Praying Earnestly

By John Dunning

James 5:14-18

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: [15]And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. [17]Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. [18]And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.

Did you know that the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ is a ‘Healing Church’? We can trace backwards through Church History and see how many thousands of people, saints and sinners alike, found healing and restoration in the Church, from its beginning to present day. This fact alone should make us want to be a part this ‘God-Ordained’ institution. Notice, James begins this passage with a general call to the sick, whether it be in mind or body; “Are there any who are sick among you?” Of the many things we have come to realize about our human race, we know sickness is a part of our life while here on Earth. I love the following passage concerning the ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ;

Matthew 9:35

“…Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.

This capsulizes the ministry of the Lord Jesus during His 3 ½ year ministry while on earth. And at the Day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit descended upon the 120 who were praying in the Upper Room in Jerusalem, they were baptized of the Holy Spirit and received the power to go into all the world to preach the gospel, they were also anointed of God to fulfill the same type of ministry of the Lord Jesus throughout the world; this was the ministry of teaching (explaining) the Gospel of Christ; preaching [proclaiming] the Gospel of Christ and healing ‘every sickness and every disease’ among the people. The ministry of teaching, preaching and healing has been replicated throughout the centuries by the church up to present day.

The Lord wants you to be healed, happy and well! And this condition of well being is for you, if you meet the condition that James has expressed in our opening passage. God loves you and wants you to enjoy His very best for you – He is on your side – even though bad things often happen, the Lord has always been by you to help you get through it by fully trusting in Him.

If you are contemplating ending your life because of a momentary grief seems too much for you to bear, I want you to know first, before you take drastic action, that God is existing in your past; He was always there to help you, and, He is by your side now, and will be by your side in your tomorrow’s, and we can learn to depend upon Him in our tomorrow’s by learning to draw near unto him today.

James tells us, Are you sick? Or going through a test and a trial that seems to want to overwhelm you to the point where you don’t believe you’ll ever get over it? Are your wounds so deep you don’t think you will ever heal? In such a case, James says there is something you will have to do; that is to call for the elders of the church and let them ‘pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord Jesus’. Then James says, “And the ‘prayer of faith’ shall save [comes from the Greek ‘Sozo’{verb form ‘sosei’ “I save, I heal, I deliver}] the sick and God shall raise him up, and if he has committed [any] sins, they shall be forgiven him.” Through this process, James writes that God will restore you, or anyone who is willing to trust Him, to health.

This is a process that all of us, no matter what we are going through, should consider. After all, will doing what James has exhorted us to do hurt us, or damage us anymore than what we are already damaged? No matter what capacity we hold our thoughts and feelings in our heart toward the Lord Jesus, one thing we can all agree on is this; He has our best interest at heart, after all, He was willing to die on an old rugged cross for each and every one of us, and He ‘knows the feelings of our infirmities’ and took them unto Himself, bearing them while upon a crucifix, not for Himself, but for us. It is true; He loves you and me; to a depth that neither of us can comprehend, but if we are willing to trust Him, I do not believe for a second that He will disappoint us.

Blessings – PJ (rbtc86@gmail.com)