Give us souls lest we die;
Give us souls lest we die;
Give us souls lest we die;
That the Lamb Who was slain might receive the reward of His suffering, as the Glory perfects the Unity, and the Unity proclaims the Glory!
Chapter 6 - Prayer
Part 1 of 2
The continuation and extension of the ministry of our Lord, Jesus Christ
***Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Pastor Michael has been conducting Bible Studies with the congregation since early 2020, which we have transcribed and placed on this site. We started with End Times Prophecy and then moved to a study on Divine Healing, originally given by Brother Jimmy Swaggart. We began with a Spirit-filled study on the Book of Revelation, moved on to the Book of Daniel, The Rapture of the Church, and returned to Ezekiel Chapters 40 to 48. Now we are sharing a study on Divine Healing.
As a faithful servant in Christ, we urge you to read and study these revelations, which were fully inspired by The Holy Spirit and will bless you abundantly.
The Scripture verses are in black font, the words of Jesus Christ in red, and the notes in blue. The audio and video clips have been moved to the bottom of this page***
Kenya Prison Ministry
“Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.” (James 5:13)
Is Any Among You Afflicted? Let Him Pray
The heading refers to trouble of any kind. Actually, just how valuable is prayer? Considering that The Holy Spirit had told James what to say here as it regards affliction and prayer, the child of God should readily know and understand just how valuable and important that a proper prayer life actually is. Every one of us would agree, that is, if we are saved, that Jesus Christ was and is perfect. Above that, He was and is the Son of God. As well, Jesus was possessed by The Holy Spirit as no other human being has ever been possessed of this nature and in this capacity. And yet, Jesus had an extremely strong prayer life. So, the question could be asked, if Jesus had to pray, how do we think we can eliminate this all-important principle and privilege? One could probably say, without any fear of scriptural exaggeration, that prayer is the greatest privilege afforded the child of God. Without a proper prayer life, it is impossible for one to have a relationship with Christ. In fact, one of the great works carried out in our lives by The Holy Spirit is to help us pray according to Romans 8:26. And yet, so few Christians take advantage of this tremendous opportunity. Why?
Satan fights the prayer life of a Christian as he fights nothing else. If he can defeat you in this front, he can defeat you on every front, and conversely, if he cannot defeat you on this front, he can little defeat you on any other front. Unbelief is the culprit in many hearts and lives. Christians just simply do not believe that God answers prayer. One of the favorite statements is, “I’ve tried it and it doesn’t do anything for me,” or words to that effect. Trying prayer is like trying The Cross. Both statements are foolish. It’s like saying, “I’ve tried breathing.” Of course, I’m certain that the reader understands that, when we speak of prayer, even as James proclaims here, we are not speaking of such as a ritual or a ceremony but rather a communication and fellowship with The Lord. It is possible to turn prayer into works, but considering how few Christians actually pray, I think that such does not present very much of a problem.
Petitions and Praises
For the entirety of my life and living for The Lord, most all of the direction that I’ve ever received from The Holy Spirit has been while in prayer. I personally believe that we should take every single problem to The Lord, no matter how large or small it might be. We should ardently seek His guidance in all things, once again, whether little or large. Most of all, most of our praying should be taken up with praise to The Lord, especially considering His great goodness to us, which comes in an uninterrupted flow. Our petitions should be small in number, while our praises should be many. Unfortunately, many in the modern church have eliminated prayer from their vocabulary and even their thinking, I suppose, in favor of counseling, when in reality, the greatest Counselor of all lives within our hearts. Of course, I’m speaking of The Holy Spirit. How so foolish to ignore this tremendous privilege and rather solicit the counsel of weak men.
Prayer and The Cross
As with everything else that pertains to The Word of God, I personally feel that our prayer lives can be greatly enhanced if we understand The Cross of Christ. In fact, I know it can. To have such an understanding helps us to comprehend the means by which the grace of God comes to us, which all of us must have on a continual basis. It is The Cross that makes grace possible, plus everything else that comes to us from The Lord. Without exception, every single prayer that has ever been uttered by a man to God and every answer that God has ever given as it regards prayer has always come through the means of the Finished Work of Christ. In fact, were it not for The Cross, The Lord could not even look at us, much less help us, as He now can presently do. By and through that sacrifice alone can God deal with sinful man. So, if we understand that, then we surely should understand how important such comprehension actually is, especially as it pertains to prayer.
Why The Cross?
