POWERLESS PRAYER

‘‘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. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. James 5:14-15

The clearly expected outcome –the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up.’ In verses 17-18, James continues to assert the miraculous power of prayers, offered in faith:

‘Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.’ James 5:17-18

Clearly, James believed that prayers offered in faith would result in the physical, miraculous intervention of God. When we look at the life of Jesus, and the amount of time and energy he devoted to healing the sick, which was an expression of his deep compassion for the suffering, it is easy to see that James was closer to the truth than most Christians are today.

Jesus relied on miracles to confirm his words, moreover, He told us that those that believe in Him will do even greater works than He did. Do we really believe Him?

I assure you: The one who believes in Me will also do the works that I do. And he will do even greater works than these because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in My name, I will do it so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.John 14:12-14

Powerless prayers have been rendered as such by the long, slow erosion of faith among God’s people, and that erosion has been made possible by the embracing of false traditions. For example, the kind of prayers that close with ‘not my will but yours, be done’. This is not stated in faith, in expectation of an outcome, but more as a catch-all – ‘please ignore everything I just asked for, if it doesn’t suit you.’

This is not the model of discipleship we are to follow and teach, where we are completely unaware of the will of God, and our prayers are at best guesswork. Paul urges us to walk ever more closely with God, and increasingly understand his will.

‘Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.’ Romans 12:1-2

As we yield to God’s mercy and walk closely with him, our ideas are changed. We jettison old ways of thinking, as healthier, more life-giving inspiration arises in His company, and as our minds are renewed, we become more attuned to Him and to His will. Only then, in our closeness with God, where His good, pleasing and perfect will is known, can we pray effectively.

In the early church, the lived experience of the Christian faith was far greater than it is today. There is much we have lost and must seek to restore. Back to the church as God intended as revealed in the Book of Acts.

Praying effectively: James sums it up well:

But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.’ James 1:6-8

 Adapted from the excellent article "The Prayer God Can’t Answer" by Duncan Edward Pile Patheos Nov. 23rd 2021

IRON DOME – GOD’S HAND OF PROTECTION ON ISRAEL

The Iron Dome missile defence system was voted Israel’s all time top innovation in a competition organised by the Ministry of Economy in honour of Israel’s 70th Yom Ha’atzmaut (Independence Day) celebrations. The Iron Dome is a missile and rocket interception system developed in 2007 by Rafael Advanced Defence Systems and Israel Aircraft Industries. Since its deployment, the system has intercepted more than 1,700 missiles and rockets fired at Israel, almost entirely by the Hamas terror organisation from Gaza, although it has also downed mortar shells in the Golan Heights and intercepted rockets fired from Lebanon.

I believe the Iron Dome is just another example of how God has His hand of protection on Israel. When one considers how God has protected His nation since its miraculous rebirth in 1948 and in four major Arab-Israeli defensive wars (1947-49), 1956, 1967, and 1973, it is hard to refute God’s involvement. All of these battles involved a miraculous element for Israel to win.

In the first critical weeks after the British left the region and Israel declared its independence, the combined Arab armies of Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Trans-Jordan, Iraq, and contingents from Saudi Arabia and Yemen faced a small Jewish militia with three tanks and five artillery pieces. Their intent was clear: “Destruction of Israel”. Israel had no air force and until arms were rushed in from abroad it relied on the only strengths it had: 70 years of social solidarity and a belief that God had given them this land. Israel’s citizens also understood that defeat meant the end, period.

Against all odds, Israel prevailed, it was undoubtedly miraculous but came at a high cost, 6,000 Israeli’s killed and 15,000 severely wounded. This was out of a total population of 600,000.

In June of 1967, the combined armies of Egypt, Syria,, and Jordan attacked Israel with the clear purpose expressed by Egypt’s President, once again: “Destruction of Israel”. These combined armies had approximately 465,000 troops, more than 2,880 tanks and 810 aircraft. Israel was totally outnumbered on all fronts and yet once again won miraculously. It regained in a Jubilee year territories of  East Jerusalem, West Bank, Sinai and the Golan Heights, clear evidence of God’s involvement. Want to read about “Miracles of the Six Day War” go onto the internet and be encouraged by the numerous amazing accounts.

The Arab objective of to eradicate the Jewish State has not changed, and we know from Biblical prophecy, that it will not change until Jesus returns and destroys the United Nations army that would have destroyed Israel except for His intervention.

Iron Dome voted greatest Israeli invention of all time

Iron Dome received 28 percent of the 115,000 votes cast in the online competition titled “70 Great Blue and White Inventions.”

The Iron Dome registered a 90 percent success rate during Operation Protective  Edge in the summer of 2014.

“During its years of existence, Israel has become a world power in everything related to technological and scientific innovation,” said Minister of Industry and Economy Eli Cohen.

“I am sure that the Israeli characteristics, including original thinking, boldness, rapid adaptation to changing conditions and the ability to circumvent obstacles will help us to continue to bring to the world Israeli innovation,” he added. “There is no dispute that the inventions that have just been chosen by the public as leading inventions are excellent examples of Israel’s ability to provide solutions to significant challenges, inspire the entire world and are a national pride for Israel.”