Pray for One Another

“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 5:14

Do church elders have special healing powers?

Not exactly. God heals. The elders’ plea for healing might be granted, but James sees an additional promise in their prayers.

The result of verse 5:14 is 5:15: “And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up” (emphasis mine). We are to be patient. The reassurance of those we esteem and trust offering their prayers over us can save us from losing patience, losing steadfastness, when sickness is the trial.

Yet there is also the separate problem, afflicting sick and well alike. The word “heal” actually appears in the next verse, 5:16: “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed.”

The unconfessed sin we harbor against one another itself constitutes a malady, and one that might reach deeper than the bodily illness.

[31 Days of James]