This week, as we continue in our series in Luke, we have been reflecting on Jesus’ teaching from Luke 7:1-10 where Jesus praises the faith of a Roman centurion as he asks Jesus to heal his servant. Today, I want reflect on how faith and praying in Jesus’ name help us to pray more effectively for healing.
‘When Jesus had finished saying all this to the people who were listening, he entered Capernaum. There a centurion’s servant, whom his master valued highly, was sick and about to die. The centurion heard of Jesus and sent some elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and heal his servant. When they came to Jesus, they pleaded earnestly with him, “This man deserves to have you do this, because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue.” So Jesus went with them. He was not far from the house when the centurion sent friends to say to him: “Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, “I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.” Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant well.’ (Luke 7:1-10)
Lesson: Effective prayer for healing is powered by faith and is in Jesus’ name.
You can listen to this devotional at:
Today and tomorrow I want to talk on four areas that can make our prayers for the sick more effective; today, we reflect on the principles that effective prayer for healing is powered by faith and is in Jesus’ name.
i. Effective prayer for healing is powered by faith
In scripture we see that faith can rest in different measures among the people involved in praying for the sick person. In the account of the healing of the centurion’s servant we see that he had faith that led him to express: “say the word, and my servant will be healed.” However, we don’t hear anything of the faith of the servant!
Faith that God is able to heal is always present for healing to occur. If we are going to pray for the sick effectively, we must believe that He continues to give gifts of healing today. Added to this we must pray according to the level of faith that we have; sometimes God will grant faith to believe this is going to happen right now or in the near future, but on most occasions - in my experience - we pray with faith that Jesus can heal but we are not certain that He will. This is still faith and we should pray in an honest fashion. What we read in James is most probably referring to a supernatural gift of faith:
’Is anyone among you ill? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 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.’ (James 5:14-15)
ii. Effective prayer for healing is in Jesus’ name
Prayer is powerful when it is in the name of Jesus. To pray in Jesus’ name is to pray under His authority. In our account of the centurion, he speaks of the authority of Christ to heal. Here in Acts 3 is a great example of prayer in Jesus’ name:
‘Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”’ (Acts 3:6)
Effective prayer for healing is powered by faith and is in Jesus’ name. May God keep growing our faith that Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever in regard to His authority over sickness and willingness to hear our prayers.
COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY
It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.
Very importantly, let’s be praying and inviting to our carol service on 10th December; in preparation for this, we have Carol Singing on the 3rd.
How has God been speaking to you from His Word this week and how has this helped you?
3. Worship together
Let’s begin our time together by lifting our eyes and hearts to worship our great God. Perhaps you have readings and songs that you would like to use together. Let’s be open to the gifts that the Spirit wants to give in order to encourage one another.
4. Study and pray together
This week, as we continue in our series in Luke, we will be reflecting on Jesus’ teaching from Luke 7:1-10. Jesus is asked to heal the servant of a Roman centurion. Through this event we are taught about God’s desire to save people from all backgrounds and His desire to see faith in all of us.
Please read Luke 7:1-10
Why do you think that Luke wants us to see that this centurion (rather the Theophilus for whom this gospel is written) is not Jewish?
What do we learn about the place of status and good works for salvation and things like healing?
What do we learn about healing from this narrative?
SIV - Why does this centurion believe and intercede to Jesus?
SIV - What does this account teach us about how we can affectively serve and bring our community to Jesus?
SIV - Do we have any stories of how we have ‘Served, Invested, and inVited’ this week?
SIV - Lets now pray together that, this week, we will have opportunities to SIV.
Does anyone want prayer for healing or prayer for someone else who is sick or in need?