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God, Please Heal Me

By A. Christian

A special thank you to my beloved husband for help with the editing.

Copyright © 2007. All rights reserved. 1


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Chapter 1 Are You Suffering? 3

Chapter 2 My Health Crisis 4

Chapter 3 Your Eternal Health 6

Chapter 4 Seeking Healing Through God’s Word 9


James 5:13-14

Chapter 5 Common Excuses for Not Praying 11


With the Elders

Chapter 6 Being Anointed with Oil 16

Chapter 7 Faith and Forgiveness of Sins James 5:15 18

Chapter 8 Confession of Sin and Prayer James 5:16 21

Chapter 9 Where Do I Go From Here? 22

References 23

Copyright © 2007. All rights reserved. 2


Chapter 1 Are You Suffering?

Unfortunately, many people suffer health issues today without relief. We have more than an
abundance of prescription drugs and specialized physicians, yet people suffer. A church’s prayer
chain will often find that the majority of requests are made for health issues. And sadly, many
prayer needs go unspoken in areas of illness. Yes, we cannot deny that our bodies are fragile and
temporary and eventually we will all succumb to a bodily death. However, I believe there is
hope for many, now, here on earth, if only we would put into practice more of God’s Word. My
dear friend, please consider the following scriptures in 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.
(NKJ)

If you are suffering from any type or degree of physical or mental illness, or if you know a loved
one or friend who is suffering, please know that the Lord, the one and only God, loves you and
your loved ones. He knows the entire situation, even though you may feel He is not there.

“…I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5 NKJ)

Take heart, the Lord cares for you with a love that is generous, devoted, and of kindly concern.
He values you. The Lord God has compassion and truly knows all your pain.

“The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit.”
(Psalm 34:18 NKJ)

He has not forgotten you. He understands your desire to be healed.

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not
overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame
scorch you.” (Isaiah 43:2 NKJ)

“For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but My kindness shall not depart from
you, nor shall My covenant of peace be removed," says the LORD, who has mercy on you.”
(Isaiah 54:10 NKJ)

Copyright © 2007. All rights reserved. 3


Chapter 2 My Health Crisis

At the age of 37, I suffered the greatest physical and emotional trial of my life. I became
emotionally shattered, suffered from severe anxiety, unable to concentrate (I could not even
write a check), greatly depressed, had great menstrual difficulties, unable to sleep, night sweats,
etc. Even after certain blood tests and others tests my physician could not determine the source
of my problem. It was during this time of medical testing that I first experienced prayer and
anointing with the elders for healing. I attended a weekly prayer meeting at our church where
our elders and others were present. They anointed me with olive oil and prayed for my healing. I
really didn’t know what this type of special prayer was at that time. As my medical test results
came back negative I was relieved and grateful, but still suffering symptoms.

A couple of months later our pastor’s wife recommended a thyroid specialist (endocrinologist)
who had helped a friend who had symptoms similar to mine. As I considered making an
appointment with this specialist (endocrinologist) I thought and meditated about the scriptures in
James 5: 14 – 16:

“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.”

Even though I had been anointed with oil and prayed over by an elder and others at a prayer
meeting a few months ago, I felt compelled to call the church and request a meeting with the
elders per the scriptures in James 5:14-16. After meditating on these scriptures, I believe I had a
much greater understanding of what God wanted me to know about these scriptures. Our church
honors such a request to prayer with the elders per these scriptures in James and has the person
usually meet with the elders in between the two church services on Sunday. When I met with all
the elders our pastor was also there. It was a very special time of prayer. After the prayer time I
felt so encouraged. God’s spirit truly was ministering to me.

That week, after praying with the elders, things really started falling into place. I contacted my
pastor’s wife’s friend and got the number of the recommended endocrinologist. Usually it takes
up to 6 weeks to get into see this doctor, but I got in within a week! Also, I went to the library
and found a book on hypothyroidism (under active thyroid condition). This book explains how
hypothyroidism is often misdiagnosed and physicians treat the patient’s symptoms rather than
the root cause.

The endocrinologist diagnosed me with an under active thyroid and he placed me on thyroid
hormone. My periods improved. The anxiety and depression became less severe. Also, for the
first time in my life, I went to a naturopathic physician who taught me the importance of
recognizing food allergies. I have an allergy to gluten and dairy and feel much better when I stay
away from these foods.

Copyright © 2007. All rights reserved. 4


I was learning things about my body that year I never knew. I believe that in praying with the
elders per the James 5: 14-16 scriptures, God honored my prayer and He began to teach me about
my body. He was showing me things that I suffered from for years, but was unaware. He was
showing me how to achieve my optimum health. Throughout the years to come I requested
prayer with the elders again; fpr example, for a neck and shoulder injury, for the use of
progesterone cream, back pain, and for an injured big toe. In each case I feel my prayers were
answered. These were not immediate healings but rather it was a healing process. In each case I
did not rush to the elders as soon as I had symptoms. Rather, these conditions persisted even
after thoughtful prayer and adherence to medical treatment.

