Prayer of faith
July 8, 2011 § Leave a comment
This morning I was reading in my Bible and today’s reading fell in John, James, Proverbs and 2 Chronicles. This year I have felt challenged to read through the Bible- a first for me, and I was excited to dive in. There were days when it was tough to get through some of the passages, like in Leviticus for example. Others it seemed to really just speak out to me. I could sense the Holy Spirit speaking clearly, and I would slow down and absorb as much as I could. Those moments were the drinking from the spring kind of moments. Pure, cool, water that quenched my thirst.
Today was kind of like a drinking from the spring day.
As I was reading along, I had several things going through my mind and heart. One being prayer for a friend of ours. His little boy, Finn, is undergoing treatments to fight off leukemia. Pretty intense stuff. My prayers have been daily for them, asking God for healing, strength, encouragement and help.
After praying, I looked down to see a reference I had jotted down on my daily reading chart. John 9:3
Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.
This verse is in a passage where Jesus was with his disciples and they came upon a man that was blind from birth. The disciples questioned who had sinned in this mans life to cause him to be blind- was it the fault of the parents? I thought how human that was of them- something I may even question, because I can’t understand why God would allow this. I was amazed at Jesus response- it wasn’t because of sin that this man was blind, it was to show the works of God. Perhaps he was allowed to be blind all those years, so that he could be healed at that moment, to be a testimony of God and how incredible mighty He is. Perhaps someone saw this man that was miraculously healed, and their faith grew by leaps and bounds. It goes onto to say that this mans neighbors were in awe of this healing.
I wrote this verse down a few days ago. But my mind would not let it go. For that reason, I felt led to share it here. I think it’s easy and understandable that we often question God when something difficult happens in our lives. Something we absolutely cannot control. Something we have to trust God for, and not question that He is in control.
Reading on today, I also came upon a few other passages that really made me stop and re-read over them again. One passage was John 15. This is speaking of Jesus being the vine, and we are the branches. There is so much to take from this one chapter. It’s a huge wake up call to a Christian, in how they are living and what exactly they are and are not doing. It was a spiritual check up for me, and I was convicted as I read about bearing fruit. But I was also amazed at the amount of love that is pouring out of this chapter. How God sees us as we follow Him, obey His commandments, and ask Him for His help. What exactly am I doing with the gifts He has given me? How am I using these ‘vines/branches’ for Him? How much I desire to use what He has given me, for Him. For His glory.
My next passage was in James 5, and the last few verses (13-18) spoke out to me. They are in reference to prayer and faith:
Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. 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 one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain; and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.
How much I took from this! My first thoughts went to Finn as I read about praying in faith. How incredibly powerful that is.
My next thought was how I have been praying. How absent minded have I allowed myself to be when I am coming into the presence of the Living God? Reading about the faith of Elijah (Elias= Elijah) whose faith was so strong that when he asked God for something, it happened in a big way.
Thinking of my own faith and how much I am truly depending on God brought up another thought. How much of the time do I allow myself to get in the way? How often do I put my own opinions, wants, desires, and needs before God’s wants, desires and needs? My only thought is that I need to let go, I need to step out of the way to allow God to step in. I desire this, truly I do. It’s just sooo easy to become consumed in self. I hate that, but I also know I am human and God can understand this, although He doesn’t accept it. He desires for me to let go of…well..of me.
I’m challenged in my faith today. Challenged to let go of my own selfish needs, and challenged to pray differently. I want to be the one that is said to have prayers in faith. And not for my own personal gain, but to truly be used of God, to be an instrument for Him. How many other Elijah’s are out there today, that God desires to use, but simply can’t because they cannot lay down their lives for Him?
Perhaps this may not make the most sense as I jotting down my scattered thoughts, but the Word of God is powerful and convicting and so rich! May I keep these words of Scripture deeply rooted in my heart, but more so, may I allow them to grow in my life.