December 1

James 5:14-16 14Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. 16Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

What should people do when they are ill? James tells them to call the elders of the church to pray over them. It is such a clear and simple instruction, yet I find so few that are willing to follow it. We claim that we believe the Bible to be inspired by God, yet when we are in this situation, we do not follow this clear and simple instruction.

He did not tell the elders to chase them down and insist. The person who is sick is to express faith in the Word and the elders' prayer of faith. They should be elders because of their strong faith in God. If there is sin in the sick person's life, he should confess it. The elders need to be men who can keep it confidential.

Once these prerequisites are met, the elders can pray a prayer of faith, anointing the person with oil. The oil is symbolic of the presence of the Holy Spirit at work. The prayer of faith from the elders is a prayer that believes God hears and will act. They expect the Lord to forgive and heal them.

Consider: When you find yourself battling an illness, humble yourself before God, and search your heart. Call your elders together (the men you recognize as men of faith) and confess your sins. Ask them to anoint you with oil and pray for you in accordance with this passage. Then you will have done all that God has directed. If you remain ill, there must be a special purpose for that affliction in your life. (i.e.: Apostle Paul's thorn, 2 Corinthians 12:7)