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Daily Devotions – The Power of Intercession by God’s People

James 5:13-18 (ESV)

The Prayer of Faith

13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.[a] 17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. 18 Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.

This passage can be easily misunderstood. Some people can take it to mean that if you pray for healing God will heal that person. Although God works miracles at times to create faith in unbelievers, what is actually said is that “the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick.” That means the prayers of the church surrounding someone in need, laying their hands on the person and anointing them with oil will be powerful in producing saving faith. James points out that confession of sins and forgiveness is the most important thing and that we are to pray for one another in these times. Remember that your God is listening as you intercede for others in prayer and that he does want to bring salvation, forgiveness and healing to all people