Let Him Call

James 5: 14 – 15

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; and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up.

Earlier in this series I wrote to you on Matthew 18:19. Here is the text of that verse, “Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven.” The point of the message, and indeed of the verse, is that there is power in praying together. James addresses this point specifically related to healing. We all want to know what to do when we get sick and here is Jesus’ brother telling us exactly what to do.

Let me ask you a challenging question. Have you asked an elder of the church or pastor to pray for you for healing? If not, was it because you didn’t know this instruction or was there another reason? Truthfully, we have not been trained in the way we should go, so when things come up, we do not default towards these kinds of instructions. It is a shame that we have not been taught. After today, though, none of us will have that excuse. So, what is the next excuse?

Would you be embarrassed to ask me to pray for you? This isn’t just prayer list praying, is it? This is in person, anointing with oil. What? Does this sound weird to you? I imagine to some it does sound odd and how tragic is that? Jesus’ own brother gave us explicit instructions and yet it sounds strange to us. Some of us have been in the church for many years. This should be old hat by now, but here we are, feeling awkward. I hope, though, by talking about prayer for healing it becomes more natural to us.

There is one other part that we must tackle. You know if you get sick you are going to be hesitant to call me or another elder to go lay hands on you, anoint you with oil and pray the prayer of faith. Can we predict that? The first question is why? Why are we hesitant? The second question is, what do we call it when we have been given direction by God and choose not to do it? I think you see the problem. How are we availing ourselves of God’s grace for healing while we are in disobedience? This is a very hard lesson, I know, but believe me, things have been changing in my household as well. Once we see what God has said to us, then it is incumbent upon us to obey. Embarrassment is not an excuse for disobedience.

God loves you. He is trying to get blessing and healing to you. He isn’t trying to embarrass you. We embarrass ourselves, but don’t let that be an impediment. Do as the Lord says, receive prayer and be healed, in Jesus’ name.

The Way

James 5: 14

Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord.

James 4: 17

Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.

Now we know. We can no longer plead ignorance. James tells us, plainly, what we are to do when we are sick. And yet, do we do it? If we do not, he says we are sinning. That’s kind of harsh but sometimes the truth is a hard taskmaster. There is no variance, no partial compliance.

I do not find that people comply with James 5: 14. We do not call for the elders and ask them to anoint us with oil and pray. We just don’t. Why? Are we not doers of the Word? Do we, instead, follow the path of the world? I believe God gave us medical science. I believe in the revelation he has given us. However, I believe the first line of defense is always James 5: 14. When medicine or treatment is called for, we should always take them with a healthy dose of prayer.

Is the reason we do not call for the elders and for prayer is because we are embarrassed to admit we have problems? Do we think that problems are evidence of a lack of faith? I sure do not. Paul asked for prayer for goodness’ sake. He didn’t seem to think it was a sign of weakness. Perhaps we don’t really believe in the power of prayer. Maybe we don’t believe in the ministry of elders. Or, could it be, that our real belief problem is that we do not believe in a living Christ who cares enough for us or is powerful enough to heal us. Is our Christ dead in our hearts? Do we really, in the deepest part of our spirits, believe that Jesus is alive and at work in people’s lives to this day.

To wit, this ministry has a dynamic prayer team. We certainly don’t use them enough. I often find myself surprised to hear of challenges Christians have gone through and never requested prayer. Use the prayer request feature by clicking HERE.

I have many questions today but not so many answers. What I know, though, is that Jesus’ brother gave us a clear edict and then threw down the gauntlet to see who would actually follow Jesus.

Is there any sick among you? This world is crumbling in around us. We better figure out, real soon, how to live according to “The Way”.