14 Is anyone among you sick? 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. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 [j]Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, [k]fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
James 5:14-16 (NKJV)
Last week, we were invited to share and speak at OSL. The Order of St. Luke, (OSL) is a prayer group in Gadsden that meet every first Thursday of the month. The main focus of the group is to pray for the sick. David felt led to share a message on James chapter 5 verses 14 to 16. And to share with you this message, here is his notes. We hope this will encourage you too.
SCRIPTURAL BASIS FOR ANOINTING THE SICK WITH OIL AND PRAYING FOR THEM
Reading: James 5:13-16
(Parallel scriptures: Mark 6:7-13 & Mark 16:14-18)
- There is no “magic” in the anointing oil. We are simply obeying the scriptures when we anoint the sick and pray for them.
- “The sick are healed not by the elders’ power, nor by the anointing oil, but by the Lord’s intervention – either through indirect means (medical treatment) or His supernatural healing.” (Dr. David Jeremiah)
- All healing is from God – whether through medical treatment & the body’s natural healing processes OR through a miracle from God.
- It follows that healing can be accomplished over a period of time OR in an instant if God so chooses.
- Faith plays an important role:
- “And the prayer of faith will save the sick…” (James 5:15)
- Remember to have faith in God for healing, however, not faith in faith!
- But we must be careful not to assume, when someone is not healed in the way that we want, that it was because of a lack of faith.
- Sometimes, God allows sickness or infirmity for a reason:
- To keep one humble and to show God’s power through our weakness:
- “And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (II Corinthians 12:7-9)
- To discipline a believer:
- “In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” (I Corinthians 5:4-5)
- “Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. For if we judged ourselves, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.” (I Corinthians 11:27-32)
- However, we must be careful not to assume that someone has sin in their lives when they are not healed in the way we wanted.
- Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth, and His disciples asked Him, saying, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’ Jesus answered, ‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in Him.” (John 9:1-3)
- “There were some present at that season who told Him (Jesus) about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.’” (Luke 13:1-5)
- To accomplish a greater purpose which will benefit others and glorify God
- Joni Eareckson Tada – though God did not heal her, she has inspired millions of people with disabilities
- To take believers home to be with Him
In some instances, God chooses to heal someone by taking them to be with Him. Remember that this world is not our home. In the words of the old Wayne Watson song, “At the ultimate healing we will be Home Free.”
- Notice the role that confession has in healing:
“Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed.” (James 5:16)
We have all heard that confession is good for the soul, but it is good for the body, too! We protestants, since we believe in the priesthood of all believers, do not believe that we need to confess our sins to an earthly priest in order to be forgiven. This is evident from I John 1:9:
“If we confess our sins, He (Jesus) is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
However, there is value in confessing our sins to our spouse, a trusted friend, or a prayer partner – someone we know that we can trust – who will not repeat the matter as gossip. (Share Christian Brothers prayer time as an example.) Such confession is incredibly freeing, ridding our soul of unnecessary guilt and condemnation. (No guilt trips!) Confessing our sins to our spouse, a trusted friend, or a prayer partner also helps that person to hold us accountable for our actions.
- Effective/Fervent prayer is a powerful force:
“The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” (James 5:16b NKJV)
“The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” (James 5:16b NIV)
- So, let’s spend some time now praying for each other – especially for those who are in need of the Lord’s healing touch. By: David Creel