After my personal health crisis experience and requesting prayer with the elders, I would often
find myself speaking to someone who was experiencing similar symptoms. Many times these
people were Christians and usually when I spoke to them about praying with the elders per the
scriptures in James, they indicated that they neither knew about these scriptures nor had ever
prayed with the elders for healing. When I started thinking about their reactions, I remembered
the many churches my husband and I had been to over the years. We traveled quite a bit at one
time and visited many cities. I have never read or seen in a church bulletin any information
about praying with the elders for healing. Often, there is information in the bulletin about
requesting prayer through the church’s prayer chain, being baptized or joining the church; but,
nothing about praying with the elders for healing. And I have never really heard a sermon on
this topic. Nor do I recall a pastor reminding the congregation about praying with the elders for
healing per the scriptures in James.

As I continued to study and meditate on the scriptures in James about praying with the elders for
healing I believe God was showing me this is an area where our present church is not focusing
enough attention. These scriptures are for today and we should not simply gloss over them.
People can be helped and healed if they pray with the elders for healing – God will honor their
faith to adhering to God’s word. When Jesus sent out the twelve disciples who were the
foundation of the early church, their assignment was twofold: to share the gospel and to heal the
sick. This is very clear in Luke 9:1-2 NKJ,
“Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all
demons, and to cure diseases. He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.”

Imagine if you were a new Christian back in the early years of the church. You heard about or
maybe even witnessed the disciples’ ability to heal the sick. Now imagine going forward in time
a bit and none of the disciples are accessible to you or some have even died. You need to be
healed and no disciples are around for you. What are you to do? God provides the scriptures in
James 5: 13-16 as instruction to seek the elders of your local church for prayer for healing.
These scriptures are forever relevant. They are just as important today as they were back in the
time they were first written. If God is leading us, then we need to contact our local church to
establish a time for this special devoted prayer with the elders.

Copyright © 2007. All rights reserved. 5


Chapter 3 Your Eternal Health

God is not only concerned about every second of your life here on earth, but He wants to have a
relationship with you forever, meaning for an eternity. He wants you to be in Heaven with Him
when you die. In fact the disposition of your soul here on earth and after you die is more valued
than anything here on earth.

“For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will
a man give in exchange for his soul?” Mathew 16:26 NKJ

In your quest with God for healing you must first ask yourself about the disposition of your soul.
In other words, where are you in your relationship to God? In truly assessing where you are with
God, there are two questions you must ask yourself. The first question is: Have you come to the
place in your spiritual life where you are absolutely certain that if you were to die tonight you
would go to Heaven or would you say you are still working on this?

God wants you to have assurance that you will go to Heaven. The Bible says,
“These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may
know that you have eternal life…” 1John 5:13a NKJ

The second questions is if you were to die tonight and stand before God and He would say to you
“Why should I let you into Heaven?”, what would you say? In other words, what do you say are
the entrance requirements to Heaven or what are you really trusting in to get you into Heaven?

Know this, my dear friend, that God, the one and only God, the maker of Heaven and earth,
offers Heaven, the greatest gift of all, as a free gift. Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is
death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”. We don’t deserve Heaven and
we cannot earn our way into Heaven. The Bible tells us, “For it is by grace that you have been
saved through faith and this not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works so that no one
can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9 NKJ

If you have come to the place in your spiritual life whereby you have received God’s gift of
eternal life then you may want to go on to Chapter 3. Otherwise, my dear friend, please do read
further…

What does God mean when He says that Heaven (being saved) is a gift? It means that we can’t
buy our way into Heaven, by doing good things here on earth. Imagine if I told you I am giving
you as a gift a new Chevrolet corvette. I drive it to your home and give you the keys. If you
tried to help pay me for the gift, even a penny, it is no longer a gift. A true gift is given and
accepted freely.

The reason why Heaven must be a gift becomes clearer when we understand what the Bible says
about us as humans. The Bible says we are sinners. “For all have sinned and fall short of the
glory of God” Romans 3:23. Sin comes in many forms. When we think of sin, many times we
think sin only includes murder, stealing, adultery, etc. But it is very clear in the Bible that sin is
anything that doesn’t please God or violates his law. We can sin by things that we think, say or

Copyright © 2007. All rights reserved. 6


do. We can also sin when we should do something but don’t, such helping someone in our
family who needs our help or not thanking someone who deserves our gratitude.

