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Fully Devoted in Prayer

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James 5:13–18 ESV
Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. 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. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.
Well today brings us to the end our Fully Devoted series walking through the book of James
James 5:13–18 ESV
Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. 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. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.
James 5:13–18 ESV
Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. 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. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.
James 5:1 ESV
Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you.
James 5:123-18
PRAYER
PRAYER
James is bringing his letter to a close.
He has taken us through a handful of areas that are meant to bring clarity and establish Christ followers in a faith that is more than lip service.
And as he does so, his point is this. In all that I have taught you, wrap it in prayer.
We have 3 categories of life that James is pointing out here. It is meant to be an all encompassing look at our lives.
1. suffering- unpleasant experiences that come from outside
Suffering that was happening in James day because of persecution for their faith, or simply engaging with evil in the world
And he has been talking about this throughout his letter and John spoke to us about that last week. tests and trials he calls them in chapter 1.
And we have seen that our prayer in these circumstances is not necessarily deliverance, but perseverance and strength
The other manifestation of evil he speaks of is sickness. It is not from outside, it is from inside. It is no ones fault. It is. There is no one to point a finger at.
sickness -
and between them he places --cheerfulness
And for each he gives a prescription. How should we respond when we are experiencing each of these in our lives.
He says when you are suffering - pray!
When you are cheerful-praise!
When you are sick get others to pray for you.
In other words the prescription to any situation is to respond in a way that reflects your relationship with God and His people.
How does your natural response, your default response to suffering, cheerfulness, or sickness, reflect your relationship with God?
When you suffer. Do not face it without prayer. Without leaning and seeking power beyond your own!
Do not walk without perspective.
When you are cheerful, things are going great - the birds are singing, she said yes, you had more than 3 people watch your facebook live!! Its a good day--don’t leave God out of it. Live lives of celebration and thanksgiving to God.
And when you are sick, don’t suck it up and bear it. Call on your church family to surround you and pray for you.
Whatever your circumstance, respond in a way that reflects your relationship with God and His community.
How is your situation different, because of your relationship with Jesus?
How does the perspective that the Gospel brings change the way you look at your suffering?
Your blessings? Your illness?
In all of this James says wrap yourself in prayer like a warm blanket. Don’t leave Jesus behind.
What is your default in these situation? Default, anger, fear? What is your security blanket.
James says drop those and cling to Christ in prayer.
(Pic #1)
We all have things that we cling to. When we are suffering we might complain, or wallow.
When things are going well, we rely on ourselves and have not need for Jesus.
When we are horribly sick we lose hope.
Anything we naturally go to tells us something about where are heart is.
We are all familiar with this guy. He had a blanket.
As he is finishing off his letter to the church in Philippi, he says,
In fact he never let go of it. It was his blanket when he was suffering, cheerful or sick.
We are all familiar with this guy.
In fact there is only one time in the history of Charlie Brown where Linus drops his blanket.
Does anyone know when that was? (I’ve shared this before)
It is when he is quoting the Christmas Narrative in in the Charlie Brown Christmas Special.
when the angels say to the Shepherds “fear not for I bring you tidings of great joy”
Swept up in the moment, Linus drops his prized possession
James question for us in this text is, what is your security blanket?
It ought to be a life wrapped in prayer, and finding security in the object of your prayer.
He gives a......
Philippians 4:8–13 ESV
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Philippians 4:

