Lesson 1 will be a short lesson, since so much time has been spent in introduction and directions for study. But the truths presented in Lesson 1 will be the basic fundamentals upon which the entire course revolves. Start your memorization program with the quotations listed in the introduction.

Memorize today: “Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go; keep her; for she is thy life." Prov. 4:13.

Question: How can I know it is God's will to heal me? Why is it important for my healing that I should know it is God's will to heal me? Should I pray for healing and include the words, “If it be Thy will"?

Millions who are sick today could be perfectly well. God laid the plan and purchased healing for them at great cost, and made it available to all His people for the asking. Yet many of these sick people pray a great deal. Many of them have prayed for healing, and have passed through healing lines again and again in some of the most successful healing revivals of our time. They pray much but receive little.

Thus, practical experience and observation tell us that there is something more needed. Prayer alone is not enough to bring deliverance. And God's Word tells us the same thing. “ Ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord. Jas. 1:6,7.

Many of those who ask and fail to receive add to their prayer the words, “If it be thy will." They feel certain that this is the pattern of prayer that Jesus set for His people to follow. They fail to realize that when the disciples asked Jesus, “Lord, teach us to pray," Luke 11:1, the pattern which Jesus set did not contain the word “if"! He did indeed include a petition that God's will should be done in earth. But every petition in the entire prayer is a positive request. Give us. . .forgive us. . .lead us. . . deliver us.

Many have quoted Christ's prayer in the garden, when He cried out in agony of soul, “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done." Luke 22:42. Let it be remembered that Christ was not praying to change anything. Re had known from the foundation of the world that He must drink this cup. He had chosen before He came into the world to drink it. He was compelled by His love for lost humanity to pass through this bitter agony. Nevertheless, He declared that He could yet have been spared. In Matthew's account: “ Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?" Matt. 26:53, 54.

“This is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us:" I John 5:14. You cannot even be assured that God hears your prayer unless you know that you have prayed in His will.

“And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him." I John 5:14,15.

So then, all that is necessary in order to receive healing -- or any other petition that we might ask of God -- is to be assured that our prayer has been heard. And all that is needed to be sure the prayer is heard is to be ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN that we have asked a thing which God wills to give us. It is that simple.

We are dealing with the subject of HEALING. A man is sick. He longs to be well. His suffering has become unbearable. He has prayed again and again, “ Oh God, if thou wilt, thou canst make me whole! If it be thy will, heal me!"

The person who prays for healing and then adds the words, “If it be thy will," is openly confessing that he is not at all sure of receiving healing. The “if " in your petition denotes doubt. That sort of prayer cannot possibly be classified as asking “in faith, nothing wavering." Time spent in praying this way is time wasted, so far as obtaining your healing is concerned, for God has said of such a prayer, “Let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord!" Jas. 1:7.

In fact, such a prayer is an insult to the character of God. None of you, as Christians, would dare declare that God COULD NOT heal you if He so desired. You know that He created the worlds with a word, and hung the stars in space. You know that He made the first man out of the dust of the earth, formed perfectly every nerve and sinew, and then breathed into his nostrils the breath of life so that he was no longer a lump of clay nor a natural brute beast, but a living soul. You know that whatever He willed to do with man, He has the power to do it. Yet you feel that, having that power, He might as a matter of caprice prefer to see His creature suffer? What would you think of a man who enjoyed seeing his servant suffer? “Cruel! Sadistic!" you would say. Yet that is the accusation that many thoughtlessly make against the character of God.

Let me put you on notice, and I will give you the Scripture to prove it, that God is not such a God!

“Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth." III John 2.

“For there is no respect of persons with God." Rom. 2:11.

“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;" Jas. 5: 14, 15.

When Jesus was upon earth in the flesh, there is no record that He ever refused to heal anyone who came to Him for healing.

“And great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all; Matt. 12:15.

“And Jesus went about all the cities ... healing every sickness and every disease among the people." Matt. 9:35.

“And he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed ALL that were sick:" Matt. 8:16.

“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.

Health and healing were God's will for His people before Jesus came to earth.

Nearly 1500 B.C., God promised, “ If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight ... I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee." Exod. 15:26.

By believing God's promises today, God' s people can still be as healthy and strong today as His people were in 1500 B. C. , for we are still serving the same God. But we are under “a better covenant, which was established upon better promises." Heb. 8:6.