“Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: and the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.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.” James 5:14-16 KJV.
“Is anyone among you sick?Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him.Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed.The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” James 5:14-16 NASB.
Do you believe it?
Why are we bringing up this text about healing the sick? We are using this text because it’s startling. We're bringing this up because we need to start right where people seem to have the problem: With faith.So why start with a most difficult promise?Because we want you to know with God the impossible is possible, that there is nothing too hard for God. Genesis 18:14.
Why do you need faith?
If it’s something you can do for yourself or mankind can provide, why do you need God for it?Faith is all about making your needs and petitions known to God that you cannot provide for yourself or for things you can do too! (We need God for everything!) When you have faith in God, then there is nothing that you need that He cannot provide if it’s for your best. So let’s start with discussing prayers that seem impossible as a place to start our talk on faith! That's why this Seminar is entitled the Prayer of Faith. Without faith it is impossible to please God! Hebrews 11:6. You need to believe the promises of God, as in James 5:14-16. You need to believe the Bible as it reads, because God says what He means, and means what he says and can be trusted because He loves you!
Since John 3:16 declares that whosoever believeth shall not perish but have everlasting life – believing in and having faith in Jesus are the requirements for everlasting life.Do not doubt that God could heal someone through the Prayer of Faith or for a big request.Whatsoever is not of faith is sin. Romans 14:23. So we want to believe and teach that God in fact can do what He has promised that He can do, and not have an evil heart full of unbelief. Hebrews 3:12.
How do we know that we are to take the Bible as it reads?
Listen to what Jesus told the Jewish Lawyer, ‘the expert of the Law’: “And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and put Him to the test, saying, ‘Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?’ And He [Jesus] said to him, ‘What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?’ Luke 10:25-26 NASB. Well then Jesus told him to read what was written in the Law.How does it read to you?Can Jesus make it any plainer than that?So how are we to understand the Bible?How does it read to you?Can it really be just that simple?Yes it is!How does it read? We are generally to take the Bible ‘just as it reads’ in most cases, except when dealing with highly symbolic Bible passages or prophecies. Symbolic Bible prophecy can also be understood by following basic rules of logic and comparing scripture with scripture, here a little, there a little. Isaiah 28:19. What Jesus said also applies to our passage in James too. We also know that: “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 NASB.
This may seem like a novel idea to many - that we should take the scriptures as they read. Too often irrational reasoning is used to make the scriptures mean something different than what they plainly state, because they don’t fit with someone’s ideas of the truth. How can people know what the truth is and what they should do, if they are accustomed to hearing texts reinterpreted to mean something other than there apparent natural meaning?There are clues in the Bible that can be learned to know when a passage must be interpreted because of its symbolic nature. We will not go into this here.
God can heal someone through the Prayer of Faith.
So what have we learned from James?That God can choose to heal someone as the result of the Prayer of Faith, and that by the Prayer of Faith their sins can also be forgiven too.How can we know that this promise of healing and forgiveness of sin is real and that God has promised it?What have we learned from Jesus that we need to know here?That we can know how to understand the Bible by reading it – we are to take it as it reads or in the spiritual sense.We also learned that ‘all scripture’ is profitable for teaching, doctrines, and reproof, correction and training in righteousness so that the man of God may be adequate and equipped for every good work.Is the book of James part of ‘all scripture’ that Paul was talking about? Is the book of James part of the Holy Bible? Yes.Then what James wrote in James 5:14-16 is also the inspired word of God, and we should believe what it says and take it as it reads. We should believe that someone can be healed, raised up and forgiven due to the prayer of faith like it declares - it must be so – since it says so and because James is part of ‘all scriptures.’ We should believe that it is telling the truth that God can heal the sick as an answer to the Prayer of Faith.We need to believe the word of God as it reads and in its Spiritual sense, and not try to assign some mystical meaning to what it says or just doubt it. But you may say how can it be true that God might heal someone through the prayer of faith, since you have heard of people praying for healing and anointed by the elders of the Church and it didn’t work? Well we need to learn the true basis for faith and the conditions for answered prayer.To know why God does not always hear our prayers we need to study to find out why.Do not assume that God can’t answer a prayer like this because it is hard and because people have prayed for healing and didn’t get it.We can say without a doubt that God has heard some people’s prayers for healing and healed them! We want to teach you to believe in the promises of God and know the conditions for them, so you can get answers to prayer. There is no virtue or goodness in doubting that God can do something which the word of God says He can do.We saw earlier that Paul declared that ‘whatsoever is not of faith is sin.’ Romans 14:23 KJV.So it is a sin to doubt that God can do what the Bible says He can do.
