The Prayer of Faith

And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess your trespasses[a] to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

James 5:15-16

The reason why many prayers do not receive the expected response is that they are not made with faith. James 5:15-16 tells us, And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess your trespasses[a] to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. A prayer of faith is an effective prayer and is also a prayer of power. The power of the prayer of faith heals the sick and forgives the sins. But there is an important ingredient in this prayer, it is the recognition of our offenses.

Today many Christians think that the prayer of faith is one in which they shout, decree, declare positive words, and command with authority the demons to go out. I would not dare call that kind of prayer as of faith. The first is that it does not go according to what James 5:15-16 says. The second is that I find nowhere in the Bible that type of prayer, neither between the patriarchs and prophets of the Old Testament nor between the apostles or Jesus in the New Testament.

James mentions the word sin within what he defines the prayer of faith. And according to what is written, the prayer of faith not only saves the patient from his physical evil but from his spiritual evil, since it forgives his sins. No doubt many of our diseases have a spiritual origin; but not necessarily the kind of spiritual influence that many tend to believe. Although the enemy can certainly be behind our diseases, other times, the origin comes from our flesh and from our own sins.

We can never forget what Romans 3:23 says, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; which means that no one can fill his mouth saying that he is free from sin. And while we all know that the context of Romans 3:23 was directed toward unbelievers, it is equally true that believers will continue to receive temptations and are exposed to sin. And just as we confess our sins to salvation, if we fail now, we must become aware of God as well.

It is impossible to pretend to deceive God. We may be leading a double life before others; but God knows very well what we do behind the scenes. Being a child of God makes us a friend of what our Father loves and an enemy of what He hates. Sin is incompatible with God, therefore, it is impossible to remain faithful to God as we commune with the things of the world. For our prayer to be considered of faith and efficacious, we must irrevocably renounce sin and embrace holiness, without which no one will see the Lord.

The result of this change in our lives and in our way of praying will be remarkable. James says it this way: The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. The power of this prayer has no limits. The sick will be healed, the blind will see, the dead will rise. That is the power of prayer that our Lord Jesus Christ has bestowed upon us. Let us learn to pray in the right way and the prodigies, miracles and signs of those who believe will follow us. God bless you.

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