We may think that by doing good things we are able to make up for the bad, but our good deeds
cannot remove the bad deeds on our record before God. Even if we don’t think that we sin that
much consider if we only sinned 3 times per day. Our sin might be losing our temper, having a
bad thought or not doing something we should. Three sins a day add up to about 1,000 per year.
Even at the age of 50 we would have already 50,000 sins on our record! God does not grade on a
curve. He tells us in the Bible how many sins we can have and the answer is zero.

"Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.”


Matthew 5:48 NKJ. God cannot allow sin into His perfect heaven.

But, my friend, do not feel disheartened if you thought you could earn your way into Heaven and
realize now you can not. What you originally thought is very common. God tells us, “There is
a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.”
Proverbs 14:12 NKJ

Even though God is a just god and must punish sin, “And yet He will not let the guilty go
unpunished”, Ex 34: 7b NIV. God is also a merciful god and therefore does not want to punish
us. 1 John4:8 b says, “God is love.” That is why God solved our sin problem through his son
Jesus Christ.

Jesus is fully God and fully man. “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God
and the Word was God.” John 1:1 this Bible verse refers to Jesus; He is the Word and He is
God. Another Bible reference to show that Jesus is God is in John 20:28. This is the story of
Thomas who had doubted that Jesus had risen from the dead (hence you may have heard the
phrase “Doubting Thomas”). Thomas said that he would not believe it was truly Jesus raised
from the dead until he had seen the print of the nails on Jesus hands and touched this print and
also touched Jesus’ side. Jesus, after his resurrection, did appear to Thomas and told him
(Thomas) to reach his hand out and touch Jesus’ hand and side. When Thomas did this he
exclaimed, “My Lord and My God”.

Jesus Christ died on the cross and rose from the dead to pay the penalty for our sins and to
purchase a place for us in Heaven that He offers to us as a free gift. The Bible tells us that, “We
all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid
on him the iniquity of us all.” Isaiah 53:6

One of the last things Jesus said before He died on the cross was that “It is finished”. In the
Bible the Greek translation of this phrase, “It is finished’, is from the word tetelestai which
means it is paid, it is paid in full referring to a debt. Jesus paid the penalty for all our sins –
past, present and future.

We receive Gods’ free gift of eternal life through faith. Faith is the key to Heaven. This is a
faith which is trusting in Christ alone to get into heaven. It is not enough to know the facts about
Christ dying on the cross and purchasing a place for us in Heaven. But rather, this knowledge

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must be accompanied by trusting in Christ alone for eternal life. To better understand the
difference between knowing the facts about Christ and trusting in Christ for eternal life, consider
the following example.

You probably have a chair in your kitchen or living room. You know that the chair exists and
you know that if you sit in the chair it will hold you up. But you are not truly trusting in the
chair to hold your weight until you are sitting in the chair. Likewise you can know the facts
about Christ, but we must go one step further and trust in Him alone for eternal life before we
can receive His gift of Heaven.

The Bible says, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved…”

If you want to accept God’s gift of eternal life you can do so right now. God is always ready to
listen to you. Or perhaps you believed at one time you did accept God’s gift of eternal life but
you need assurance about your eternal life. In either case, you may say this prayer right now.

God, I know that I am a sinner and I believe that I can not earn my way to Heaven by doing
good deeds. I thank you for your son, Jesus Christ, who died on the cross to pay the penalty for
my sins. I am trusting in Jesus Christ alone to get me into Heaven. I accept your gift of eternal
life. I want to grow in the knowledge of you and your ways. Please give me an assurance in my
heart that I have eternal life. Thank you. Amen

My friend, if you just prayed this prayer and it was from your heart then God heard you and you
have eternal life. The angels rejoice in Heaven with your decision!

If you have a Bible handy, turn to John 6:47 which says, “Truly, truly I say to you He who
believes has everlasting life.”

As you have made this decision and want to grow in your Christian faith, you can do so by the
following ways. First, by reading your Bible. An excellent book to start is John in the New
Testament. You can pray to God at any time, anywhere. Prayer is simply communicating with
God. Tell others of your decision, especially Christians. Seek to fellowship with other
Christians and seek out a church if you are not currently attending.
My prayers are with you!

Copyright © 2007. All rights reserved. 8


Chapter 4 Seeking Healing Through God’s Word, James 5:13-14

In a world filled with trial, tribulation and confusion, there is one thing which is absolutely true
and infallible and this is God’s Word, the Bible. We can trust in what the Bible says. God tells
us in 2 Peter 1:20 NKJ, “knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private
interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they
were moved by the Holy Spirit.”