Since we learned from Jesus that we can understand the Bible by reading it (or taking it as it reads), let us then proceed with the rest of this lesson and believe what God has said.
Did you know that there are conditions for answered prayer?
We will unfold these truths as this seminar progresses. Yes there are conditions for answered prayer, just as there are conditions for Salvation. Prayer and faith work together.Study the protocol for prayer to God:How to approach His throne to obtain help and mercy in time of need.
There's a science behind salvation and getting answers to prayer.
Study out what God is asking you to do. He will give you the desire of your heart and life and make your life complete in Him, if you believe and pray for His help. We want to declare the wonderful power and promises of God and show that there's more to prayer than many think. Faith is part of the Gospel and necessary to be saved. John 3:16.
Condition #1: The Prayer of Faith
The First Condition For Answered Prayer is Faith.
Prayer and Faith work together. Prayer is our communication with God. (Two way.) And faith is believing Him. True faith is not presumption; it complies with His conditions.The true faith is trusting in God.
True faith is believing and expecting that God will do what He says He will do – by His word alone!
1 ‘Say the word alone, and my servant will be healed.’ What did Jesus say in response to this? “Lo I have not found such faith, no not in Israel.” “The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.” Matthew 8:8 KJV. What did the centurion expect alone would heal his servant?The word ONLY – the word of Jesus only!Because Jesus was a man under authority too like the centurion was! Matthew 8:8-10 KJV. So true faith is believing and expecting the word of Jesus ONLY and His Father to do what They say They will do. Amen!
How should you expect God to fulfill His promises?
Through the Word Only.The true basis of true faith is believing in the word of God ONLY to do what it says. It’s not believing in yourself to be able to be righteous AND God, it’s believing in God – the word of God ONLY!There is nothing you can do to earn or merit God fulfilling His promises to you, but they are fulfilled through His word, since He loves you and has promised them – when you meet the conditions.God always keeps His promises.It’s time for God’s people to start believing and living like they believe that He will do what He says He will do, and not something else.If you expect to get answers to prayer, you must believe that God can and will grant them, and know the promises whereby He has promised to grant them.This is a most important secret to getting answer to prayer is believing.
Do not be afraid to pray for the big or hard prayers that you need
– like healing someone who is sick, or helping someone want to change and give their heart to God! Do not think that in our day that God cannot answer a big or hard prayer like healing the sick or forgiving their sins.See the promises of God for what they are: the riches of God - that you can gather and use, if you need His help or love Him and are devoted to Him.
God did not give His word, the Bible, so that you could fritter away His rich promises,
casting them aside as something unattainable or useless, except for the elect few.Oh no! – God gave His Bible so He could bestow on you His rich promises of love, grace and mercy - to help you become His son or daughter! ‘Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God:’ 1 John 3:1 KJV. You are an heir to the promise through Jesus and can become God’s son or daughter. Romans 8:14-17; Titus 3:7; Hebrews 6:17; 11:9; James 2:5. Amen! Just believe it!
God doesn't always answer your prayers in the way or by the means or methods you ask Him to do. It’s important to understand what real faith is and what the real prayer of faith is. It is important to know the conditions in the Bible for answered prayer or for the ones that you are praying for. You want to concentrate on this, because this prayer helps you to live a victorious life in Christ.
