3/29- James 5:13-16
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 them well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. 17 Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18 Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops. 19 My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring them back,
Thoughts: If we are in trouble, we should pray. This makes sense- God is our greatest resource. It is a shame that for many of us we have to get into trouble before we will pray. Is anyone sick, they should call for the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. The PCUSA Book of Order allows for Services of Wholeness in which the anointing of oil takes place, and Lake Murray Presbyterian does this occasionally. The PCUSA Book of Common Worship allows for prayer for the sick with a place for the anointing with oil. Oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit- it is not magic in itself. It is a reminder that we need God’s Spirit to heal us, help us, and make us whole. The elders’ coming and anointing is a visible reminder of the Holy Spirit- who is called the Comforter, coming to help in our time of need.
Prayer: You promised Lord is two agree on earth it will be done by you in heaven. Today we claim the prayers made on our behalf in the church. Hear them, use them for healing.