Several years ago, a woman in our church received news that no pregnant mother wants to hear: "Your baby has Down syndrome." The diagnosis was unnerving and the prognosis was bleak. The family called the elders to pray for healing. We had the privilege to anoint the mother and pray that God would supernaturally intervene. Several months later the mother delivered, and although the baby was born with Down's, many of the conditions the doctors predicted did not come to pass.
James 5:14-16 is clear in its teaching about anointing and praying for the sick. James gave some choice principles to guide the believers' thoughts, discussion, and practice of praying for the sick.
â€¢ They could and should pray for healing. James encouraged those who were sick to be anointed and prayed for. People should pray with confidence for complete healing until it is obvious that God has chosen to do otherwise. â€¢ Elders, in a limited way, were given authority to act on behalf of Jesus. This does not mean that elders in the church have special healing powers or righteousness. It means they have a privilege and responsibility to pray for the sick in Jesus' name. â€¢ The oil had no special power. It is simply a sign to aid faith, or a symbol of the presence of the Holy Spirit, the One who provides healing, comfort, and assurance. â€¢ God is sovereign. James wanted his audience to realize that God is not obligated to heal anyone.
God still heals supernaturally (and through natural means, using medicine and physicians). Our responsibility is to be obedient to Scripture and to pray for healing in faith and humility. , Marvin Williams, Our Daily Journey
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