If we do not understand The Cross as the means by which God deals with man and man with God, then we will try to approach God on an entirely wrong basis. I speak of the basis of good works, merit, religion, etc. It should be readily understood that such an approach could never be accepted by The Lord. In fact, every single praise that we, as Christians, might utter, such as, “Thank you, Lord Jesus,” or “Praise The Lord,” can be accepted by The Lord only on the basis of the slain Lamb, i.e., “the Lamb of God” (John 1:29). Without The Cross, the door is irrevocably closed. Some may wonder as to the validity of the position of believers before The Cross. In a sense, the access by believers before The Cross was actually the same as it is now, faith in the One Who was coming, which was represented by the sacrifices. Of course, access was, to a far greater degree, much more limited than now. But the point is that The Cross has always been the means by which God has dealt with man and man with God. The sacrifices that were instituted immediately after the fall were the symbol of that which was to come. Even though the blood of bulls and goats could not take away sin, still, such sacrifices served as a means of faith. In other words, the offeror was to have faith in Who they (the sacrifices) represented and, more particularly, what they represented. Of course, they represented Christ and The Cross. At The Cross, Jesus atoned for all sin, past, present, and future, at least for all those who will believe (John 3:16). With all sin removed, this makes it possible for God to deal with the human race on an entirely different level. That’s why we say The Cross opens the door for everything, and without The Cross, there is no open door, so to speak. Martin Luther said, and I’m paraphrasing, if one does not understand The Cross as one should, this means that one has a very limited knowledge as to Who God actually is. In other words, one can only know God by and through The Cross of Christ. The problem with the modern church is that it has a modicum of understanding respecting The Cross of Christ regarding salvation but no understanding as it regards the great part The Cross plays in sanctification. In fact, 99% of Paul’s writings have to do with The Cross of Christ as it pertains to our sanctification (our holiness), in other words, how we live for God on a daily basis. If The Holy Spirit devoted that much time and attention to this all-important subject, we should start to realize how important it really is. As previously stated, when we consider that the modern church understands almost nothing about The Cross as it regards sanctification, then we should realize the reason for the present spiritual condition of the modern church.
Is Any Merry? Let Him Sing Psalms
The heading, in effect, refers to singing as a form of prayer and of worship, which it actually is, that is, if we sing the right songs. The “psalms” of course, have to do with the book of Psalms that we have in our Bible, which was actually the only songbook that the church had at a particular time. There is a record of Christians in the early church beginning to compose particular songs based upon Scriptural doctrine and even based on the Psalms but the Psalms, at least in those days, provided the base and foundation for this tremendous form of worship. To understand just how important this worship actually is, or at least the significance that God places on this act, we should understand that the Book of Psalms is the largest book in the Bible, and that is not without design. Consequently, we have the ideal combination of prayer and worship. I think The Holy Spirit is telling us that, if there would be more singing of psalms and Spiritual songs, there would be less trouble. This is so important in as much as satan fights prayer, he, as well, opposes proper spiritual worship and praise. He does so through the music. I speak of that which goes under the name of Christian contemporary music, which means that its very similar to that of the world. Such is not of God. I know that’s blunt, but it is the truth. So, if it’s not of God, that means that it is actually of satan. My grandson, Gabriel, was telling me a short time ago how that many of the so-called Christian rock groups, or whatever they call themselves, actually state that they get their inspiration from the most notorious groups in the nation and the world, for that matter. They are proclaiming blasphemy every time they open their mouths. Now, please tell me how in the world anything can be of God when its inspiration is the devil. Seemingly they are proud of their associations with these demonic groups, and they’re quick to say so on their CDs as it regards the notes concerning the songs. Such music is of satan. It’s not just merely wrong, it is instigated by demon spirits, and it has invaded the church pell-mell. Although some poor misguided souls may claim to try to worship The Lord with such nonsense, the truth is that it is impossible to worship The Lord in any capacity by and of such music. In the creation of music, one might say, that The Lord designed it as a trinity of melody, rhythm, and harmony. If any one of these three is perverted, it becomes impossible to worship. To make a bad matter worse, contemporary music corrupts both the melody and the harmony. Such music made its debut in the 1960s as a copy of the music of the world. It was begun under the guise of reaching the youth but has degenerated presently to the mere spectacle of making money. To be sure, while it reached the youth, it reached them for satan and not The Lord. If satan can pervert the music of the church, he has destroyed the church. Regrettably, satan has perverted the music of the modern church.
“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:” (James 5:14)
Is Any Sick Among You?
