“Is any sick among you? Let him call for the Elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up.” – James 5:14-15.
Here in James 5:14 and 15, if a person is so extremely ill that he cannot attend or come to church, the Elders of the church should go to him. These verses give the scriptural procedure for how to pray for people who are bedfast, homebound, immobile that are in such a situation.
Verse 14 gives the Rights of the Sick. “Is any sick among you? Let him call for the Elders of the church.” When scriptures refer to the sick, this does not describe people with minor ailments such as the common cold. It refers topeople who are physically frail or feeble due to some bodily condition. Their condition has rendered them unable to freely move about; they are homebound by this infirmity and unable to come to church to receive prayer for healing.
This situation gives the sick the biblical rights to call for the Elders of the church to come to their bedside and pray over him. Not only pray, but to anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. In James 5:15, we read the promises that if faith is present when the Elders pray, the Lord will raise up the sick believer from his bed of sickness.
This sick brother has the God-given right in his condition to call for the Elders to come to his aid. The Elders have a duty to obey the Word of God and go to the bedside of this brother and stand as a representative of our Lord Jesus Christ and command healing for this brother. The Elders must follow the formula that James speaks of.
First, the Elders must come to the bedside of the sick. Second, the Elders must pray over the sick brother. Third, the Elders are to anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. As the Elders follow this pattern with the prayer of faith, the sick will be saved. This lets us know they were near death. Once the Elders do what they were called to do, the Lord is obligated to keep and perform His word by raising the person up.
The word “raise” is the Greek word egeiro, which means to raise, it is the root from which we get the word resurrection.
This lets us know that the sick person is gravely ill, just might be death at the time of prayer. This would explain the urgency with which the prayer is to be offered.
Don’t forget that it is “The Lord” who raises up the sick from his bed of affliction. As we who are Elders carry out our responsibilities, it is God who works with us and performs the miracle of healing.
Here we see a beautiful picture of God and man working together to bring healing to those who are sick and disabled. As we Elders stand at the sick person’s bedside, acting, and speaking on Jesus’ behalf, we have the Word of Promise that God’s power will be ignited to raise him up from his bed of affliction! Know that the sick have rights also.
The Rev. Kerry Price Sr. is the pastor at Breath of Life Church at Pine Bluff.
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