How do you get Faith?
Faith comes through hearing the word of God.“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17 KJV. 2. Therefore there can be no faith without the word of God.We’re talking about the faith of the Bible.The faith of the Bible is not based upon what man thinks, or what man has written, it’s based only on the word of God.If it’s based on anything else it’s not real faith.There can be no faith without the word of God! Faith has everything to do with prayer and the promises of God, and nothing to do with “I think”, hearsay, or so-and-so said, or so-and-so thinks. You cannot expect to receive answers to your prayers without faith.Paul teaches here that faith is based on the word of God. God promises to give you the power to obey if you want it.
There’s Creative power in the Word of God:
God promises to give you the power to obey and do whatever He’s asking you to do.The power is there in the word itself. The centurion said to Jesus, ‘say the word only and my servant will be healed’. He didn’t need Jesus to come down there and wave His hand over something - you know. He knew that Jesus had the power – and all He had to do was to say ‘the word only.’ Why did he say that Jesus only had to say “the word only” and his servant would be healed? What happened to the fig tree after Jesus cursed it when they came back to see it the next day?It was withered. “On the next day, when they had left Bethany, He [Jesus] became hungry. Seeing at a distance a fig tree in leaf, He went to see if perhaps He would find anything on it; and when He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs.He said to it, ‘May no one ever eat fruit from you again!’And His disciples were listening.” Mark 11:12-14 NASB. “As they were passing by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots up. Being reminded, Peter said to Him, ‘Rabbi, look, the fig tree which You cursed has withered.’” Mark 11:20-21 NASB.] So what happens when Jesus says something?There’s an active power that takes place, it’s not just words, its creative power! I don’t know if the centurion knew this, but it’s so powerful if you think about it! Jesus didn’t need to do something, all He had to do was say something and that was going to heal the centurion’s servant!
What happened when Jesus said, ‘let there be light?’
There was light.What happened when Jesus said, ‘let the waters separate from the earth and there would be dry ground?’ Genesis 1:3, 6, 9, 11, 14-15, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 29-30; 2:3. Did you know that Jesus created the world before He was called Jesus? “in these last days [God] has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. And He [Jesus] is the radiance of His [God’s] glory and the exact representation of His [God’s] nature, and upholds all things by the word of His [God’s] power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high [God],” Hebrews 1:2-3 NASB. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made.” John 1:1-3 1 KJV. “He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not.He came unto his own, and His own received Him not.But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, ‘This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for He was before me. And of His fulness have all we received, and grace for grace’” John 1:10-16 KJV. “I myself [John-the-Baptist] have seen, and have testified that this is the Son of God." John 1:34 NASB. [I.e. the Word of God, Son of God, Jesus Christ.] And Paul wrote: “Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; and to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:” Ephesians 3:8-9 KJV.
When did God speak the word only?
When He caused His word the Bible to be written. Hebrews 1:1-4. When Jesus [the Word of God] or His Father reveal something, then the power to do what They declared is already there, through the word of Their power. When God said let there be light what happened? There was light! What happens when God said ‘I forgive you’? You are forgiven just believe it! You must believe that you ‘can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth’ you. Philippians 4:13 KJV. When God said or revealed truth in the Bible, He spoke the word Only.Therefore you can expect God to fulfill the word only that He spoke or caused His servants and prophets to write in the Bible. “A lion has roared! Who will not fear? The Lord GOD has spoken!Who can but prophesy?” Amos 3:8 NASB.
God’s words are as good as done after He spoke them or caused them to be written. God declared through the prophet Isaiah: “So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; it will not return to Me empty; without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11 NASB95.
The Bible comes backed up with the power of God.
