“If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.“1 John 1:9 NLT
45. Health Benefits of Prayer
Source: Journal of Religion and Health – Researchers in New York surveyed more than 1,600 people to gain a better understanding of how religion protects health. They found that religious beliefs and practices increase forgiveness and forgiveness leads to reduced hostility which, in turn, leads to better health.
Other research has established that hostility increases wear and tear on a human body and contributes to unhealthy cholesterol, elevated blood pressure and blood sugar, and hormonal changes that impair optimum function. As a result, reactions triggered by hostility increase risk for all the major diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, and shorten life.
Spiritually: The Bible New Living Translation (NLT) – Colossians 3:13 stated, “Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.”
James 5:15 NLT stated, “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.”
Life Application: iLumina Bible Studies – Our Lord Jesus’ answer to Paul’s prayer is the theme of 2 Corinthians: Christ’s gracious favor is what empowered Paul’s ministry, despite his own inadequacies and failures. Although Paul’s request wasn’t granted, our Lord Jesus assured him that he would continue to work through Paul in his weakness. In fact, our Lord Jesus Christ’s power worked best there. So in response, Paul accepted that Jesus, in his divine wisdom, knew what was best for him. Paul would not boast in being healed, but he would boast about his weaknesses, for it was through his weaknesses that Christ could powerfully work through him.
On Colossians 3:13 means clothing ourselves with the new nature affects how we treat others. Paul called the believers to make allowance for each other’s faults. To forgive implies continual, mutual forgiveness of the problems, irritations, and grievances that occur in the congregation. The church had enough enemies and troubles dealing with the outside world; they didn’t need infighting or energy wasted on grievances or grudges (either held over from pre-Christian days or arising in the church) that could be worked out with forbearing and forgiving. The key to forgiving others was for the believers to (1) remember how much the Lord forgave them, and (2) realize the presumption in refusing to forgive someone God had already forgiven. Remembering God’s infinite love and forgiveness should help us Born-Again Christian believers to love and forgive one another.
Let’s meditate on James 5:15. The prayer must be from the heart, sincere, with trust in and obedience to God behind it, and with no doubting, as in James 1:5-8. The faith is the role of the elders who are praying, not the sick person’s (nothing is said about his or her faith). It is possible that the sick person’s faith is exercised in calling the elders. Also, if there is need for confession, the elders will be able to minister to the individual. The process insures dependence of believers on each other.
Not the elders or the oil, but the Lord Himself does the healing. Does this mean that every prayer for healing guarantees that God will make the sick person well? It must be emphasized here that the prayer offered is a prayer offered in faith – not only the faith that believes God can heal, but also the faith that expresses absolute confidence in God’s will. A true prayer of faith will acknowledge God’s sovereignty in His answer to that prayer. It is not always God’s will to heal those who are ill (see 2 Corinthians 12:7-9). A prayer for healing must be qualified with a recognition that God’s will is supreme.
Sin may or may not be the cause of the illness, but an opportunity for confession is given, and the elders are there to receive it. No demand of confession is given, but the opportunity is given that anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven. This condition is important because all too often we are prone to assume that sin is the cause of someone’s suffering. The Bible teaches that sin can cause sickness (see Mark 2:1-12; 1 Corinthians 5:5; 11:27-30), but it also notes clearly that this is not always the case (see John 9:2-3).
Reference: The Mind Health Report – Special Report from Newsmax
THE PRIORITY OF PRAYER by Dr. Charles Stanley of InTouch Ministries https://www.intouch.org/watch/the-priority-of-prayer