And in 2 Timothy 3:16 NKJ, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for
doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may
be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

As you continue to read this short book about the scriptures James 5:13-16, I encourage you to
verify any scriptures I quote and interpret. God wants us to know exactly what his Word says
and means. At times, people misquote or use a verse out of context. It is only by reading God’s
word for ourselves can we test what others say. God commends us for checking out what others
say about Him. In Acts 17:11 NKJ we find, “Now the Bereans were of more noble character
than the Thessalonians for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the
Scriptures everyday to see if what Paul said was true.” Note that the Bereans were studying the
scriptures everyday. God’s word nourishes us. We may not exactly understand or know
everything that God’s word does for us, but we do know it is vital for us.

Let’s examine James 5:13-16 one verse at a time:

13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing
psalms.

These are extremely important instructions from our loving Father in Heaven . In verse 13 “Is
anyone among you suffering?” The word ”suffering” is the Greek word kakapathei which
means “to suffer affliction”. God’s instruction in this case is to pray.

In verse 13 “Is anyone cheerful”, the word “cheerful” in Greek is the word euthomeo meaning
“be of good cheer (merry)”. God says in this case to sing songs of praise. Many times I’ve
heard people say that if we are sick or depressed we should just praise God. But this scripture
does not say this. God knows our heart and that we may not feel like singing praises in our
sickly state. That is why His instruction for singing songs of praise is for the happy ones.
Romans 12:15 NKJ says, “Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep.”
And in Proverbs 25:20 NKJ “Like one who takes away a garment in cold weather, and like
vinegar on soda, is one who sings songs to a heavy heart.” So do not feel pressured, ashamed
or unworthy if you are struggling with singing songs of praise in your situation of illness. God
knows everything we are feeling and experiencing.

James 5:14

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.

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This next verse, James 5:14, is for you my dear friend, “Is any one of you sick?”. The word
“sick” is translated from the Greek word astheneo which means to” be diseased”, “be sick, to be
made weak” or “feeble”. We all know that both physical and psychological afflictions (such as
depression and anxiety) can manifest themselves into conditions which render us weak, sick or
feeble. God’s instruction for a sick person are “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.”

The Greek word for “call for” is proskaleomai meaning “to call toward oneself, summon,
invite”. This implies that the elders must be available to make house or hospital calls if one is
not well enough to come to the church. We should never feel embarrassed about calling the
elders to our sick bed at home or hospital since God has ordained the elders for such a service.
Any church who is not making their elders available in this way must honestly examine why not,
for this is God’s command.

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Chapter 5 Common Excuses for Not Praying With the Elders

People can find many excuses for not praying with the elders. Perhaps you are embarrassed to
go into detail about your physical or emotional ailment. Perhaps you are depressed, but you
really don’t know why. Maybe you are confused because your depression may be stemming
from your environment or some type of physical or emotional problem or maybe both. Or,
maybe you have been diagnosed with a certain disease but your medication is causing bad side
effects or not completely giving you relief from your symptoms. But, do not worry. You need
not go into detail with the elders. God knows everything that is going on inside our minds and
bodies. “…For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.” Matt 6:8
NKJ

Consider the fact that the Bible most often, with the exception of Job, does not go into detailed
descriptions of ailments. Here are some examples…

“Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years.” Mark 5:25 NKJ

“Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth.” John 9:1 NKJ

“When he heard that Jesus had come out of Judea into Galilee, he went to Him and implored
Him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death.”
John 4:47 NKJ

You should not shy away from praying with the elders because you are concerned about how to
voice your ailment or are embarrassed about your particular disease. God will give you the
words to say and certainly the elders will respect your privacy should you need to simply say you
do not want to go into detail. Remember the focus is on God and His healing powers; the focus
is not on the elders.

Perhaps, you may have the excuse the ailment is not important enough to request prayer with the
elders. We should never make a decision to pray with the elders based upon what we believe the
elders will think. Rather, we should always consider what God is telling us to do. A few years
ago, I requested prayer with the elders due to an ailing back. While praying with the elders I
thought that perhaps I should also ask for prayer for a sty that was in my eye lid. However, I
kept thinking that the elders would think that a sty wasn’t that important. So I didn’t say
anything. That sty remained in my eye for about one year. During that year I thought about why
I had not asked the elders to pray for the sty. The reason was I focused on the elders and not on
God. God spoke to my heart and confirmed that He was concerned about me, even the most
seemingly minute detail, like a sty. I learned my lesson. Furthermore, we should not judge
others in regard to their decision to pray with the elders. We should always encourage one
another to consider these scriptures and let God work on their heart. The decision to pray with
the elders is between the person and God.

Here are some scriptures that support how Jesus and His disciples healed everyone that came for
healing; no one was turned away.

