Lesson for December 20th, 2014
Prayer, Healing and Restoration
We tend to focus on physical healing and forget that we also need spiritual healing— which is more important because of its eternal significance.
Glue, duct tape, a broken object for each group member (check a dollar store for inexpensive items), Bibles
Connecting with the Scripture Topic
- Have each group member take a broken object and do his or her best to restore it with glue and tape. Share the accomplishment you felt when the object was restored. How do you think God feels when we ask for physical and spiritual restoration?
- Share with the group a story of a miraculous healing. If you or someone you know was healed physically or spiritually, describe what happened and give God the glory!
Sharing and Receiving Scripture
- Do we turn to God in prayer often enough for spiritual healing or do we tend to focus only on physical healing?
- Thought Questions
- He or she needs to take the first step and call the elders of the church.
- The elders are to pray for and anoint the sick person with oil “in the name of the Lord.”
- Everyone involved in the anointing must have faith, or the healing won’t work.
- It is guaranteed that the sick person will be healed.
- It is guaranteed that God will hear our prayer of faith. We can then use that faith to believe that God knows best.
Read Mark 2:1-12. What can we learn from the paralyzed man’s story?
- Soul healing is just as important as physical healing.
- It is always our sins that make us sick.
- Jesus has the power to heal both body and soul.
- Sickness is not always the result of a particular sin but rather a consequence of living in a sinful world.
- Jesus died to give us the confidence that our sins can be forgiven.
Read James 5:17, 18. What does Elijah’s life teach us about prayer?
- Since we, like Elijah, are human, we can expect the same prayer results that he had.
- If we want God to answer in our favor, we need to pray “earnestly” like Elijah did.
- For reasons we may not understand, God sometimes waits to answer prayers.
- Just because our prayers aren’t answered doesn’t mean that we should give up on praying.
- If the answer to a prayer is “No,” our all-knowing and loving God always has a reason.
Read James 5:19, 20. How does this text challenge us today?
- God needs us to be out there looking for wanderers.
- We can play a part in turning someone from death to eternal life!
- Both men and women (“brothers and sisters”) are called to evangelize.
- Jesus’ mission was to seek the lost. When we seek out the wanderers, we are acting like Jesus.
- Being used for someone’s spiritual healing is even more important than being used for his or her physical healing.
Applying the Message of Scripture
Gather in groups of two or three. Choose one of the following options and work on a solution. Then report back to your group when your facilitator says time is up.
- Option 1: Read James 5:16. Is it really necessary to confess our sins to each before we pray for each other? What benefits could there be in doing this? Discuss your ideas.
- Option 2: Think of someone you know who is wandering from God. As a group, discuss ideas for reaching out to this person. Should you go visit him or her? Invite this person to lunch? What should you say? Or should you just love him or her?
- Option 3: As Christians, what obligations do we have to be both spiritually and physically healthy? If we’ve blown it, is it still OK to go to God and ask for healing? Discuss your views.
Valuing Scripture in Your Life
- Think about your physical and spiritual health. Are you nurturing both? If you feel one or both need attention, decide to start taking better care of yourself—with God’s help.
- Have you been disappointed because someone you love wasn’t healed? Were you angry with God? Stop and consider all you know about Jesus. Do you believe Jesus is a God of love who may have had a reason that you can’t see? Remember that at the Second Coming, your prayer will be answered with an eternal “Yes!”