James 5:14-16 (KJV) “Is any sick among you? 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 shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.”
The third circumstance is when we become sick. We are instructed to call for the church elders to lay hands on us praying in faith that we will be healed. At the same time we should be anointed with oil.
In December of 2002 I was diagnosed with stomach cancer. I was facing radical surgery, the surgeon was not sure if she would take my entire stomach or just part. My pastor at the time asked me to read these verses from James and decide whether or not I would follow the biblical instructions. I decided I would allow the pastor and deacons to lay hands on me and pray for me. I was not physically healed on the spot but there was a spiritual healing that took place that I almost cannot describe. I was totally at peace with what was about to happen in my life and felt a warmth and closeness to my Lord that I had not felt before. I knew I was totally enveloped in his arms and nothing would harm me. I understood it did not matter where I woke up. Either looking into my wife’s eyes or at my savior it did not matter. This peace is beyond mortal comprehension and I have not even begun to explain it.
The prayer of faith definitely saved me and each of us when we become ill should look to God for a healing relying on the men of God to help each of us when we are sick.
William Barclay has a comment well worth our noting:
“The Church has always cared for her sick; and in the Church there has always resided the gift of healing. The social gospel is not an appendix to Christianity; it is the very essence of the Christian faith and life” (The Letters of James and Peter, p.153).