The question refers to physical illness of any nature. Let me say immediately that I thank God for doctors and nurses, hospitals, and for modern medicine. I feel that these things are a blessing of The Lord. In fact, I think we Christians should pray constantly that God will give medical scientists the knowledge to find the cure for certain diseases such as cancer. No, The Lord does not need help from anyone, but He does use doctors and nurses as He uses many things. Divine healing refers to being healed by The Lord as a result of believing prayer. As James proclaims here, physical sickness with divine healing is a major topic in the thinking of many Christians, even as it should be. However, many questions arise including:
These questions, and many others, need to be Biblically addressed. Unfortunately, many Christians are taught things that are not exactly Scriptural, and such teaching always brings forth bitter fruit. In other words, to the degree that we misinterpret the Word of God in any respect, to that degree we will suffer some loss. The Scripture tells us that The Holy Spirit “will guide you into all truth” (John 16:13). While it is certainly true that no believer (preachers included) has all the light on any subject in the Word of God, still, we are definitely required, by The Lord, to walk in all the light that we presently have. So, every believer should, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15) So, next we’re going to look at what The Word of God says about physical healing.
Sickness and Health
A certain woman’s only son was sick (1 Kings 17:7-24), “And it came to pass after these things, that the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, fell sick; and his sickness was so sore, that there was no breath left in him.” (1 Kings 17:17) In frustration the woman turned to her boarder, the prophet Elijah, and cried out “…What have I to do with thee, O thou man of God? art thou come unto me to call my sin to remembrance, and to slay my son?” (1 kings 17:18). Her reaction was not unusual. Many view sickness as a punishment for sin, and there is a basis in the Bible for that view, at least in some cases. However, can all sickness be so directly linked with God’s response to human behavior? Perhaps more significantly, can believers who walk so closely with The Lord expect health and healing at all times? Let us look into some of these questions.
The Hebrew Words
The Old Testament vocabulary of sickness includes terms for disease, for ailments, and for weaknesses or illness. However, the root word from which most of these are derived is halah, which means “to be weak or sick”. The concept includes weakness caused by illness (1 Kings 14:1, 2 Kings 20:1, 12), and by wounds suffered in some way (2 Chronicles 18:33). At times the concept of weakness is extended as a metaphor of national weakness regarding the entirety of a nation (Hosea 5:13-14). Sickness can also be a matter of the heart and portray mental and spiritual anguish (Psalms 38:5; Proverbs 13:12; Song of Solomon 2:5). And yet, considering the span of time and subjects the Old Testament covers, it has surprisingly few references to illness or sickness in general. Even more surprising, in a language that often multiplies metaphors, sickness and disease are seldom used as symbols of something else. The Hebrew word for health is also limited. It is rapa and means “to heal” or “to make healthy". It stands in contrast to the vocabulary of sickness. In contrast to weakness, there is strength. In contrast to debilitating illness, there is health and wholeness.
The Covenant of Healing
Almost immediately after delivering the children of Israel from Egyptian bondage, actually, after they had only gone a short distance into the wilderness, the Scripture says, “…and they went three days in the wilderness, and found no water.” (Exodus 15:22) When they finally did find water, they found the water to be bitter, therefore, unusable. The Scripture tells us that Moses “cried unto the LORD”. It then says, “…and the LORD shewed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet: there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them,” (Exodus 15:25). At this time, the Great Covenant of Healing was given to Israel. It says, “…If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee.” (Exodus 15:26)
A Type of The Cross
Of course, we know and realize that the “tree” was a type of The Cross, which alone, could and can make sweet the bitter waters of life. I personally think that the reason sickness and healing are not mentioned that much in the Old Testament is because of the great covenant that Israel had with The Lord. But yet, we know and realize that Israel did not do too very well in giving ear to God’s commandments or keeping all His statutes. So, there definitely was some sickness, etc., but I personally think that, because of this covenant, the health of the Israelites was far ahead of the people of surrounding nations.