I. Prescription of Prayer for Life (v.13)

The divine prescription that James calls his readers to, that Jesus calls his disciples to is a life of prayer.
And James took this seriously.
We see that in his repetition of the word- he calls on us to pray 7 times in this short text.
Historically there is evidence that James wore his conviction to pray on his body.
Eusebius an ancient historian wrote of James:
“his knees grew hard like camel’s because of his constant worship of God, kneeling and asking forgiveness for the people.”
There’s an image you won’t see that on the front cover of GQ!
But he whore his conviction on his body!
I had someone come out to look at our roof a few years back.
When he showed up, he had my immediate confidence.
‘m not handy!!
Jame took
He had a truck full of equipment and when he got out of his truck, he was muscular and had leathery hands that told me this guy was a hard worker.
I don’t want someone with arriving on a bicycle with flip flops and swiss army knife!\, and a Sponge Bob T-Shirt.
I want guy with dirty boots and scars!
James talked about prayer, because he had walked through the fire of persecution and came out the other side because he was a man of prayer. He wore the scars of prayer.
John Stott was once asked by a pastor how he prepared such great sermons.
And his answer was simply.... “on my knees”.
And his answer was simply.....on my knees.
The pastor asked.. “What do you mean?”
I mean.....ON MY KNEES
“Prayer is not a convenient device for imposing our will upon God, or bending his will to ours, but the prescribed way of subordinating our will to his.”
As Christ followers, prayer ought to be a unifying characteristic of how we approach our lives. Whether suffering, whether cheerful, whether, sick.
And we see as we look at the text that as John Stott says,...
Pic #2
“Prayer is not a convenient device for imposing our will upon God, or bending his will to ours, but the prescribed way of subordinating our will to his.”
It is a prescription for the Christian walk.
to bring out in us characteristics that cannot come when we know no suffering.
To take on the characteristics that Jesus highlights in the beatitudes of Matthew chapter 5
poor in spirit
those who mourn
the meek
those who hunger and thirst for righteousness
merciful
pure in heart
peacemakers
those persecuted for righteousness
These are characteristics God invites us to. They cannot come when when we know no suffering.
Or fail to acknowledge him in our joy.
BUT
Tough lesson.....
That is not what we are taught!
When are told that what makes us who we are and significant is when we attain our dreams on our strength and our vision.
And that leaves little room, and no framework for dealing with or even believing that something good can come from something that we didn’t plan or create.
And that creates in us hearts that seek cheerfulness created by ourselves. And when we don’t attain it we see no purpose.
The Gospel says something very different. Something very backwards.
That there is actually worth and growth and benefit to suffering, sickness, and cheerfulness when seen with the proper lens.
We just celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary. Now many of you know this and showed your love and support of us by giving that fact a thumbs up on Facebook - and I really felt that you meant it! So thanks.
I went in to get my eyes checked about a month ago. Because when I read, my eyes start hurting and I get sleepy. I lose focus and I don’t want to keep doing. It just become as chore.
We took four nights up in Sechelt on the Sunshine coast. It was a good time.
I never like going because the optometrist just always reminds me that I’m older.
The optometrist, told me to read a chart on the wall with my glasses. And I was fine with it.
He said, “are you progressive”… I said, “well I like to think Im a pretty modern man!”
You glasses are they progressive.
No.
He tells me to take off my glasses and read this card he puts in front of me.
Which was impossible. I moved my head back. 6 paragraphs. each smaller than the last.
The second out of 6.
Are you ready for your wow moment?
Yes.
He flicks all these lenses down.
Puts the card in front of me, and I can see the smallest print clear as day.
James invites us with his prescription to see our suffering, our happiness, our sickness all through the same lens; with clarity that comes through prayer.
The same God allowing suffering, cheerfulness, and even sickness.
Our model is found in Christ- who said to God the father,
PAUSE
Luke 22:39–46 ESV
And he came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. And when he came to the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. And when he rose from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow, and he said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation.”
Luke 22:42 ESV
saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.”
A few things I want you to notice here:
First he tells his disciples to pray that they....
do not enter into temptation
they are on the cusp of Jesus being taken in, humiliated, unjustly convicted, and crucified.
And we often have a tendency to run when hard times come. Jesus is telling them to prepare themselves.
Then Jesus himself approaches God the farther in prayer.
2. He asks in a fashion that we all need to learn.
If you are willing. If it is possible, remove this cup. If it is possible for the sins of humanity to be taken away, redemption to come, relationship between God and man to be repaired in some other way, let’s do that. But if not you are in charge.
It is not about me, but about you.
If Jesus submitted to the Father’s will, how much more should we.
And it was the Father’s will that Christ ......
Luke 9:
Luke 9:22 ESV
saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.”
And it says that Jesus was not delivered from the suffering, but that an angel arrived and strengthened him.
And again he tells his disciples to pray that they would not fall into temptation. In the testing that they were about to walk through, the trial they would face, do not drift; stay close. Focus your eyes on God!
There is a benefit to suffering an intimacy with Christ who suffered on our behalf, that can not come about in a life that only knows blessings.
Is anyone suffering....pray. Knowing when you approach Christ, you approach one who knows suffering.
Wrap your life in the blanket of prayer- look at your life good, bad, or ugly through its lens.
Then James hones in specifically in the area of the sick.

