Bible Reference: James 5:13-16
Bible Text: Are you hurting? Pray. Do you feel great? Sing. Are you sick? Call the church leaders together to pray and anoint you with oil in the name of the Master. Believing-prayer will heal you, and Jesus will put you on your feet. And if you’ve sinned, you’ll be forgiven—healed inside and out.
Bible Translation: The Message (MSG)
Just yesterday I shared on the importance of including ‘So That…’ in our prayers. In our scripture today we see where God used James to tell us that there are times when we just need to pray. In the first instance, James is teaching us that when we are suffering, or having hardships, or hurting, we should pray. Even though I believe that God would have us share one another’s burdens, I also believe that this scripture is telling us that it is way more important that we go directly to the master Healer and the One who cares about our hurts and misfortunes. In this instance the Bible doesn’t say ‘instead of…’, yet I believe we can conclude that without heeding to this advice, our normal action would probably see us resorting to whining and complaining to the extent that no one wants to be around us! Another instance that James advised on, is when we are sick then we should call on the elders of the church and have them anoint you with oil and pray over you. Now I would ask that you careful read this, because the Bible went on to say that based on the faith of the individuals and the prayer offered in faith, GOD will do the healing. Please, please, please don’t ever put a religious leader in a position where you thank them for the healing, or think for a moment that there is any power in their human touch. James clearly reminds us that Elders/church leaders are simply instruments that God uses to be His hands and feet on the ground. Now I believe all of what James has said so far, and I believe this would make most of us happy. However, in verse 16 James adds that although he shared with us how very possible it is for God to heal us physically, yet we must also realize that we have a deep responsibility to live a life pleasing to God so that we may be healed spiritually. To do this, we are taught that we must confess our sins one to another and pray for one another SO THAT we may be healed. Friends, I believe this is where we are reminded of so many other references in the Bible that confirms that we cannot be burdened down with the sin of the world, when we approach our holy God. We must be prepared to cleanse the inner man, if we expect to approach God for in all honesty for physical healing or any other prayer requests. I often reflect on the point that God and/or His Holy Spirit will not reside, or become involved where sin abounds, so if we want healing, or if we want God to intervene in any way in our lives, then we must be prepared first of all to deal with our sin. Remember, the earnest, effectual prayer of a righteous man, availeth much. Could there be reason for you feeling likes your prayers sometimes hit a brick wall and are ineffective?
Lord Jesus, I often wonder how such a righteous and holy God would put up with such a mess as You see in our attempt to live life here on this earth. I just can’t comprehend the love that You not only portrayed on Calvary for us weaklings, but the love and patience to put up with our failures each day. In Your Word You have challenged us today to not only seek physical healing for ourselves, but to first work through the misfortunes or our failures with each other. Please forgive us Lord for our inadequacies and our failures. Please build us up to not only be confident in our witness for You, but to be instruments that are usable by a holy and righteous God. Lord, may our lives, and may the words from our mouths, and the meditation of our hearts be acceptable in your sight, our Rock and our Redeemer – all for Your ultimate purpose, and plan. AMEN!
If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to http://www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!