Read for This Week’s Study: James 5:13-20; 1 John 5:14; 1 Cor. 15:54; Heb. 12:12-13; John 8:43-45; Prov. 10:12.

Memory Text: Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much (James 5:16, NASB).

People are fascinated by the miraculous and the magical. They often are drawn to such things as spectacles or matters of curiosity and nothing more. So, when Jesus was asked to perform a miracle merely for entertainment (Luke 23:8-9) or as a sign of His Messiahship (Matt. 12:38-41) or even to satisfy a legitimate need of His own (Matt. 4:2-4), He refused. The Spirit, by which Jesus taught authoritatively and effected miraculous healings, is not simply a power to be used; we are to be instruments in His hands. God would gladly heal everyone who is sick, but He is interested in a more substantial, lasting healing.

Thus, in this context, we will look at some crucial questions: how do we understand the words in James about the healing of the sick? Is there a relationship between healing and forgiveness in answer to prayer? Elijah is presented as an important model of prayer in a time of widespread apostasy. What can we learn from his life of prayer and his work of calling Israel back to God and true worship?

*Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, December 20.

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