II. Prescription of Prayer for Healing (v.14)

James 5:14 ESV
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.
This is the only prescription for healing in the entire bible.
And it gives very clear direction for first the sick person and then the elders of the church.

A. The Sick

i. Self-Examination

a. spiritual condition

a. Spiritual Condition
the responsibility is first placed on the sick
to the sick ---call for the elders of the church
the responsibility is first placed on the sick, not the leadership. And this call for....
i. Self-examination
why do some get mad at God when things do not go their way and why do some continue to love and sev him faithfully.
a. spiritual condition
why do some get mad at God when things do not go their way and why do some continue to love and serve him faithfully in the middle of tough stuff-
Isn’t it a condition, an understanding of who God is and who we are, that exists long before we ever get to suffering, cheerfulness and sickness.
Notice in the second half of verse 15 it says “IF he has committed sin, it will be forgiven.”
The deeper need is always our “spiritual health”.
The deeper need is always our “spiritual condition”.
God’s main concern is always our spiritual condition.
If it wasn’t, every person Jesus healed would still be with us!! Right?
Everyone Jesus healed got sick again. Right?
The point of Jesus healing was to give a foretaste of his Kingdom to Come.
Everyone Jesus saved from some ailment, ended up dying. It may have been the same
re-occuring illness or something new; but they all died.
So what was his healing for? What was the purpose?
In , Jesus has been brought before Pilate, the Roman governor to be covicted
.....
John 18:37 ESV
Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.”
The reason he came was not just to heal. It was to point to the truth. Of who he was and what God was doing.
If we miss that, Jesus becomes a guru or a magician.
And people see Jesus as something to benefit from but not to commit to.
That’s what Simon the Magicians, who comes to believe in Jesus we read in Acts chapter 8. seeing the power of the Holy Spirit, offers money to the apostles if they will give him the power they have.
Acts 8:18–19 ESV
Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, saying, “Give me this power also, so that anyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”
Who asked the apostles
“I don’t need Jesus I just want his power.” This is not personal for me.
When Jesus becomes a means to an end, He will have no real hold on our lives.
Isn’t that the faith practiced by a handful of celebrities, who pray for a good show, and that God would give them strength as they go out with barely any clothes on and sing about a parade of things that break his heart.
Is that the kind of faith you and I have tried to live sometimes?
God help me at work, God give me good grades, Jesus give me strength.
Jesus help me to grow a church.
Jesus help me have a good sermon this week. I pray no one falls asleep.
Powerfully move in our congregation.
“OK, are you going to let me have authority over your life, or am I just here for some party tricks.”
Hey, Jesus can get you up the corporate ladder; that is easy.
He can grow a church; easy
Healing your body is easy for Him; he made it.
But getting your heart is the hard part.
I mentioned this a while back, but we have had a loss very recently in our midst. Wes Smith passed a way about a month ago from cancer. It came suddenly and moved very quickly. And in the midst of this trial, this imposed evil on his body, Wes’s testimony was, whatever God does with me, I will trust him.
And James warns about this earlier in his letter, maybe the reason prayers are not being answered is because we ask with the wrong motives.
Wes’s love and desire for Jesus and to trust him and to be true to him, was more than his desire for healing.
How does that fit into the modern imagination?
I have never heard a more straight forward statement of trust in trial and sickness.
PAUSE
And where that is absent, James
This self-examination should lead us to…if necessary

ii. Confession (v.16)

