Tuesday May 10, 2022
Scripture James 5: 13 Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven.
Life Lesson: No matter what situation we find ourselves in our first response should be to pray as well as to worship God.
– James exhorts the believer who is in trouble to pray. Note that he says, “Let them pray”. First and foremost prayer is a gift from God that we can utilize to call on the Lord in times of trouble. We ought not to contemplate praying about the matter, we ought to pray! How many have I heard say to me over the years, I didn’t want to make a big deal of it, or I just did not think it was something worth praying about. You matter! Your life is important and anything that threatens you is without question something you ought to bring to God immediately in prayer!
– James also says, “Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise.” We too often neglect to give the Lord praise for the blessing He has given to us. We ought to develop an attitude of praise and thanksgiving to God! Firstly, by nurturing such a response we acknowledging God’s presence and His gift to us; and secondly by praising the Lord openly we are testifying to others that we believe the Lord has provided and that witness might have a profound effect on someone’s life!
– “Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord.” James also exhorts us to call upon the spiritual leadership of the church to pray for us, those believers who have been walking with the Lord by faith for years, who have resisted the enemy time and again and have overcome, and who know the Lord hears and answers prayer! The common thread in every verse here is to pray! To seek the Lord and acknowledge the sovereignty of God in every situation!
– Unfortunately for many believers today, the first response to trouble, provisions, or sickness is to fret, worry, feel defeated, complain to others, take the blessing and never acknowledge the Lord, jump on the internet to self-diagnose, or frantically call the doctor.
– Rarely do the people of God follow the Lord’s directives to call upon the elders of the church to pray for them and to anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. James places the onus on the one who is sick to call upon the elders for prayer, not upon the elders themselves to seek such people out. The woman who was sick with bleeding sought out Jesus Christ for healing and we too ought to seek the Lord for His healing power as we act upon the authority of his word!
– Here too, James connects the illness with possible sin that may need to be confessed and repented of. This too is something only the seeker can do, no one can do it for them, and so it is incumbent upon the individual to reach out for help through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.