Memory Verse: “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The eﬀectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16).
INTRODUCTION: The greatest blessing available to us as children of God is to be healed of our spiritual sickness and to receive the promise of eternal life. But it is also great to know that the One Who heals us spiritually can also heal our physical ills.
Even a casual reading of the Gospels will reveal the major role physical healing played in the ministry of Jesus Christ. As He beholds the great spiritual needs of the masses He couldn’t help but see their physical needs as well, and He responded by healing them.
Adam and Eve were created with good health, and God has promised that there will be no sickness in His kingdom. In view of this, we can confidently conclude that it is not God’s will for His children to be sick.
What, then, are the requisites for divine healing? In Matthew 17 we find the account of a man who brought his son to the disciples for healing, but they could not heal him. When Jesus arrived He rebuked them and called them a faithless generation. Jesus then proceeded to heal him. His disciples asked why they could not heal him. Let us notice Jesus’ reply. “Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, if ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you” (Matthew 17:20).
It is evident from these verses that faith is a definite requirement for divine healing. John 15 adds another requirement for success. If we are to accomplish great things for God we must have a close relationship with Jesus Christ. We must abide in Him and His words must abide in us, for without Him we can do nothing. But with Him we can ask what we will and He will accomplish it.
There are several things that can cause our prayer for healing not to be answered. Among these are lack of faith, disobedience (Naaman had to dip in Jordan, the blind man had to wash in the pool of Siloam, etc.), and lack of faith in those observing (Jesus could do no mighty works in His home town because of the unbelief [Mark 6:1-6]).
The apostle James admonishes those who are sick to call for the elders to pray for them and promises that they will be healed. Notice how he relates sickness and healing to sin and forgiveness. Is he saying that our sickness may be a result of our sin and that spiritual healing should accompany physical healing? Why does he link confession of our faults with our healing? It is evident that all sickness is not a result of personal sin, but James indicates this to such an extent that we seriously need to consider the relationship between sickness and personal sin.
- What promise was given the disciples in the great commission? Mark 16:18. Is divine healing one of the gifts of the Spirit? 1 Corinthians 12:9, 28.
- Who is the source of this healing power? Exodus 15:26.
- Did divine healing exist under the Old Covenant? 2 Kings 20:1-7; 2 Kings 5:10-15.
- Was it an important part of Jesus’ ministry? Matthew 4:23.
- Did the apostles have the gift of healing in the early church? Acts 5:12-16. Did they have this power before the day of Pentecost? Matthew 10:1, 8.
- Is it important that the one being healed have faith? Matthew 9:27-30.
- Can unbelief in those observing hinder divine healing? Mark 6:1-6; Mark 5:38-42.
- What instruction does James give to those who are sick? James 5:14.
- What added blessing is promised? James 5:15 [last part]. What else are we admonished to do? James 5:16
- Are there some prayers for healing that may not be answered even though those involved are righteous? 2 Corinthians 12:7-10. Why? 2 Corinthians 12:7.