James 5:16 ESV
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
Jesus is not just out to shower us with stuff. He want us. Do we want him?
Or just what he offers?
that means that there is a humility that is connected with this request. A willingness to examine oneself and confess sin if needed.
Notice in the second half of verse 15 it says “IF he has committed sin, it will be forgiven.”
PAUSE
So confession is a part of healing because, that is the point of Jesus life, death an resurrection. Do we receive the benefits of healing, and ultimately resurrection; YES, that is the promise of the Gospel, but they are intrinsically related to our corrected relationship with God the Father.
so James says, are you sick-
examine yourself, if need be, confess sin, go to the elders
Wes’s love and desire for Jesus and to trust him, was more than his desire for healing.
B. Elders
James 5:14–15 ESV
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. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.
James 5:14 ESV
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.
James says the
Thats does not fit into the modern mind.
There is an implication here that we are not talking about a sniffle.
(fake cough-- hunny should we call the elders?)
The phrase “pray over them” implies that this person is probably not moving around too much.
that the elders have gathered to go to the sick, because the sick are in no condition to go to the elders.
he says anoint them with oil.
i. Anoint with Oil
Wat is that about.
a. set aside for God’s special purpose
b. The presence of the Holy Spirit
ergerger
What is that about?
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It’s not medicinal but symbolic.
In scripture when someone was anointed with oil it usually meant they were being set aside for God’s special purpose.
a. set aside for God’s special purpose
or that God’s attention, his eye was on this individual
b. The presence of God’s Holy Spirit
So applied by the hands of the elders (the overseers of the church, really representing the entire congregation), oil on the head of the sick is a reminder that you are not alone, that you are part of a community, that you are God’s and that even in this dark moment you are His and have his attention.
PAUSE
So we have this beautiful picture:
In the midst of sickness.
The sick individual, prays and examined their heart, confesses sin if they need to, honing in and strengthening their relationship with God.
Knowing that they are part of a community that loves them, that they do not need to walk alone in this, they take the step of inviting the elders to come and pray for them.
If need be their is confession, there is prayer, a reminder of God’ presence and attention.
And the elders pray for healing
Then James complicates the entire thing by saying:
“and the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up.”
Unqualified healing-pure and simple - and in this lies a problem.
I would rather James write “And the prayer offered in faith may make the sick person well”
It would be far easier to take, and we would have less questions follow.
Pic #3
Amy Carmichael, the turn-of-last-century missionary to India, describe the attempted healing of one of her coworkers, a woman named Ponnommal, who had cancer.
She was fully aware of James prescription to call the elders, to anoint the ill, and to offer the prayer of faith, and so she did. believing that God can heal.
Her biographer describes the event this way
It was a solemn meeting around the sickbed, the woman dressed as usual in their hand loomed saris, but white ones for this occasion. They laid a palm branch across Ponnammal’s bed as a sign of victory and accepted whatever answer God might give, certain that whether it was to be physical healing or not, he would give victory and peace. It sounds like a simple formula. It was an act of faith, but certainly accompanied by the anguish of doubt and desire which had to be brought again and again under the authority of the master… From that very day Ponnommal grew… worse. The pain increased, and her eyes grew dull as she lingered for days in misery until she reached her limit and her "warfare was accomplished".
Surely a missionary doing the work of God in India at the turn of the century, would qualify for a worthwhile healing!
Why not Ponnommal?
2 Corinthians 12:7–10 ESV
So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
As a pastor I would ask the same questions. Why have we seen some healed and not others?
II Cor
We can spread the net.
The Apostle Paul saw many he ministered to and with suffer sickness and not be healed.
He had to leave Trophimus in Miletus he tells Timothy in
Just pray a prayer and dabble some oil!
He writes of his dearly beloved Epaphroditus, who was ill and near to death ()
He tells Timothy to drink some wine for his stomach!; depending on your background that could be wrong on so many levels!
wait aren’t you “ST Paul”??
He prayed 3 times for his own illness to leave him. In () he calls this a “thorn in his flesh”,
Just pray a prayer and dabble some oil!
He writes that he prayed 3 times for his own illness to leave him. In () he calls this a “thorn in his flesh”,
2 Corinthians 12:8–10 ESV
Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
What??
Didn’t he follow the formula?
You’re like King Elder!! Paul!
Are you just going to sit back and assume God knows best!!?
YES!
