Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Prayer for Health

Then shall your light break forth like the dawn,
and your healing shall spring up speedily;
your righteousness shall go before you;
the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard
.   (Isaiah 58:8)

Many of you know that, in addition to writing this blog, I also serve on
the Kinship Christian Radio Prayer Line. Praying for others has been a
great blessing to me as it has deepened and grown my relationship with
the Lord.

By far the most common prayer request is one for physical healing,
which is not surprising as illness and disease and injury are often things
beyond our control. It’s natural to seek the Lord in those times.
 When praying for someone who needs healing, it’s important to keep
the verse above in mind. That verse is a grand and glorious promise of
the LORD, but (like all of scripture) it’s vitally important to understand it
in context. Space does not permit posting the whole chapter here, but I
encourage you to read all of it. Basically, it links that healing of the body
to a healthy soul.

I enjoy the book of James for its incredible bluntness. James pulled no
punches and, taken out of context, he can seem incredibly harsh.
You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on
your passions
. (James 4:3)

This has clear implications in regard to prayers for healing. If someone
we know has clogged arteries, do we pray that this would be healed so
they continue to enjoy a daily diet of deep-fried, bacon-wrapped steak?
Or do we pray that they would healed so that God would be glorified
and the one healed can be a powerful witness to the love and mercy of
God in and through Jesus Christ?

Which brings up an important point: Prayers that ask for the positive
things seem much better than prayers that ask for the negative to stop.
So when I pray for someone who is ill, I try not to ask that the illness or
disease be removed. I ask that the Lord would grant them a healthy leg
or heart or stomach, or whatever is not currently healthy.

I also feel it’s important to begin such prayers with praise because
the Lord is worthy of praise, and it creates an atmosphere from which
enemy must flee.

The Bible says there is great power in the prayer of a righteous person.
(James 5:16)But I cannot be righteous on my own. Only through faith in
the blood of Jesus can I be counted as righteous. So, I confess my sins
and ask the Holy Spirit for faith and guidance in prayer.

Below is how I might pray for someone who is has been injured in a
car accident. It’s not intended as something for you to repeat word for-word or something magical.
 It’s intended as an example to help
you in your prayer life. Whatever one prays, it must above all be to
God’s glory and in His will, not for our own selfish gain. Keep in mind
that sometimes, God’s will and purposes are much different than our
own and great good comes from seemingly awful circumstances. Joni
Eareckson Tada is such an example.
(Bob and his injuries are entirely fictional.)

Mighty, everlasting, merciful LORD of heaven and earth, I praise you and
worship you. I thank you for your great love and I bless your holy name.
Jesus, who is my Lord and Savior, the Lamb of God who takes away
the sin of the world, I ask that you would forgive any sins I have in my
heart so that my prayers today would be heard as those of a righteous
person. I praise also the Holy Spirit, Lord and giver of life, and ask that
you would create faith in me lead and direct me to pray in your will and
to the praise of your great glory.

Lord Jesus, Great Physician, I ask your healing touch on Bob, who was in
a car accident and is in the hospital right now. I thank you that you sent
people to rescue him and bring him to a place where he can receive
care. Mighty Lord, please have mercy on Bob. Lord Jesus, bless Bob with
the power of your presence and let him know you are with him right
there, watching over him. Let him know you love him, Lord. Grant him
peace and assure him that there is nothing in all of creation that can
separate him from the amazing love of God that is in you.

I ask that you would heal his injuries Lord, that you would grant him
two strong and healthy legs on which to stand and proclaim your glory.
I ask that you would close up the wounds from which he is bleeding and
keep his life blood within him, so that he can continue to witness to
the power of your love, and to bless his family and the many people he
helps every day. I ask that you would grant his doctors and nurses and
all who are ministering to him wisdom and discernment and skill. I ask
that you would grant peace and comfort to his family and minister to
them in power also.
 Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Father. Thank you, Holy Spirit.

Today’s Praise

And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will
raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven
5:15 )

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