James 5: 14-15 ~ I’m Wondering…

I’m not called the Happy Wonderer for nothing. There are lots of things I wonder about. Right now I’m in the midst of my yearly Bible reading (reading each book of the Bible 20x ~ which will take way longer than a year) I’m in the book of James.

James 5:14-15 ~ “Is 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. And 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.

So my questions are:

Has anyone called their elders when they are sick? Did they come?

Did they annoint you with oil and pray for you?

If you haven’t done this, why not?

Is it a common practice?

What has your experience been with this instruction?

Leave a comment with anything that might help my wondering….

http://www.albany.edu/~ka762934/anointsickpic.gif

6 thoughts on “James 5: 14-15 ~ I’m Wondering…

  1. Hi Ellen: I DO have an answer for this post. In the late 1970’s, I was hospitalized and diagnosed with a large mass on the left side of my stomach. My general physician felt they would have to call in a surgeon after I’d had a battery of tests to remove the large lump about the size of a grapefruit he said. With three school aged children at home, I wasn’t looking forward to whatever this would entail at that time in my life, so I called my Church and several of the men in our Bible Study who were elders and deacons in our group visited the Hospital one evening and brought oil and annointed me and prayed for me. No, it wasn’t a usual thing in our group but we did it believing God would hear and answer and the next morning, when the surgeon came in to talk to me and examine me, the mass was gone. Just gone. Praise God, He touched me! I will always remember that verse in James. Thanks for bringing this up. It worked for me.

    Abigail, Thanks so much for responding. Praise God for this amazing answer to your prayers and the prayers of these faithful men. Blessings.

  2. I definitely have done this when it was something major and we were very blessed that they came immediately. Usually every Sunday at church after service they have prayer and you can be annointed with oil by the elders and be prayed for there too.

    Susanne, I love to hear about believers taking this teaching to heart and following through! Blessings…

  3. We did this when the girls were little and we had a Bible Study with our friends, Lenny and Margot. All the men at the study laid hands on me and prayed for me. It was very meaningful.

    Kathy, I think there is something about laying hands on one another in prayer that is good…

  4. We don’t do this enough. Sydney Anglicans are rather cognitive and don’t tend to do this much at all, which I think is a shame as clearly we are told to. My little man (Josiah) was prayed over – mainly by me and others in our family as we didn’t belong to a good church at the time – when he had a kidney problem as a baby. No oil. Just prayer. He was healed. I have no doubt God did it. My brother was prayed over when he nearly died after having an infection in the cavity of his neck. Again, no oil. Just exorcism-like prayer. (!? Love to hear what you think about that. We were still at the dodgy church at that time). He was fine after a few weeks of antibiotics (yes, I don’t think the exorcism was effective because I don’t think there was anything spiritual to excise. I think people were being led by animistic beliefs mingled with Christianity, But maybe that’s just the rational Sydney Evangelical in me?). But you know, often when I’m sick or someone in my family is sick, I don’t call the elders. And people aren’t always healed even if we do.

    And is there a link between sin and sickness according to these verses? What is that about? I have lots of questions too, Ellen. Sorry I haven’t really answered any of yours!

    Miss M, Thanks for sharing your experiences. Like you I still have many questions but I’m more willing to be pro-active with this teaching instead of ignoring it.

  5. What’s your experience, Ellen?

    Miss M, For several years of my Christian life I never saw this put into practice. I wondered about it. My father would always visit people at home or in the hospital when they were sick and he would pray for them. One thought about this I have is that the one who is sick should call. I have had the experience with people who felt that the elders should know they are sick and they should be the ones to call the sick people and offer to come over. I don’t agree with that. I mean it’s ok if the elders do that but for us to have the mindset that everyone should know our every need without our communicating and asking for help is ludicrous. In the last few years the churches we have attended have been more active with this practice. Prayer is offered every Sunday after the service to anyone who wants it. The elders have gone to homes and prayed and annointed people with oil. I’m thinking our pride holds us back and we miss out on a lot because of that. Anyway as you can tell I too still have more questions than answers. I do feel that if you have a loved one that is really ill WHY NOT call the elders to come and annoint and pray. It seems silly not to. I’d also call everyone in the Christian world I know to pray too. And yes it has been my experience that some are healed and some are not. I think there might be more to this teaching than the healing aspect. The caring, the support, the love, the hope, the peace that this practice extends is a good thing…

    So here I am still learning and waiting for the gaps in my understanding to be filled! Blessings on you….

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