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“Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the
gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.” Matt
9:35 NKJ

“And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits,
to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease.”
Matt 10:1 NKJ

“For He healed many, so that as many as had afflictions pressed about Him to touch Him.”
Mark 3:10 NKJ

“And the whole multitude sought to touch Him, for power went out from Him and healed them
all.” Luke 6:19 NKJ

“But when the multitudes knew it, they followed Him; and He received them and spoke to them
about the kingdom of God, and healed those who had need of healing.”
Luke 9:11 NKJ

Maybe you or your loved one is older or in a medical situation that has a very dim outlook. In
other words, you believe that you or the ailing person are getting closer or are very close to
leaving this world and passing on. Please do not be discouraged and shy away from considering
to pray with these elders in this situation. God is a God of miracles. And even in our passing
God can provide healing medicines and wisdom to help ease our pain and suffering.

Another excuse could be you have already prayed with the elders for healing, but God has not
healed you. Maybe you believe this illness is simply your thorn in your flesh, just as Paul was
given a thorn…

“And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the
flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.” 2
Corinthians 12:7 NKJ

But, most people forget, when quoting this verse about the first part of the sentence which
addresses the reason Paul was given the thorn…”And lest I should be exalted above measure by
the abundance of the revelations”. Paul is given credit for writing as many as 14 books of the
New Testament. So, I ask you, my dear friend, in considering your thorn… what revelation(s)
did God give you in order that you would need a thorn less you exalt yourself. We must be very
careful not to assume that God has given us a thorn that He chooses not to remove. The enemy
would love to convince us all that we are destined to have thorns. Rather Christ said, "The thief
does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life,
and that they may have it more abundantly.”
John 10:10 NKJ

“And Jesus,…who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to
sins, might live for righteousness-- by whose stripes you were healed.”
1 Pet 2:24 NKJ

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As Christians, we are truly healed spiritually and will never suffer eternal separation from God
when we die because of Jesus’ sacrificial suffering and death. But, also here on earth, we do not
suffer the full consequences of our sins due to God’s mercy and His Son’s atoning sacrifice for
all our sins.

Paul asked God three times to remove his thorn before he believed that his thorn was to remain.
So, if you have already prayed with the elders for healing, do not feel you can not pray again.
Perhaps, your time for healing has come. Job suffered physically and emotionally and he
suffered due to no sin in his life, but rather it was God testing Job. And then the time came for
Job to be healed.

Another excuse for not praying with the elders is that the church is not encouraging and/or
responding to requests from their congregation for prayer with the elders for healing. This is a
church leadership problem, not a problem with the person seeking healing. The idea of people
praying with the elders for healing might be something new for the church and perhaps the
church leadership is concerned what might happen if they start to teach about these scriptures.
Perhaps, there is concern that the church will become overburdened with requests and the elders
will not be able to fit all these requests into their schedules.

But what if God is indeed moving His spirit and more Christians start to respond to these
scriptures, won’t our loving Father provide for us – where God guides, He provides.

“And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency
in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.” 2 Cor 9:8 NKJ

Moses was overburdened with requests in Exodus 18:13-27 for helping people to know God’s
statutes and to judge disputes between them. Moses’ father-in-law encouraged Moses to
delegate to other noble men the responsibility of judging disputes between others so Moses did
not have to do it all by himself. Likewise, if there is an increase in requests for prayer with the
elders, the church should look to God for guidance in how to delegate these responsibilities
should they become too much for the current elders. Perhaps God would have the church
appoint more elders or rearrange responsibilities so the elders are free to handle requests for
prayer.

Spouse or Parent accompanying “Sick” person for prayer with elders

A spouse should seriously consider accompanying their “sick” loved one to pray with the elders.
The marriage covenant between a man and a woman is a sacred union that God blesses. As the
Bible tells us,

But from the beginning of the creation, God 'made them male and female.'
'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife,
and the two shall become one flesh'; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh.
Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.
Mark 10:6-9 NKJ

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Also, nothing in scripture prohibits parents from bringing their “sick” child to be prayed over by
the elders; or bringing their request that a child be healed. We see examples in the New
Testament of parents requesting that your “sick” child be healed.

Matthew 15:22-28 Women cries out to Jesus that He heal her demon possessed daughter.
The disciples even encourage Jesus to send the woman away, but Jesus rebukes them kindly and
heals her daughter.

John 4:47-54 Man asks Jesus to come to his sick son’s bed and heal him. Jesus tells the man
that the son is healed and indeed when the man returns and finds his son well, he learns that the
hour he was healed was when Jesus said his son was healed.

Certainly, there may be situations where the elders can not physically be next to a child or person
in a hospital. But, this would not preclude that parent or spouse or loved one coming to the
elders and praying for healing for the “sick” one.

