“Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Is anyone of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven.” James 5:13-15
Many years ago, I was sitting in a prayer meeting in the corner of my church sanctuary, praying with a small group. As we prayed, I felt the Holy Spirit prompt me to walk across the sanctuary and ask a group of elders from my church to pray for me.
But not just any prayer. A prayer to ask that God would heal my stomach.
Two years earlier, I became very sick with a host of symptoms the doctors couldn’t diagnose. Test after test said everything was fine, even though I felt far from it.
Sitting on that pew, I silently wrestled with the Holy Spirit; doubts, questions and excuses swirled through my mind. But I knew I needed to obey, and I finally got up the courage to walk over and ask the group of elders for prayer. And God healed me!
I look back at this experience and still marvel at how God worked in my life that evening. A small act of faith revealed God’s great power and glory in my life. Now, when I have doubts about the things God calls me to pray for, I remember how He faithfully answered the prayer He called me to pray. It gives me the courage to petition Him, and it brings a song of praise to my lips.
Does this mean my faith is greater than those who have prayed for healing and haven’t received it? No! This shows us that God is faithful to do the things He sets out to do; when He calls us to do something, He will make it happen, no matter how impossible it seems.
God, I praise You because You are powerful, You are faithful, and You care for me, Your child. Give me the courage to pray for the things Your Holy Spirit prompts me to pray for. Help me to trust that when You don’t answer my prayers the way I hope, that You have a better plan in mind. Use my life to bring glory to Your name. Amen.
God has sent His Holy Spirit to live in each one of us who love and believe in Jesus. The Holy Spirit empowers us to live the way God wants us to live — in the power of God’s name, and in freedom from our sins. Ask the Holy Spirit to lead you today. Ask Him to help you be sensitive to His promptings, and pray that you would have the courage to do what the Holy Spirit calls you to do.
If you don’t know who the Holy Spirit is or understand how the Holy Spirit is a part of God, read Acts 1 and 2 in your Bible, and pray that God would help you to understand. You can also read this challenge to find out more about the importance of the Holy Spirit in the Christian life.