"The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." (James 5.16, KJV)
Christ Community Church of Brazil Indiana has announced a City Wide Healing Service on Friday, Nov. 19, at 7 p.m. The announcement, stating, "Join us for a special evening of ministry as we come together to pray for the sick in our community and to worship God in Spirit and in Truth. Let's believe God together for a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit."
One of the fascinating aspects of my Christian walk is the wide variety of places and people I've been led to observe. For reasons unknown I have been exposed to an incredible number of Christian traditions, customs, and belief systems.
This walk began as the denomination in which I was reared made a big deal out of not believing in healing by faith. The age of miracles had passed we were assured and assured each other.
What is probably all the way on the other side of the theological spectrum was a brief exposure to the congregation led by a Rev. Pigg. The focus of his congregation was entirely on the demonic and casting out of demons. In their theology everything bad that could possibly happen was due to demons. They saw demons in physical illness, infirmities, addiction, even family quarrels. It was a very small congregation, one could understand why.
There are some things I've concluded from my eclectic walk with the Lord:
First, not very many things are demonic, or even spiritual. Most bad things are just life, some come with aging, and many self-inflicted.
Also, I've learned some things really are evil and are spiritual warfare (Ephesians 6.12). The great difficulty is that evil and spiritual warfare have to be fought and lived out in a time-space-world, involving real people with real problems. Casting out of demons is very rarely, if ever, a viable option. Effectual fervent prayer, on the other hand, is often a viable option [even my childhood church turned around and prayed for physical healing in those we loved].
I've found that for reasons inscrutable God does heal lives and bodies in this merely time and space existence.
And, sometimes there is need for a designated season of seeking God for His direction, healing provision, and answers such as initiated in this instance by Christ Community Church.
Such an old time prayer meeting is not something this congregation engages in on any regular basis. Rather, it is coming to grips with the truth that not all things are of the enemy, but some are. And, that God can and will intervene to give comfort and healing to those bearing the weights and maladies of human existence.
This is not about "faith healing." It is not about my church, or yours. It is not about this or that being of the devil, nor about casting out of demons (as far as anyone knows).
This time for prayer is about seeking God in our struggle against the malevolencies which fall on mortals. It is also about asking His assistance in battles against darkness in our existence, and for strength to know when to give those battles to Him.
Most importantly, it is about all who claim the name Christian standing as a community and crying out to God, "We need your help."
Will a time of prayer help our community? Come and see. Who knows but what you are that righteous person who can avail much for us all? On the eve of a day devoted to giving thanks to the great Provider, an increased awareness of His hand in this world can only help.
David L. Lewis is an observer of and sometimes commentator on life who may be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.