Read the verses below:
“13 Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” James 5:13-16
Three things stand out to me about these verses if you are sick.
1. Pray BIG.
2. Confess to see God clearly.
3. Submit to God’s will.
First glance at these verses, it seems all you have to do is find the right elder with the right oil to say the right prayer and presto-change-o, you’re as good as new, but actually these verses do not say that at all. In verse 15, it clearly says that the prayer heals, not the oil, and not the elder. So if all you need is prayer, why go to the elder and use the oil? If scripture says this is what you should do, there’s no reason not to do it.
(Have you ever attended a healing service? Would you like to know more? Ask your pastor.)
But let’s face it: Cancer brings with it some HUGE prayer topics. It’s one thing to pray for someone to be healed of an ear infection; it’s another thing to pray that someone would be healed of cancer.
• For you personally, what is the difference between praying for healing for an ear infection
Do you wonder if you’re asking God for too much? Does praying for someone to be healed of cancer seem impractical or realistic? We all know people who have not been healed of cancer and we know that healing is really up to God’s will, so why put yourself out there like that? Why ask God for something you want so much and possibly end up disappointed if the prayer’s not answered? Why get your hopes up?..
The crazy thing is that this same pattern of keeping our hopes small to avoid disappointment can too often
describe our prayer life. Really, think about it for a minute. When your life is facing the BIG fears like a lengthy unemployment, a frightening illness, or a messy legal battle, do you pray the BIG prayers? Do you ask for the perfect job, a body free of illness and a sudden legal solution? Or do they seem like too much to ask for? After all, does God really want to hear about these things just because you want them?
… NOTHING, I repeat, NOTHING is too much to ask of God. Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.” God hungers for you to delight in Him, and He longs to give you the desires of your heart. God does not want you to just pray for the realistic things or the practical things. God wants you to pray for each and every desire of your heart. Each desire of your heart you trust to the Lord will strengthen your faith. Either your desire will be fulfilled and you’ll sing praises of how much God loves you, or you’ll be disappointed, and right there, in that place of heart ache, you’ll find God clinging to draw you into His mighty arms. Don’t settle for a relationship with God that has little wants, little hopes and little of your heart. Don’t hold back. Give Him all of you-body, soul and heart.
Excerpt from Seeing God in Your Cancer Journey Cancer Companions Participant Guide