We’ve been looking at James 5:13-18 and the subject of prayer and healing. Continue reading . . .
We’ve been looking at James 5:13-18 and the subject of prayer and healing. Let’s look again at the text before we continue:
“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).
(1) Why are the Elders called on to pray for the sick rather than the “Healers” or those with the spiritual gift of healing? People we refer to as cessationists, who don’t believe that miraculous gifts like healing and prophecy still exist today, make much of this. Their argument goes something like this:
“The fact that James calls for the Elders to pray rather than the Healers or those with the spiritual gift of healing proves that this particular supernatural power was already on its way out from the life of the church. It proves that God only intended for divine healers to operate in the life of the early, first-century church. Or if healing does continue today, it happens only rarely and never through a particular person with the spiritual gift of healing.”