James 5:14-16 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. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
Calling on the elders of the church to pray for us when we are sick and confessing our sins to brothers and sisters in Christ may not be the first things that jump to mind when we consider how we should combat sickness. It is humbling...sometimes it may feel humiliating. But the Lord, through the writing of James, encourages us to do this. Our prayers have great power to work when we humble ourselves before Him and His people.
In fact, James goes on to compare this kind of prayer to the prophet Elijah. In verses 17 and 18 he says this:
Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.
The prophet Elijah had prayed that the Lord would hold back rain from Israel because King Ahab, Queen Jezebel and the people of Israel were behaving wickedly. So for 3 1/2 years, it did not rain! Then he prayed, and it rained.
You know what? Elijah was not greater than we are! He was just a man! Do you want that kind of power? Humble yourself; confess your sins; call the elders to pray for you.
There was a moment in my treatment process where I hit a wall, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I reached out for the Lord and I couldn’t feel Him. All I felt was pain and fear and despair. At the urging of my husband, I went to the elders of my church. I confessed my fears and doubts, and cried out for mercy. The elders prayed that day for me with such fervency, I promise you the building shook. My father (and pastor) came over to me as I wept. He picked me up and held me in his arms. He told me that this was a physical representation of what the Lord was doing in the spirit.
I left that time of prayer changed. I wish I could say the fear and doubt left and never came back...that didn’t happen. I continued to fight and confess my sin and pray for forgiveness and healing in the months and years that followed. But I was changed after that. The prayers that day had great power and are working in me to this day!
I recognize that I am sinner, and it’s by Your grace alone that I have salvation and healing. God, I humble myself before you. I will call on the elders of the church to pray for me and anoint me with oil. I will confess to Godly men and women my faults, and I will be healed. I declare that my prayers have great power and are working in me to heal!