The Bible is not like other books! It comes backed up with the power of God to enable you to do what He asks. “Let all the earth fear the LORD; Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.” Psalm 33:8-9 NASB. The word of God in the Bible is backed up with the same creative power that the Lord used to create the world.Do you believe that Jesus is a man under authority like the Centurion said?This is the secret to faith.You must believe that Jesus has been given the authority and sets at the right hand of God. “And Jesus came up and spoke to them [His disciples], saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.’” Matthew 28:18 NASB.
What does hearing the word of God mean?
“Lord, hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications.” Psalm 130:2 KJV. This Psalm is a prayer! ‘Hear my voice’ means that this person wants God to be attentive to their supplications and prayer requests. If you want God to listen to your prayers, shouldn’t you listen to Him too? God wants you to hear His voice too! He wants you to be attentive to the voice of His Word; He wants you to obey. “And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.” Isaiah 30:21 KJV. God wants to guide you! He does this by the Bible and the Holy Spirit.You don’t have to guess what God wants, it has been revealed in the Bible. The Bible uses the expression, ‘he who has ears, let him hear’ many times. Hearing means wanting to hear and obey. Those who don’t want to hear are likened to the stubborn and disobedient. Those who want to be healed and saved must want to hear God and turn from their wicked ways and their evil deeds. “Listen to Me, you stubborn-minded, Who are far from righteousness.” Isaiah 46:12 NASB. “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV. Acts 7:51; Romans 10:21; Proverbs 19:20; Isaiah 6:10; 28:23; Jeremiah 5:21; 25:4-7; Ezekiel 2:8; 3:7; 20:8; Hosea 4:1; Nehemiah 9:16-17; Matthew 11:13-15; 13:4-9; Mark 4:3-9; Luke 8:5-8; Acts 28:27-28; Revelation 2:7,11,17,29; 3:6,13,22,13:9.
So ‘faith comes through hearing the word of God’ means that God will give faith to those who want to read or listen to His Word, the Bible, to do what it says, or want to be made more willing to do so. It’s a process. When you want to hear God’s word, read it, and obey it, then you will be given all the faith you need to please Him.True faith accepts only the plain true teaching of the Bible as true, because God’s voice tells them ‘This is the way, walk in it.’True faith does not accept teachings that are contrary to the plain word of God, because God’s voice tells them ‘this is not the way, don’t walk in it.’Faith means to listen to God’s voice, which teaches you from the Bible saying, ‘This is the way, walk ye in it.’ And those who listen to His voice, allow Him to help them obey! This is how you get faith! There is power in the word of God when you want to obey Him – then He will give you all the faith you need and the power to obey Him. So if you want to get answers to prayer, read the Bible with the desire to follow it, and the word of God in it will give you all the faith you need to get answers to prayer.
You must ask in faith, without doubting... “But he must ask in faith without any doubting,
for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” James 1:6-8 NASB. From this we learn that the one who doubts is unstable and double minded; they may not expect to receive anything from the Lord - while they engage in doubt.Faith is a condition for answered prayer. James 1:6-8. It is impossible for God to lie. Hebrews 6:18. Therefore you can trust His promises when you meet His conditions.
Become a partaker of Christ and become pleasing to God:
“For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;” Hebrews 3:14 KJV. “And without faith it is impossible to please Him [God], for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6 NASB. You will become a partaker of Christ’s nature if you hold fast to your faith until the end.Without faith you cannot please God. You must seek Him and believe that He is and rewards those who seek Him.
The Promises of God in the Bible are the true basis of Faith.
Have the promises of God in hand when you pray, so that you can know what He has promised – this is the true basis of faith - so you can know that you will receive the answers to your prayers. Because faith is how you get answers to prayer. When your faith is based on the word of God, you will know how you can get answers to prayer, and how you can live a successful Christian Life.
* Prayer is the key to heaven, but Faith unlocks the door.
Confession and the Prayer of Faith result in new life and obedience. This is how you get the happiness that you were meant to have, an eternal joy, eternal love and eternal peace. Make your petitions to the Father in prayer, as with a friend. This is how prayer should be conducted: with respect for God and with faith in Him and love for Him: ‘Thy word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against thee.’ Psalm 119:11 KJV.
