Published on November 11, 2013
Why Pray for the Sick? James 5:13-16
James 5:13-16 13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. 14 Is anyone among you sick? 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. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
Introduction Miracles had an important part of the early church To reveal truth To confirm the truth To show God agreed with the teaching To guide the early church before the New Testament was written and distributed Many think that our text is talking about miracles
Misunderstand what a miracle is People use “miracles” in a broad sense today Birth of a baby Survive a car crash Recovered from a serious illness Miracles in the NT Man could not accomplish on their own They were instant They were complete
Misunderstand what a miracle is Man born lame – Acts 3:1-11 The healing was instantaneous The healing was complete There was no recovery period There was no doubt this was a miracle Acts 4:15-16 15 But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, 16 saying, "What shall we do to these men? For, indeed, that a notable miracle has been done through them is evident to all who dwell in
Misunderstand what a miracle is Raising of Tabitha (Dorcas) – Acts 9:36-42 The raising of Eutychus – Acts 20:9-12 Many others can be mentioned
James does not indicate a miracle Prayer for the sick God heard and answered our prayers But this is not a miracle When we pray for a loved one and they recover It took rehabilitation, medication, time to heal Call for the elders Some elders in 1st century did have this power But all Christians did not have all gifts 1 Corinthians 12:4-11
James does not indicate a miracle Miracles in James 5? There is no evidence for miracles here The context is – The suffering should pray, the happy should sing. No miracle is needed for: Forgiveness of sins Cheering the discouraged Supporting and encouraging the sick
The point of James 5:13-16 The Power of Prayer Prayer requires faith, not doubt (James 1:6) Prayer can accomplish much We must trust that God will answer Fervent Prayer of a Righteous Man (16) Elijah was a man like we are No miracle was needed – just some clouds “It happened because God wanted it to happen.” Of course He did.
The point of James 5:13-16 Ask according to His will 1 John 5:14-15 14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.
The point of James 5:13-16 God Listens to our Prayers 1 Peter 3:12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their prayers; But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil." Listen – is more than hearing the words, it involves understanding, compassion and response
The point of James 5:13-16 Glorify God in your prayers Pray for healing Knowing that healing will be in God's will Knowing that God's will must be done Knowing that miracles by men have ended Knowing that God can do great things in providence Miracles have ended, but God has not ceased to work in our lives
Conclusion Too many lack faith in prayer They seem to lack trust in the power of prayer They are not sure that God hears or answers their prayers If you are not confident in prayer – repent. If you are not confident in prayer – Why are you praying?
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