Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray. Are any of you happy? You should sing praises. Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord. Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven. Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.”
James 5:13-16 NLT
Simple, practical things we should do as children of God and as the family of God. Going through difficulties? Pray. Happy? Sing. Sick? Call for the elders of the church to come pray over you, anointing you with oil in Jesus name. Anointing oil is mentioned 20 times in Scripture, 16 in the Old Testament and 4 in the New. Anointing oil was made with myrrh, cinnamon, and other natural ingredients. It was aromatic (fragrant). Old Testament High priests, and their descendants, were "anointed" with oil by having it poured upon their heads by the prophet (see Leviticus 8:30). This was symbolic of God's choosing and favor upon them. It was a ritual of consecration and appointment to the service of God. In the Mark 6:13, the disciples anointed the sick with oil. In Mark 14:3-9, Mary anoints Jesus feet as an act of worship. In James 5:14 we are instructed to anoint the sick in the name of Jesus. In Hebrews 1:8-9, Jesus is anointed "with the oil of gladness". Jesus is recognized as the Anointed One of God. When we anoint someone with oil (not motor oil by the way - there is a funny story I could tell about that), we are using the oil symbolically as the anointing of God upon the person. We are anointed by God with the Holy Spirit! “And you know that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. Then Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.” Acts of the Apostles 10:38 NLT As Christ's representatives we have the honor of coming together in agreement for God's healing touch upon our fellow believers. We are instructed to do so in today's scripture text. There is power in Jesus name and, when we agree in harmony, supernatural things happen. The last thing we are instructed to do in today's scripture is to confess our sins to each other. We all need to be able to, in the right place, at the right time, confess our sins to other believers. My personal recommendation is men to men, women to women. This keeps us honorable. We all live in this sin cursed world and need our fellow brothers and sisters to help us along this journey. We should be able to share things with our brethren. In doing so, we find freedom. God has provided the church as a place of hope, help, and healing. Can you imagine what would happen if church congregants would come clean and seek God? Revival would sweep through the church and God's favor would be poured upon us. Is there something you need today? Do what the scripture says. God is always ready and waiting.
Rev. Curtis Norris