Praying With Elders Compared To Praying With Congregation

In calling for the elders, the scripture also implies a special time between the sick person and the
elders. It does not say one should call the elders and the whole congregation. Some churches
today appear to have forgone this special time of elders meeting with a sick person. Rather
anyone who is sick is instructed by the church leaders to come to the alter during a service and
pray with all, some, or none of the elders of the church and also the congregation.

There is nothing wrong in going forward before the congregation and to be prayed over:
However, going before the congregation for prayer is not a substitute for God’s instruction in the
James 5:14-16 scriptures. The church elders should always be available if someone requests a
private special devoted time for prayer and anointing by the elders. God wants his children to
have a special devoted time with the elders to focus on Him and His healing wisdom and powers.
In addition, a private meeting allows for a confidential explanation of the person’s illness. And
the person may want to confess sin.

The word elders is the Greek word presbuterous, which comes from the Greek root word
presbuteros; meaning “elder”, “a senior”. Have you ever wondered the origin of the word
Presbyterian or Presbyter? It came from this Greek presbuteros word for elder. A local church
may not use the term elders and instead may call this group of overseers deacons, bishops,
overseers, pastors, priests, etc. The name called these people is not important but rather it is their
position which qualifies them to fulfill the role of elders as described in James 5:14. If you have
any questions about who the “elders” are within your church, ask your head Pastor or Priest who
they consider elders as stated in James 5:14.

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What About Faith Healers?

In these days, many Christians appear to be seeking faith healers, those who claim to have the
gift of healing or a special anointing. Note that James 5:14 does not say “Is anyone of you sick?
He should call one who has the gift of healing to pray over and anoint him….” My dear friend,
please think about this for a moment. For God is not a God of disorder, but of peace, 1
Corinthians 14:33. God loves you. He does not require you to try to figure out who has gifts of
healing or who is a counterfeiter. He does not require you to travel outside of your local church
and spend money in order for you to receive special “faith healing” attention regarding your
illness. He does not require you to seek out one who has a “special anointing” in regard to
healing the sick. God gives to the elders of the local churches an unique authority to pray over
the sick. When we disregard God’s special instruction for us to first pray with the church elders
and instead we seek a faith healer we are in effect disobeying God.

There are those in the church today who believe that many are sick and remain so because their
church does not have those with gifts of healing. This simply is not true according to God’s
word.

The elders are not required to have gifts of healing in order to pray with the sick. Rather, the
requirements of an elder/bishop/overseer and deacons can be found in
1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9. These scriptures list requirements such as being blameless,
sober-minded, of good behavior, not greedy, not violent, not covetous, not self-willed, not quick
tempered etc. No place in these scriptures in Timothy or Titus does God list a gift of healing as a
requirement for an elder. God is the one who heals the sick. God is true to His word, therefore if
He says to pray with the elders then we must trust Him on this regardless of what we see going
on in the world today with so called faith healers.

If your church will not honor your request to have the church elders pray over you as per the
James 5:14-15 scripture then pray to God and ask him to show you a church that will pray with
you. As God’s Word is true He will provide a church that will follow His divine instructions in
this area.

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Chapter 6 Being Anointed with Oil

After calling the elders of the church, God says that the elders are to pray over the sick one and
anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. The word “anointed” in the Greek is aleipsautes.
Aleipsautes is a past tense form of the Greek word aleipho meaning “to anoint with oil or
ointment”. Aleipsautes means having anointed. Since the Greek word aleipsautes is the past
tense we can conclude that the anointing is to take place at the beginning of the praying with the
elders. “He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and “having anointed him’ with
oil in the name of the Lord.”

In this verse, oil is the Greek word, elaio, meaning “olive oil”. Therefore, this is a ceremonial,
not a medicinal anointing. One is to be anointed with olive oil, not anointed with a salve or
ointment. The word in Greek for ointment or perfumed oil is muron. The original Greek word
here in James 5: 14 is elaio meaning “olive oil”, not ointment. When the elders anointed me, one
elder took a little olive oil and placed it on my forehead. Another time at another church, the
elders did not use any olive oil at all. They believed in these particular James scriptures and
explained that the true anointing is from the Holy Spirit. However, if you feel you want the olive
oil to be part of this pray time, I would suggest you take some olive oil with you and ask to be
anointed, if this is not part of the usual process.

There are other examples in the Bible where people are anointed with oil olive as part the
ceremony and prayer. For example, God instructs Moses to anoint Aaron in
Exodus 9:4-7 NKJ. In verse 7 it says, "And you shall take the anointing oil, pour it on his head,
and anoint him.”

In the New Testament we see that Jesus sends out his twelve disciples and they anoint people
with oil and they are healed. Mark 6: 13 NKJ
“And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick, and healed them.”

Returning to James 5:14 let us not forget the last part of this sentence “in the name of the Lord”.
There is only one true God and when we acknowledge in our prayers that we are coming to the
Lord, in the name of His son, our Savior, Jesus Christ, we are honoring God, the one and only
true healer.

