if any of you are sick


If any of you are sick, they should call for the elders of the church, and the elders should pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. Prayer that comes from faith will heal the sick, for the Lord will restore them to health. And if they have sinned, they will be forgiven. (James 5:14-15 CEB)

My experience through the decades has been that elders are often called for all sorts of things. Quite often they’re called when someone wants to:

  • request a favor
  • place membership
  • propose an idea or work
  • get some special attention
  • enlist their support or backing on a project
  • change up something about the church building
  • enlist some warm bodies to do some physical labor
  • leverage their position against someone else
  • spend some money in the church treasury
  • fish for confidential information
  • vent, complain, or grumble
  • make demands
  • be baptized

My experience through the years has also been that the number of requests by sick members to elders for them to come and pray over them and to anoint them with oil while all are full of faith, boldly requesting complete healing are so exceedingly rare that you can hear:

  • (sound of crickets)

I want my experience to be that all church members see their elders as people to whom:

  • they would turn to as quickly as they would call 911,
  • they can rely on to offer bold, faith-filled prayers for complete healing of dreadful, physical ills,
  • they are totally accountable for matters of personal sin so that such can be confessed, repented of, and forgiven.

If any of you are dreadfully ill, you should call for the church’s elders so they can pray over you. They should pray over you in the Lord’s name, full of faith that the Lord restores sick people to health and forgives you of your sins. Let them anoint you so, and with oil. (James 5:14-15 DSV)

So be it, in the name of Jesus.

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