Exploring Scripture – James 5:13-16 – Part 3

James 5:15 says this – “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.”  

 

Have you ever asked someone to say a little prayer for you?  I know I have. I know that when I have a prayer request, it sounds a bit like that. It would sound strange and feel a bit weird to ask someone to “pray a prayer of faith for me, my back is really sore this week” or “pray a prayer of faith that I will perform well on my math test tomorrow.”  We typically just say, “pray for me about __________.”  

 

So let me explore the question, Is faith implied when I am are praying?  I would assume so, but I’m not convinced that is how I’m actually praying 100% of the time.  I believe this is the real heart of what James is teaching in verse 15. When I pray, I better be praying in faith because the prayer of faith has the power to heal the sick and the power to save one from their sins.   I’ve spent many lessons teaching people how to pray, but can I teach someone how to faith? The disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, and He responded, “when you pray, pray like this.” When it comes to faith, the disciples didn’t ask to be taught, they asked to have their faith increased, and Jesus demonstrated His power and authority over creation, sin, and showed them God the Father through Jesus’ life on earth, and their faith was increased.  Faith, as defined in Scripture, is understood as “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1)”

I will rewrite James 5:15 with the Scriptural definition of faith inserted into it  

And the prayer of assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things not seen will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up.  And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.  

I’m not sure I’m always praying with assurance.  I think I’m praying in hope, but the distance between assurance and hope seems to be a long way from each other.   I want to bridge the gap between God’s assurance and my hope. My hope is flawed, and God’s assurance is perfect and faithful.    I picked up this study Bible a few years back that has some excellent notes in it.  The Bible is called the FireBible. The curators of the notes have included some compelling thoughts on faith.  

“Enduring faith involves trusting God in all circumstances.  Faith takes God at His Word and relies completely on His promises.  It does not base its hope on visible circumstances but on confidence in spiritual realities.”

That is a great word for me when pondering what it means to pray in faith.  Like John shows us in John 14-15, the more I know Jesus and abide in Him the more I will know the Father in Heaven and the more I will be aligned with His plans and purposes.  His precious promises are what builds my assurance and hope as I pray. My proximity to God will give me many experiences with His power and authority. When I’m familiar with God’s power and authority, I naturally pray with faith.  
 
The original question was, is faith implied when I’m praying?  I need to be completely honest with myself, I’m not always praying with assurance and hope that God will do what I’m asking Him to do.   This is my personal challenge to bring the distance between my hope and His assurance, and I’ve said many times in the past few weeks this has everything to do with God’s Presence in my life.  
 

My prayer is that I will live in His Presence so that  I’m entirely abiding in Him as I pray and day by day my hope will be aligned with His assurance resulting in praying with firm conviction.


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