James 5:13-16 – “Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”
What I appreciate about this passage is its simple and practical. Problem – Solution.
In light of the fact our condition here is the recommendation, the remedy, relevant to the event.
For me there are several keys to this:
1)When in trouble, we should turn to God for help
2)When things are going well, we should turn to God with praise
3)The prayer offered in faith
4)Call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint with oil.
The Scripture in Mark 6:12-13 showing these very things in action. Who and what; “They went out and preached that people should repent. They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.”
Why the oil? In the New Testament book of Luke 10 there is the parable of the Good Samaritan. In verse 34 it says, “He went with him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine.”
Please know, this is not me recommending this as medical advice. In the ancient world oil was used for such things and in such ways.
My focus is anointing with oil.
There is no magic in the oil. In my understanding the healing comes from God through a prayer offered in faith. The action of anointing with oil is an outward sign that the person is being set aside for special attention before God for a specific reason.
Hebrews 11:6 – “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.”
In the passage of prayer in James 5 it cannot be stressed enough, it’s not the oil but the prayer of faith being offered according to the will of God.
Search the Scriptures. One thing I’ve noticed is that whether it’s the anointing of kings or the sick the action draws our attention, focuses on God’s presence and God’s call.
James 1:17 – “Every good and perfect gift is from above coming down from the Father of Heavenly Lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”
Let us continue to read from James 5:17-18 - “Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain for 3 and a half years. Again he prayed and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced crops.”
What that tells me is – Prayer is powerful and not to be taken lightly.
We have been given a powerful weapon, a mighty tool that is to be used for God’s glory and the well-being of our people.
Look how James ends his writing on the Prayer of Faith in verses – 19-20: “My friends, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring them back, remember this, whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover a multitude of sins.”
What the world of unbelievers will scoff at is the idea of being saved from a spiritual death. We all have a choice to believe the way of the world or believe what the word of God says.
1 Peter 4:7-8 – “The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”
This Sunday is the second week of Advent. For me our congregation will be lighting the second candle that represents “Love”.
There is a host of churches here on the island. If you don’t have a church home come out and visit one.
Come to be blessed! You may find you’re the blessing!