AMP - 15 And the prayer [that is] of faith will save him who is sick, and the Lord will restore him; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.
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This is a great question. Both these concepts are foundation elements in the Christian life. I will discuss each separately then pull them together as a ministry. Prayer is simply conversation with God. We speak and God listens. Then God responds to our prayers to meet our needs to express his love and devotion to us. God speaks and we listen. Then we obey what God tells us to express our love and devotion to him. Most often God speaks through his word. Sometimes he speaks by the Holy Spirit to put thoughts in our minds, give us visions/dreams, open our eyes to see signs in our circumstances, or open our ears to hear the wise counsel of friends, etc. Prayer simply reflects a vital personal relationship with the one and only living and true God who engages with the children of his family (those who have come to faith in Jesus and received his salvation). Faith is a fascinating concept. It is not the same thing as belief. Belief is the intellectual decision of the will that something is true. Faith is the conviction and assurance that what we believe is trustworthy. Belief is something that we choose to do whereas faith is an attitude of the heart. When we hear the gospel of Jesus Christ we will naturally decide whether to believe it or not. Will the evidence in the message about Jesus convince us that it is true. That’s why it is vitally important to read the bible – particularly the New Testament that records the life of Jesus and the gospel message about his saving work on our behalf. God has provided enough evidence to convince us that his salvation plan is true. When we choose to believe, we receive God’s salvation. He forgives all our sins and gives us his Holy Spirit to dwell within us. This Spirit breathes life into our spirit restoring the gift of eternal life. Then the Spirit opens our eyes and heart to understand the message of the bible. As we hear or read the message of the bible, faith is formed in our hearts. We become convinced that the Word of God is true. This conviction leads us to trust God and obey what he tells us to do. The more devoted we are to God – making him the most important relationship in our lives – the more pleased he is to “strengthen our faith” and “increase the measure of our faith” in order to obey what he calls us to do. We need our faith strengthened to accomplish the good deeds that God has already prepared for us to do. We need an increase in the measure of our faith to obey the leading of the Spirit as prayer ministry opportunities grow for healing and miracles. Now back to your question. The bible tells us to pray for those who sick, asking God to heal them. This prayer requires faith – to believe that God hears us, to believe he can heal and to believe he will heal in response to our prayer. When we obey this command to pray as God gives us people to pray for, then God is pleased to strengthen our faith. We may pray many times and never see or hear of an answer to our prayers. That is faith. Trusting that we are obeying God’s purposes without seeing a result. God is always pleased with faith. God expects us to pray with expectation and anticipation that he will answer us, but we still need to leave the matter to his sovereign and perfect will. Over time, as we pray and minister to other people, God will begin to show us the results of our prayers and establish us in a ministry of prayer and intercession. The gifts of the Holy Spirit will be expressed and we will begin to hear directly from God how to pray for people, to experience divine and miraculous healing. Stay close to God, read his word daily and walk in obedience as he leads and guides us to pray for others. This is how praying in faith works.
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