned out inside, revealing your feeling, confess your faults to each other, pray for each other that you may be healed, that's step one.

Step two, be specific when I ask. Be specific when I ask. Too many people are afraid to put God in a box. And so they won't even ask, specifically, for healing. They'll say, Lord be with this sick person, and show 'em Your love, and help them to know You're with 'em. And that's all fine and good, but over 20 times in the New Testament, we are commanded to ask. Ask, seek, knock. If you ask anything in My name, I'll do it. And you need to be specific. James says in chapter four verse two, "you don't have because you don't ask".

And I have been with many, many people that said, pray for me, I'm sick. And I say, Lord, we just ask you to be with him, to bless him. What's a blessing? How would you, if a blessing hit you in the face, how would you know that it hit you? I mean, sometimes a blessing is an illness. If you don't know that. Is that what you really praying? So, be specific, you don't have because you're not. And I often say it like this, God, You've told us, many times in Your word to ask, and You've told us to pray for healing. So I'm just obeying You. I'm asking for You to heal this person. Just heal him, okay, it's up to You. I can't control it, I don't have any power in me. But You've told us to ask, I'm asking You to heal him. I'm doing what You say to do, keep Your promise. Keep Your word. Heal him.

Okay, be specific when you ask. And number three, it's real simple, ask in faith. Ask in faith, that's the third thing James says to do. James chapter one verse six, "when you ask, you must believe and not doubt. For the double minded man is unstable in all of His ways". So, if you don't think God's gonna heal, if you don't believe, then don't even ask because you're just wasting your breath. But He says when you ask, you must believe and not doubt. Why, because God has His promises and His word. I'm trusting God for His Will to be done, but I'm gonna do what God says to do. I said, "God, You've told us to pray, You've told us ask, You've told us to pray for healing. I'm praying for healing, I'm asking. Now keep Your word". And then you just leave it up to God.

I want to close, right now, by praying for you. But in order for this to be effective, I would like for you to think of an area that you need healing in your life. Okay, and so you can be specific about it. Now I don't have to know it, God knows it, and you know it, it doesn't matter to me about, I don't have to know it to pray for you. So, but think about something, an area, do you need a relationship that needs to be healed? Do you have a physical ailment that needs to be healed? Do you have a mental illness that needs to be healed? Well, we're gonna ask, we're gonna pray right now. We're going to trust God in His word. We're gonna leave the results to Him, but we're gonna do what God says to do. And if He says to do it, then we have to obey Him and do it.

So I want you to think of something in your life where you need healing. Financial healing. Or maybe from depression, or from worry, from anxiety, or maybe you need a job, maybe you're out of work. Whatever it is, I want you to think about that, I'm gonna give you about 10 seconds here to think about it, and then I'm gonna close in prayer. All right, let's bow our heads. So just think of what you want to ask God to be healed of. And it won't hurt for you to share it with your small group and ask them to heal, or pray for your healing too. That's powerful. But I'm gonna pray for you, and you pray for you, and then you can get other people to do that too.

Lord, I don't know all of the hundreds, even thousands, of issues that are gonna be brought before you right now. You're not too busy. You can, Your circuits don't get overloaded. You can handle billions, billions of requests at the same time. And so, as each of us come to You in our point of need, where we need, maybe, a healing from bitterness. There are people here, Lord, who need healing in their bodies, in their organs, in their muscles, in their backs, in their brains, in their bones, in their digestive system. There are people who need physical healing right now. We're just doing what You say. You've told us to ask. You've told us to believe. You've told us to trust. So we're asking You to keep Your word right now, and we come to You, not in doubt, but in confidence that if we ask anything according to Your Will, it will be done. We say like, Jesus, Lord, this is what we want. Nevertheless, thy will be done, not ours. But that's not a lack of faith, our faith is in You. We want Your Will in our lives. And if that happens to be this healing, so be it. May we not stand in the way of the gift You want to give. Lord, there people here who've never opened their lives to Jesus Christ. They've never received healing for all of their sins. For all of their guilt, the bad things in their lives. May they, right now, receive Your salvation.

If you've never asked Him to do that, say, "Jesus Christ save me, forgive all my sins, accept me into Your family, make me a new person. I want to be your child, I want to be in your family. I want to learn to know You", just say that, say:

Jesus, I want to believe in You today, and I want to trust You, and I'm asking You to save me. Father, whatever the needs are, as the Pastor, a shepherd of this flock, I'm asking You to hear these prayers. And I pray that whether the glory comes through us seeing a miracle, or whether the glory comes through us being a witness of the right attitude, that either way You will get glory. We pray this in Your name, Amen.

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