This Sunday in Macon, our first "official" Prayer Team will be eagerly waiting to pray with and for our attendees. We're excited to add the team but even more excited about what God may do through our prayers.
We gathered last Sunday afternoon to talk about expectations, some practical "how-to's" an of course pray. I shared with the team some helpful and encouraging words from Sam Storms on "Faith and Healing" from his book, The Beginner's Guide to Spiritual Gifts. Whether you are on the official Prayer Team or not, I think you will find Sam's teaching on the kinds of faith for healing a challenge and encouragement.
First there is "the faith that God is your sole source for blessing, that He is your hope, and He alone." "Faith turns us away from our own power and resources to His. Faith says, 'Lord, I am nothing and You are everything. I entrust myself to Your care. I cling to You alone. My confidence is in Your word and character no matter what happens.'"
Pray with a faith that recognizes God is God and you are not.
"Second, there is faith in God's ability to heal." He is able! He spoke into existence the universe. There is nothing that is beyond His ability. Pray, knowing that He can.
"Third, there is faith in God's heart for healing. This is faith in God's goodness and His desire to bless His children." God is good. Even in our pain and suffering this is true. His heart is indeed BIG for his children and for our healing. This doesn't mean that we will always receive the healing that we desire now. But that doesn't change His goodness. We know that His heart for healing and for us is enormous when we consider the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus. In His life, death and resurrection, the Father lovingly provided for our eventual healing and restoration. I don't say it that way to dappen hope for healing, now. Rather I share that so that we can know that God is concerned with our pain and promises that we will be healed! God is good and Jesus is evidence of that goodness. God will heal, and Jesus is evidence of that as well. So pray with great faith in God's heart for healing!
Fourth, "there is the faith not simply that God can heal, not simply that God delights to heal, but faith that God does heal." That's right - God DOES heal. Healing isn't just a thing of the past! God heals now, today!
"Fifth and finally," Storms writes, "there is the faith that it is His will to heal right now." This isn't a prayer "that we pray whenever we want to," he adds. "It is a unique prayer, divinely energized only on those occasions when it is God's sovereign purpose to impart a gift for healing." "...this appears to be faith that He, in this particular case, is not only willing to heal, but is also willing to heal right now." This fifth prayer of faith is described by Storms as unusual and occasional.
God heals when God desires.
That doesn't change our charge to pray for healing and to pray with faith and expectancy -
faith that God is the source of our blessing, faith that God is able to heal, faith that God is good and has a heart for healing, faith that God still heals today, and expectancy that God will do great things.
This is how we will pray for you.
This is how we should pray for one another.
If you would like prayer with one of our Prayer Team members, we'll be waiting to pray with you during communion and our final song(s) of worship each Sunday.