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Chapter 7 Faith and Forgiveness of Sins James 5:15

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.”

This is an extremely rich verse. A person’s faith is an essential part of the prayer offering. We
see other accounts, especially in the New Testament whereby a person’s healing is vitally linked
to their faith.

Woman with a fountain of blood healed: Mark 5:34 NKJ “And He said to her,
‘Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your
affliction.’”

Blind Men healed: Matt 9:29 NKJ


“Then He touched their eyes, saying, ‘According to your faith let it be to you.’ "

Women’s daughter healed: Matt 15:28 NKJ


“Then Jesus answered and said to her, ‘O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you
as you desire.’ And her daughter was healed from that very hour.”

Lepers healed: Luke 17:19 NKJ


“And He said to him, ‘Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well’."

Blind Man healed: Luke 18:42 NKJ


“Then Jesus said to him, ‘Receive your sight; your faith has made you well.’ "

If you feel inadequate in your faith, then pray, “Lord , help my unbelief”. This is the same
prayer that a Father cried out to Jesus when he was seeking healing for his son who had a mute
spirit (Luke 9:24 NKJ) . Do not let the enemy condemn you in this area of faith. Please
remember, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do
not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:1 NKJ

Christians often forget Satan will try to wreck havoc with us in the areas of our health and
working with the medical community. Truly, most medical practice persons do have a desire to
see people healed. Yet, we must remember that this is an area of our life whereby the enemy
may indeed masquerade as an angel of light. The health practitioner, although well meaning,
may not be seeking Godly wisdom. Our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and the enemy
walks around as a roaring lion seeking to destroy us. We need Godly wisdom as we try to
navigate through the medical community and be healed. We must seek the Lord’s help in regard
to our health.

Having faith and praying with the elders does not preclude seeking out help from the medical
community. Seek God as the Primary Physician, believing He could heal immediate and
miraculously or may heal involving instruction or a procedure. God demonstrates different ways
of healing in the Bible. Most of the New Testament healings involve an immediate miraculous
healing. However, there are also healings involving an instruction. For example, in Chapter 38

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of Isaiah, the Lord hears Hezekiah’s prayer and decides to give Hezekiah another 15 years to
live. In Isaiah 38: 21 NKJ Hezekiah receives instruction to prolong his life, “Now Isaiah had
said, "Let them take a lump of figs, and apply it as a poultice on the boil, and he shall recover."

In the New Testament, we also see an example of a process of healing. In John 9, we find Jesus
healing a man blind from birth. Instead of just an outright immediate healing, Jesus makes clay
and anoints the man’s eyes and then instructs him to wash in a pool. Verses 6-7 NKJ, “When He
had said these things, He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the
eyes of the blind man with the clay. And He said to him, "Go, wash in the pool of Siloam"
(which is translated, Sent). So he went and washed, and came back seeing”.

We should always approach God’s throne with an attitude of “with God all things are possible.”
Matt 19: 26. We should approach with an attitude that God can, should he desire, to heal
immediate and miraculously. However, we should also approach this time of prayer in seeking
God’s wisdom for working with doctors and taking medicines. James 1:5-6 NKJ says ,”If any
of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it
will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave
of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.”

Often healing is a result of receiving God’s healing knowledge for us. For example, an allergy
ridden person can be healed once they have the healing knowledge of what is causing the
allergies. Or a person is healed once they have the knowledge and pursue a certain operation or
certain type of drug therapy or natural supplement program. The healing may take place over a
certain period of time.

Why does God choose to heal some people immediately, while others have a process to be
healed and yet some are taken from this earth in what seems a premature death to us? We are
mere humans and can not fathom God’s ways, and there will be times that God does not reveal
everything to us. However, we can find comfort in the Proverbs 3:5-6 scripture, “Trust in the
LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways
acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” NKJ

What if I told you about a lady who was married, had a husband and three children, and found
out she had cancer. This lady had faith that God could heal her and she prayed with the elders of
her church for healing. Over the next two years she was in and out of the hospital fighting the
cancer when she became very ill. One day on her death bed, she was miraculously healed – she
felt no more pain and in fact felt better than she ever had. Would you say she had been healed?
Yes, she was completely healed as she had left this world to be with her Lord and Savior. “…
absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.” 2 Cor 5:8
(NKJ). Ultimately as Christians, we all will be healed completely, be given imperishable bodies
and live forever in the presence of our God.

“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow,
nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Rev 21:4
NKJ

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We shall suffer no eternal consequences from our sins as Christ paid the penalty for our sins as
he was beaten and crucified as our substitute. “But He was wounded for our transgressions, he
was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes
we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5

And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven”.

