I think most of us would agree with the first part of today’s verses. We can pray when we’re suffering. We can praise when we’re cheerful. As I wrote in The Best Laid Plans:
We have an amazing privilege as children of God. We can talk to Him. Doesn’t that amaze you? The Sovereign Creator, the Lord of all, our heavenly Father, wants to hear our voices. That just astounds me. Who in the world am I that God would want to hear my words? I don’t understand it, but I’m grateful beyond words. Just listen to your Father: "Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know" (Jeremiah 33:3). (© 2005 Sauni Rinehart)Yes, we can speak to God when we’re hurting, when we’re confused, when we’re celebrating. And He listens.
Not only does He listen, but He delights in hearing our voices. Proverbs 15:8 tells us that “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, But the prayer of the upright is His delight.”
But then James also tells us that when we’re sick, we can call on the elders to pray over us and anoint us with oil, and we’ll be restored. And indeed that sometimes happens ... but sometimes it doesn't. God's healing often comes in ways we would not choose. Sometimes, He heals here on earth; sometimes, He heals in heaven. And sometimes, He heals a heart rather than a body.
Yes, we can pray for healing, but we have to remember that all prayer must be said with the sincere request for God’s will. Just as Jesus prayed in the garden (Luke 22:42).