Prayer for the Sick, Jas 5:14-15

Prayer for the Sick

Jas 5:14-15 is a very specific prayer of faith which God answers by healing the sick person and raising him up.  The conditions are these, he calls for the elders of the church, they pray over him, and they anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord.  The Lord then saves the sick, raises him up, and forgives his sins.

Doctrinally, this verse fits perfectly in the Tribulation.  Yet today, we are not so interested in it’s doctrinal application as we are in it’s spiritual application.  Clearly in this passage, someone is sick and others are praying for that sick person.

The purpose of this sermon is to encourage you in your prayer for the sick.  Here are some very specific things the Lord has done for me in answer to your prayers for me while I have been sick with Typhus.  In your prayer for the sick, the Lord:

Gives them protection.  Typhus is a bad bacteria.  It makes you very sick and, at my age, can probably do some damage.  The Lord has protected me through all the bouts of fever, coughing, breathing problems, headaches, muscle pain, sleepless nights, night sweats, loss of appetite and fatigue.  As hard as this has been, I was never afraid because the Lord’s protection was so real.  God answered your prayers by protecting me.

Gives the doctor’s wisdom.  In my case, I was only presenting symptoms of a virus.  Yet, the Lord gave my PCP and the ER doctor’s wisdom to know what to do each step of the way to treat my symptoms and discover that this was, in fact, a bacteria and not a virus.  We can truly trust the Lord to give our doctor’s wisdom to know how to medically care for us.  God answered your prayers by giving the doctors wisdom.

Gives them encouragement.  The Bible says, “a merry heart doeth good like a medicine”.  And “the spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity”.  It is essential in a bad illness or disease to keep your spirit “up”.  The set backs and duration of an illness wear on your mind.  When you already don’t want to eat, or even be near food, you must have the “will” to take care of yourself, anyway.  God answered your prayers by keeping me encouraged.

Gives them grace.  Paul learned in his infirmity this great lesson.  “My grace is sufficient for thee”.  The sufficiency of the grace of God is one of the most profound provisions of the Lord, himself.  At night, the thought of crawling back into that bed to struggle to breathe and to endure the drenching sweats was unbearable.

As Job said, “When I lie down, I say, When shall I arise, and the night be gone? And I am full of tossing to and fro unto the dawning of the day”, Job 7:4.  How Job ever made it through his ordeal, I’ll never know.  Mine was mild compared to his but what he said was true in my case, as well.

Nevertheless, kneeling beside my bed to pray, I can still hear the Lord “saying”, “My grace is sufficient for thee”.  And it was by his grace and by his grace alone that I could get through those nights.  God answered your prayers by giving me grace.

Conclusion: your prayer for the sick is very effectual and essential.  Be encouraged to pray fervently for one another when we are sick.  In my case, the four things above were very tangible and evident answers to your prayers.

Finally, because you prayed, you accomplished one other thing.  I was so sick, I couldn’t intercede like I normally do.  Yet, you were able to “fill in” and carry the load of intercession on behalf of others to whom we minister.  You picked up the slack, and this was a wonderful relief to me.  Thank you.