The Covenant of Healing Presently
As well, I might quickly add the following: even though this covenant was made with Israel of old, at the same time, we know that The Word of God is immutable (not capable or susceptible to change.) In fact, we have the promise of even more under the New Covenant than they had under the Old (Hebrews 8:6). Paul wrote, “But now (since The Cross) hath he (The Lord Jesus) obtained a more excellent ministry (The New Covenant in Jesus’ blood is superior and takes the place of the Old Covenant in animal blood), by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant (proclaims the fact that Christ officiates between God and man according to the arrangements of the New Covenant), which was established upon better promises (This presents the New Covenant explicitly based on the cleansing and forgiveness of all sin, which the Old Covenant could not do).” (Hebrews 8:6)
Sickness and God
The Old Testament unquestionably relates sickness to God. In the Old Testament, in fact, all things are oriented to The Lord as their ultimate cause. Moses promised Israel, “And ye shall serve the LORD your God, and he shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee.” (Exodus 23:35) Likewise, disobedience to God would be punished, at times, by sickness. If Israel refused to obey the law and to revere God, there was this dreadful warning, “Moreover he will bring upon thee all the diseases of Egypt, which thou wast afraid of; and they shall cleave unto thee. Also every sickness, and every plague, which is not written in the book of this law, them will the LORD bring upon thee, until thou be destroyed.” (Deuteronomy 28:60-61) Solomon’s prayer at the dedication of the temple shows the same close relationship between God and illness. He says, “If there be dearth in the land, if there be pestilence, if there be blasting, or mildew, locusts, or caterpillers; if their enemies besiege them in the cities of their land; whatsoever sore or whatsoever sickness there be: Then what prayer or what supplication soever shall be made of any man, or of all thy people Israel, when every one shall know his own sore and his own grief, and shall spread forth his hands in this house: Then hear thou from heaven thy dwelling place, and forgive, and render unto every man according unto all his ways, whose heart thou knowest; (for thou only knowest the hearts of the children of men(Israel):) ” (2 Chronicles 6:28-30). However, even though sickness may strike the land or an individual as a direct act of God, it is not always so. Sickness is a reality that affects all of humanity, and we might quickly add that it is because of the fall. Also, even a prophet could develop a terminal illness (2 Kings 13:14).
Sickness and Sin
Even though sickness is not always caused by sin, still, the link between the two can be seen throughout the Old Testament. One can note the Mosaic Law’s clear promise to Israel of divine protection from disease if they were obedient in its warnings of illness if they were disobedient. The link continues to shape the view of later Old Testament writers and is expressed in a number of ways. Psalms 103:3 parallels forgiveness and sin, healing and sickness. It is The Lord who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases. Isaiah portrays sinful Israel as severely injured by blows from The Lord but unwilling, still, to turn to Him (Isaiah 1:5-6). Hosea speaks of national weakness as illness, illness that has come because of unconfessed sin. Until Israel admitted guilt and earnestly sought The Lord, there would be no rescue (Hosea 5:13-14). These passages shoot down the unscriptural doctrine of the so-called grace revolution, which is no revolution at all. This false message teaches that, when Christians sin, they should not confess that sin to The Lord, and in fact, should ignore it. Let us say this quickly, unconfessed sin is unforgiven sin, and such a path will lead to terrible difficulties if not remedied. The great prophet Hosea also said, “Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up.” (Hosea 6:1) We find here that healing is found, therefore, in a return to The Lord. He Who caused the injury is able to restore.
Is All Sickness Caused by Sin?
No. All sickness is not a result of sin. Sickness comes at times, and even comes to all, as a natural consequence of human frailty, which, as stated, is a result of the fall. And yet, whatever nature or cause of sickness, it is appropriate to look to God for help, ever how He will bring about that help. Prayer and fasting are fitting, and when prayer for healing goes unanswered, the humbling of the soul is proper (Psalms 35:13-14). Sickness, like all suffering and tragedy, cannot be automatically assigned to sin or ascribed to God’s judgment on a sinner. It certainly may be, at times, but definitely not always.
Conquerors for Christ ministry is the continuation and extension of the ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ. As the kings and priests of Messiah (Revelation 1:6; 5:10), our Vision/Mission is to preach the finished the work of the Cross of Christ Jesus, thereby advancing and fulfilling our Great Commission (John 4:34; Mark 16:15-20).
In/with the Person, Power and Presence of God The Holy Spirit, in the fullness of the Apostolic Anointing, we evangelize, preach, teach, testify and witness Messiah and His Gospel (Christ and Him Crucified and the Power of His Resurrection) unto the nations, with mighty works, signs, wonders and miracles following, bringing many sons and daughters to eternal Glory as they confess Christ as Savior and Lord of their lives! What is more, we disciple, equip and send out into the nations these saved of Christ as anointed preachers and teachers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ -- thereby replicating the ministry of Messiah worldwide in/with the Anointing, Authority, Power, Strength, Wisdom, Dominion, Love, Fire, Brilliance, Radiance and Glory of The Holy Spirit of the Living God (Acts 1:8)!
Conquerors for Christ ministries include Crusades for Christ, Revivals for Christ, Five Published Volumes of our book series -- Conquerors for Christ -- sold via the Internet and other marketing venues, Television and Internet Evangelism ministries, Conquerors for Christ Bible Institute, Personal and Telephone Evangelism ministries, and on the ground Evangelism missions and ministries in Africa and India.
We invite you to join us and become a mighty "Conqueror for Christ"! Contact us @ email@example.com.