“14 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. 15 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. 16 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.
James 5:14-16 NIV
I read this Bible verse and I believed it – wholeheartedly. I’ve been challenged recently to not just read the Scripture, but to believe it – really believe it.
““14 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. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well…”
If God did great miracles in the New Testament, there is no reason He can’t do it today too. If the disciples back then were used as instruments to bring life, there is no reason that the church today could not be used to bring life. In the next devotion, we will see how James tells us that we have the same nature as Elijah… one of the most powerful prophets of the Old Testament! If that nature is in me, God can use me when I contend for prayer in the power of God and see it come to pass.
With a revived boldness and belief, I went to the hospital to pray for a family friend. He had gone to the hospital to have surgery on his foot, but had a reaction to some medications that were given to him. Shortly thereafter, he went into a coma.
Laura and I went to the hospital. We prayed for healing in the name of Jesus. We anointed him with oil. We contended with God to make him well. We prayed boldly and desperately asking for healing. We commanded the illness, in the name and in the power of Jesus Christ, to depart. I believed that he would be raised up. We didn’t go to conduct a church ritual to prepare him for death. We were contending for the miraculous – to see him rise up and be healed!
Two days later he died. I was angry with God. Then I read the verse again.
“15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up.” James 5:15 NIV
The Lord will raise him up. The verse doesn’t assure that the Lord will raise him up at the hospital or in the illness. It assures the Lord will raise him up. James encourages me to keep praying. There will be moments of discouragement… pray anyways.
There are times when a prayer of faith will see the sick made well. If I am faithful in praying, there will be times when healing comes. There will be times of rejoicing. There will be times when God supernaturally responds. God is faithful. James encourages me to keep praying anyways!
There are other times as well. There are also going to be times when a prayer of faith will not see the sick made well. People die. Mourning happens. There are times when illness lingers and pain continues. There are times when we lose loved ones. James understood… after all, his brother was crucified! Still, the bold little brother of Jesus reminds that even in those times, God is faithful. James encourages me to keep praying anyways!
I am pressed, but not crushed. Perplexed, but not abandoned. Struck down, but not destroyed. Lord You have empowered me to pray still. Though my heart may be tired and tested… I will pray anyways. Though challenges arise… I will pray anyways. Though times may be overwhelming, I will pray anyways. In the strong name of Jesus Christ, amen.