The closer you get to God the more in harmony with Him you will become.By His strength as time progresses, you will get more power from prayer, and become more unselfish, as you are changed by His power, from faith to faith.To get answers to prayer, study the word of God, the Bible, seeking to follow His wishes for your life, making its study your delight, because it is the voice of God whom you love to your soul!
When you read the Bible do you see it through the eyes of faith?
When you learn righteousness by faith, you learn the power of prayer for the promises of God.When you are clean before God, yielded fully to Him, and have these promises of God in hand and in your thoughts, dreams and desires, these many precious and exceeding promises will guide you safely to Heaven’s peaceful shore! You'll see the Bible in a different light, if you have not already seen it that way. The Bible is the revealed will of God. He tells you what He wants you to do and what He's promised to help you to do. Therefore it is usually but a simple task to know what prayers God will answer and which He will not, once you know what He wants from you – it is written in the Bible. But God hasn’t given specific promises on everything, but He has given some general promises that cover our basic needs in life.
Have you placed yourself on God’s side?
To place yourself on His side: confess your sins, give yourself to Him, do everything He asks and yield to Him all the way. Then you will not have to worry about your salvation, because you will know that He will take care of you and save you, and give you peace, love, joy and eternal life! It's a wonderful thing to put yourself on God’s side and reap the benefits of being born again. It's really not that hard to get answers to prayer. So put yourself on God’s side by giving yourself to Him all the way, and receive all of the blessings from Him that you were meant to have! It’s quite easy to get answers to prayer once you learn the secret of faith and giving yourself to God all-the-way! Getting answers to prayer that you need, and all of the blessings of being born again are why it's so important to understand faith and see the Bible through the eyes of faith.When it's viewed in this way, the Bible becomes an immeasurable priceless treasure to those who love Him! Because it reveals His will to them for their lives. It tells them what they should pray for and what they should not pray for. It tells them what kind of prayers God will answer! This is the kind of faith we are talking about! Faith is the first condition for answered prayer! If you know God you belong to Him - then the promises of God will be very precious to you. Remember: *Prayer is the key to Heaven, but faith unlocks the door!
We can tell you from experience that God is true and what the Bible says is true – it’s the word of God!
God can be trusted to keep His promises! God has been so wonderful to me – to one who is so undeserving. The Bible shows me His love and teaches me to trust Him all-the-way, to give me the help I need to keep me from going back to my old ways. I love him so much! It's been so wonderful writing and teaching others about His love and how to believe in Him, so that they can have great peace, love and joy too! The sacred fire of God’s salvation is burning in our heart and we cannot hold it in. That's why we are declaring it now to you.
Dear audience and readers, we challenge you to put God to the test – to see if He is good or not, if you have not already found this fountain of life!
And if you've already started to taste that God is good, you know the true value of the most wonderful salvation He is offering you!Please continue down this path until you fully believe and possess these many precious promises of God for yourself. It's the most wonderful thing you can ever experience in this life! You know that you can trust God. The love of God is a wonder and joy and experience beyond compare! Oh the riches and splendor and majesty of God! We can tell you from experience that the word of God is true, and if you taste and see that God is good… you won’t be disappointed!
May the grace of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all, as you seek to learn the conditions to prayer, and yield yourself fully to His loving heart! Amen!
*Faith Unlocks the Door (Prayer is the Key to Heaven)1955, by Samuel T. Scott, Robert L. Sande.
Lessons on Faith in: The Review and Herald: Feb. 21, 1899, Feb. 14, 1899, Feb. 7, 1899, Jan. 31, 1899, Jan. 24, 1899, Jan. 17, 1899, Jan. 10, 1899, Jan. 3, 1899, Dec. 27, 1898 by A. T Jones.
Lessons on Faith in: The Review and Herald: Dec. 27, 1898 by A. T Jones.
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