. . . .the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; . . . . . .

James 5: 15

GOD has given us HIS very specific plan for DIVINE healing. After the passing of the original apostles who were empowered to heal, that ability and responsibility was passed on to the church.

In James 5: 14-16, we are told exactly what to do. Verse 14 assumes that the sick person is part of a New Testament church. Since many churches do not recognize elders, the best we can do is call out the men of the church. Please note the plurality of elders (or in our case men). This is extremely important! One or more of these men must have faith in what is being done. Verse 15 says,
"And the prayer of faith shall save the sick. ."
If we call out a single individual, be he a preacher, a Sunday school teacher, or whomever, he may come out of a sense of duty, but may not really have the faith that is required. Not everyone believes in GOD's plan for healing. In the absence of faith GOD is not committed to heal anyone.

Having sufficient faith brings us to the next point which is really number one and must precede the above. Verse 14 says the sick person should call for the elders. This simply means that he should call upon the men in full faith that GOD will honor HIS promise. It is not enough to simply think, "We'll try it and see what happens." JESUS said in Matthew chapt. 21, that believing precedes our receiving (paraphrased). The importance of this activity requires our absolute belief!

Please note, the elders were told to go somewhere (to the sick person) and do something (anoint him with oil). Most of us are willing to pray for someone if we can do it where we are, from our home or church. However, GOD has said that the elders' faith should be coupled with two activities.

Does seeking GOD's help mean that medical treatment of an on-going/chronic condition should be stopped? Not at all! GOD often uses doctors in HIS work. What should happen is that one's condition gets monitored more closely so that when the faith acquired healing begins to take place, the quantity and frequency/duration of treatments can be reduced.

In my own experience, on 2 occasions the men of the church have been called out to pray because of an illness. Once was for my wife and once for me. For my wife, it was for chronic headaches and for me, it was for West Nile Virus. In both cases, GOD responded as he said he would! Statistically and according to man, the WNV should have killed me, but GOD kept it from happening. We have seen GOD work through our men on the life of a 3 year old grandson (a cancer patient) of one of our former members. We were called out while the child was in the hospital receiving some serious treatment. As I recall, he had been stricken for a year or more. At last report, GOD had honored our prayer and provided the young fellow near total remission.

If you are part of a Bible believing, New Testament church, there are probably men in your congregation with adequate faith to seek GOD's help as James prescribes. If you will exercise the faith to call them out, GOD will use them and do great things.

In conclusion, two questions come to mind:

  • If we can trust GOD with our eternity, can we not trust HIM with our physical health for the brief period we spend on earth?
  • Can we expect GOD to answer our prayers when we fail to do what HE tells us?
May the HOLY SPIRIT guide you in your consideration of and prayers about GOD's plan for healing.

Some other sites you may find beneficial: Glorify Him, What the Church Should Be, Shepherds not Leaders, Soul Winning: Another Look, Scriptural Belief In JESUS. Water Baptism, Scriptural Prayer

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