“Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the fish’s belly. And he said; ‘I cried out to the Lord because of my affliction, and He answered me. Out of the belly of Sheol (the grave) I cried, and You heard my voice.’” Jonah 2:1-2
Many times sickness can be completely overwhelming. The longer it continues, the more you begin to lose hope. Sickness and disease can make you feel like you’re a prisoner in your own body. I’m sure that’s exactly how Jonah must have felt when he was trapped inside the belly of the whale. But just like Jonah cried out to the Lord while in that fish’s belly, the best thing that you can do when you are sick is to cry out to God in faith.
Let your faith be encouraged today in the phrase, “AND YOU HEARD MY VOICE.” God is no respecter of persons! He promises to hear the cry of the righteous. (See Psalm 34:15,17.) God will always hear and answer the prayer of faith for healing.
To be clear, God does not hear and answer EVERY prayer. James 4:3 tells us that one of the reasons for unanswered prayer is praying incorrectly. It says, “You ask and do not receive because you ask amiss…” There are rules to prayer. God has not obligated Himself to answer every prayer. But He has guaranteed to answer every prayer that is prayed in faith.
In Matthew 21:22 Jesus said, “And whatsoever things (that includes physical healing) you ask in prayer, BELIEVING, you will receive.” Here the Lord makes it clear that the most important qualification to answered prayer is faith.
I have discovered that most prayers for physical healing are not prayed in faith. They are prayed either in fear or in hope. You pray for healing in fear when you are scared of what might happen to you if you do not get healed. You pray for healing in hope when you are looking for God to heal you sometime in the future. Prayer for healing made from these standpoints will not be answered.
What does it mean to be in faith? For the answer, let’s look at Hebrews 11:13 where we find four characteristics of a person who is in faith. It declares, “These all died IN FAITH, not having received the promises, but HAVING SEEN THEM afar off WERE ASSURED OF THEM, EMBRACED THEM and CONFESSED that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.”
The first characteristic of a person who is in faith for their healing is that they can SEE THE PROMISE. In other words, they are no longer moved by their current circumstance; instead they are only moved by what God’s word says. Fear and worry are no longer in their life because they are walking by faith and not by sight.
The second characteristic of a person who is truly in faith for their healing is that they are completely ASSURED of God’s promises. Roman 4:21 says that Abraham was “fully convinced” that God would make good on His promise. In other words, all wavering has been removed from their life.
The third characteristic of a person who is in faith is that they have EMBRACED God’s promises for themselves. Have you ever noticed how it is easier to believe God’s promises for someone else than it is to believe Him to do it for you? Well, a person who is in faith has confidence that God’s promise for healing applies to them as much as it applies to others.
And lastly, a person who is in faith will maintain a good CONFESSION of faith after they have prayed for their healing. It does no good to pray in faith and then turn around and talk doubt, worry and fear. You are actually undoing your prayers when you talk like that. A person of faith will confidently confess that they are healed even when their symptoms tell them different.
Confession: God’s Word works for me. I refuse to doubt, worry or be in fear. I confess that by His stripes I am healed.