Note, that this part of the verse starts out by stating, “if”. Certainly no one would like to think
that their current illness has been brought about by one’s own sin, but the Bible does give
examples where sin in our lives can indeed affect out health. To not examine this part of
scripture would be negligent in gaining the full counsel of God regarding healing.

In the Old Testament, we learn that once the Israelites had departed from Egypt and were in the
desert, God tested them and made an ordinance and covenant with them, God said,

"If you diligently heed the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in His sight, give
ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which
I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the LORD who heals you."
Exodus 15:26 NKJ

And in Proverbs…

“Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your
body and nourishment to your bones.”
Proverbs 3:7 NKJ

“My son, pay attention to what I say , listen closely to my words. Do not let them out of your
sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to a
man’s whole body.”
Proverbs 4:20-22 NKJ

We also see in the New Testament in 1 Corinthians 11:28-32 NKJ the consequences of one who
partakes of the Lords’ supper in an unworthy manner…

“But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup.
For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not
discerning the Lord's body. For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many
sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we
are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.”

There are obvious sinful behaviors which we can see are linked to one’s health such as
alcoholism, drug abuse and smoking. But what about the behaviors which are not easily seen to
be linked to one’s health, such as adultery , or refusal to be reconciled with one’s spouse or
children, or refusal of one’s responsibility to a widow or family member.

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All the medicines and physicians in the world can not cure a sinful heart. Only the sinner can
make the decision to repent and be cleansed by God’s forgiveness. As the second half of verse
James 5:15 says, “And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven”. We need to examine our
heart before God and repent of any sin. Perhaps God is trying to get a hold of your attention –
perhaps your sin is that you are striving too hard and not taking care of yourself. This self
examination and repentance should be part of the Christian’s daily walk with Christ; it is not just
reserved for times of illness.

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Chapter 8 Confession of Sin and Prayer James 5:16

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.”

This verse should be applied to every Christian every day of their lives, not just to be considered
during times of ill health. We, as Christians, should be carefully considering our ways every
day and if we have sinned we should make things right. When praying with the elders, one may
feel lead to confess a certain sin(s). According to these scriptures, God, does not require that we
confess our sin(s) to the elders. But you may feel compelled to confess your sin(s) to the elders.
Do as God leads you.

On the other hand, confession must be made to the party that your sin has affected. The word
“healed” is the Greek word, iaomai meaning “heal, make whole”. We are surely healed
spiritually when we confess a sin to the one we have harmed. God is also telling us our physical
well being is also wrapped up in our confession of sin.

Perhaps it is hard for you to confess a sin to someone because it has been such a long time since
the sin was committed – maybe even many years. It is never too late to do the right thing. Take
the next step, God will help you. If we need to apologize to someone, or if we need to help
someone out when we have been negligent, or if we need to make a change in a relationship with
someone, then by all means, we should do so, today.

“The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much”. Likewise, this part of verse
James 5:16 should also be applied everyday in our lives, not just during times of ill health. God
is reminding us that prayer is indeed important and through our prayer, whether we realize it or
not, we and others are indeed spared from adverse situations.

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Chapter 9 Where Do I Go From Here?

Perhaps God has already placed it on your heart to pray with the elders for healing. If so, do not
delay. Our Father in Heaven is such a loving Father. He loves you so much. Remember, “If
God is for us, who can be against us?” Rom 8:31 NKJ
He eagerly awaits your special time in prayer with the elders as you come together to seek Him,
to be anointed and pray for healing.

Or perhaps after reading and thinking about these scriptures you feel compelled to add your
name to a prayer chain, or to share your illness with a spouse, relative or friend and ask for
prayer. Maybe you realize you need to encourage someone who is suffering to seek God for
healing. Or, maybe you have felt convicted of sin in your life and you need to confess your sin
to the one(s) you have sinned against. Or, maybe you have been so discouraged over your
situation that you have ceased taking your ill health burdens to God. Remember, He does care.

"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be
opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?
Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give
good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things
to those who ask Him!”
Matt 7:7-11 (NKJ)

“For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but My kindness shall not depart from
you, nor shall My covenant of peace be removed," says the LORD, who has mercy on you.”
Isaiah 54:10 NKJ

My prayers are with you my dear friend.

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REFERENCES

PC Study Bible Software by Biblesoft, Seattle WA, Version 2.16, October 1997. Biblesoft
references are from Strong’s Greek Dictionary

The Analytical Greek Lexicon Revised edited by Harold K. Moulton,


Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1990.

The Zondervan Parallel New Testament In Greek and English,


Zondervan Publishing House 1975, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Evangelism Explosion, Third Edition


Tyndale House Publishers 1983, Wheaton, Illinois

Copyright © 2007, all rights reserved

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