We cannot miss this point. If we do, we will fall into a silly theology that believes that a lack of faith causes or keeps an illness.
A quick read of James might make us feel that way, but we see through the ministry of Christ that sin was not always the cause of illness. Often some were healed even when they didn’t have faith. They believed after!
Can and Does God heal physical ailments?, yes I believe he does.
Is a prayer that has absolutely no expectation of God’s ability to heal going to bring about healing to a person that doesn’t believe God can or will, who has no interest in self-reflection, or confession or a life submitted to God. I think we can say with conviction; no.
But
What Paul is making very clear, and James is hitting on as well is that healing happens, (Paul was a conduit of it at times) but physical healing is only one testimony to the power of the resurrection of Christ, and it is not the most important.
Isaiah 53:5 NIV
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.
Isa 53
Isaiah 53:1–9 ESV
Who has believed what he has heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people? And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.
There is not only spiritual healing that comes about through the death and resurrection of Jesus.
There is physical healing that has been made pos
When Paul gets a clear answer from God that his grace is sufficient, that His grace is the better reward, He stops asking why.
Because he got what he is after. More Jesus!
Conclusion
I don’t know why God heals some and not others. I haven’t figured out the calculation.
But I would say that when we lean on this text to say, he must, we are missing the bigger picture.
The God of Job, and Daniel, and Paul who trusted him even when it made no sense.
Who when they came before Him in faith not necessarily that he would heal or deliver on the spot, but ultimately that He in His sovereignty would supply power in times of weakness, and grace and rest for our souls regardless of our circumstance, or their outcome.
Were do we find ourselves with this text.
We find ourselves affirming God’s sovereignty over every life and situation; healing some and not others.
James is saying this is not a one time deposit and you are good.
He is not limited to his means of healing.
This comes from a life wrapped in the blanket of prayer. The prescribed lens of prayer that gives us the ability to see from a distance, knowing
Romans 8:28 ESV
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
Romans 8
that is anointing language “called according to his purpose
James teaching here is difficult- we are invited to pray knowing that God can and ultimately will heal our diseases, and we will enter an age where there will be no more suffering no more pain, no more cancer, depression, shadow. - but e might wait until that time.
But for now, we see this message in the context of a life of fellowship with Christ, the confession of known sin, the divine initiative of calling the elders to pray and believing on God to heal; knowing that come now or later, coming through immediate means or over time; there is healing to be had; physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Let’s bow our heads
James makes reference to Elijah the prophet who through prayer saw God do amazing things. And what James make clear is that, it is not because he was better than you or I.
He says Elijah was “a man with a nature just like ours”.
He sinned, he lacked faith. But he was fervent in prayer, and saw God move.
God if I’m honest, a text like this can be difficult to walk away with.
We can be left wondering, why not me?
So, it is my prayer, God that we would have the heart of Paul, who wondered the same thing.
Why not take away my ailment!? Why do I have to suffer?
Who was not given the kind of healing He asked for in prayer, but he was given what he needed.
More of you.
That is our prayer this morning. That our desire, whether suffering, whether cheerful, whether sick, whether healed, would be for more of you. More of your grace, your mercy, comfort; and a greater overpowering sense of your presence.
And as we take communion now, may this be an opportunity for us to look to you, fix our eyes on you, who suffered and dies for our sake, for our comfort and ultimate healing. We look forward to the day when we will experience first hand what every healing, and every miracle was pointing toward.
Amen
We are turning a corner here as James brings his letter to a close.
He has taken his readers through a handful of areas that are meant to bring clarity and establish these Christ followers in a faith that is more than lip service.
Ecclesiastes 3:1–8 ESV
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.
Matthew 12:48–50 ESV
But he replied to the man who told him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”
Now it’s time to examine what we know as we look at this passage in light of the rest of Scripture. 1. The Bible does not teach that everyone should be healed in this life (Paul, Epaphroditus, Timothy, ). 2. Not all sickness is a direct result of sin (Job; ). 3. Some sickness is a direct result of sin ()
R.W. Dale "Work without prayer is atheism; and prayer without work is presumption."
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BENEDICTION
Galatians 3:28 ESV
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Galatians
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