Praying in Faith for Others

     Pastors, ministers, and church leaders should always be prepared to pray effectively for other people. However, there are some specifics in the Word of God about for whom a leader should pray, how a leader should pray, and what decides if the recipient of the prayer receives.
Call for the Elders of the Church
     James, the Lord’s half-brother, was the pastor at the church in Jerusalem. We can learn a lot from him about praying for our congregants. In James 5:14-15, he wrote:
Is any sick among you? 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 shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. (James 5:14-15)
     God requires those who are seeking prayer to take action! My spiritual father used to say that people often expect the blessings of God to “fall upon them like ripe cherries off a tree.”  In other words, people don’t seek, knock, or ask. They just think that somehow the desires of their hearts will be granted. No, God says that people need to do something!
     James 5:14-15 tell us that if someone is sick, he or she should call the elders (or ministers) of the church so that they can come and pray.  As a pastor, I’ve seen people get upset and leave the church because they were sick and no one came to pray for them—but they never called the church! I operate by the Holy Spirit, and He does tell me things, but He doesn’t tell me everything about everybody!
     Teach your congregation that if they’re sick, they are supposed to make the phone call and ask for someone to come pray! If the individual is unable, a relative can call, as long as the person for whom prayer will be made is willing to have the minister visit.
How to Pray
     When the elders come to pray, they are supposed to pray the prayer of faith. They shouldn’t pray doubt-filled prayers! We train our ministers how to pray the prayer of faith for those who call upon them. We’ve seen many, many thousands of people healed in response to the prayer of faith!
      It’s important to “locate” the faith of the person for whom you are praying. In other words, is the individual ready to believe for God to work through the doctors? Is the individual full of faith and ready to receive healing through the Word of God? Find out where you can connect your faith to theirs and begin at that point. 
     All effective prayer must be prayed in faith. There are a lot of Christians who do a lot of “hopin’ and a- prayin’” as my spiritual father used to say! They’re just “a-hopin’ and a-prayin’” that somehow, some way, things will work out!
     There is a place for hope, but the Bible doesn’t tell us to pray the prayer of hope. It does, however, tell us to pray the prayer of faith. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not yet seen, so hope is important to faith. Hope is a positive expectation. Hope has to do with the future, but faith knows that you have whatever you are praying about now.
     Faith comes from hearing and hearing the Word of God. Speak the Word; listen to others preach the Word; sing the Word, and pray the Word! Everything goes back to the Word of God! After you pray the prayer of faith, you should instruct the individual on how to release his or her faith by speaking the Word and giving God thanks and praise!
Lay Hands on the Sick and They Shall Recover
     The prayer of faith (with or without anointing with oil) is one way to minister healing. Another way to minister healing is through the laying on of hands. Jesus’ last instructions to His disciples included this method of ministering healing:
He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. (Mark 16:16-18)
     Jesus said we would cast out demons, speak with tongues; we’d be protected from deadly attacks, and we would lay hands on the sick, and they would recover! All of these wonders would be done in Jesus’ name. What does the phrase, “in my name” mean?
     The word that is translated name is onoma in Greek. It doesn’t refer to what a person is called, but to authority and character. When we pray in the name of Jesus, we are praying in His authority. When I delegate authority to an employee, I give that person the power to do what I would do in particular situations. When we pray in the authority of Jesus, it is just as if He were praying!
     The word that is translated Lord is Kurios in the Greek. It means the supreme authority over all. When we declare, “Jesus is Lord,” we are saying that Jesus is the supreme authority in our lives. When we pray in the authority of the Supreme Authority, you’d better know that things will change!
Holy Ghost Power
     The Holy Ghost and healing go hand-in-hand. There is no such thing as a “sick Holy Ghost” or a “depressed Holy Ghost.” Acts 10:38 tells us that God anointed Jesus with the Holy Ghost and with power.
How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. (Acts 10:38)
     God anointed Jesus because He walked this Earth as a man anointed by God. Yes, Jesus was fully God and fully man, but He operated on this planet as a man, not as the Second Person of the Trinity.  Jesus went about doing good because the anointing of the Holy Ghost empowered Him to do so.
     You are a man or a woman anointed by God. Therefore, you should be going about doing good. There is Holy Ghost power available to you.
     I began this article with words from the pastor James. He mentioned that when someone is sick, he should call on the elders of the church to pray for him and anoint him with oil in the name [authority] of the Lord. The oil represents Holy Ghost power. “Anoint” in the Greek is “chrio” and it means, “to rub or smear with oil.”  You have the authority in the name of Jesus and you’ve been anointed with Holy Ghost power.  Now go out and do good!

This article is written by Bishop Keith A. Butler