Day Five: Pray

James 5:13-15(NIV) – Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven.

This verse makes the bold claim that if we pray in faith, God will heal the person for whom we pray. The verbal roots for “sick” and “raise up” can be used for both physical and spiritual afflictions and their cures, but in the context of anointing most likely refer at least primarily to physical illnesses. “Raising up” thus refers to their getting out of bed after they are well again. The promise of healing for the sick offers a much needed corrective for those of us who have trouble praying boldly, for we fear or even assume that God will not do what we ask of him. Instead, we ought to pray boldly, believing that he is a God of power and love and that he listens to the prayers of his people. A necessary caveat, however, requires us to remember that he chooses how and when he heals, as Paul lays out clearly in 2 Corinthians 12:8-10, and that complete healing never occurs in this life. In fact, every other time James uses “save”, it refers to spiritual salvation. While this passage most likely refers to physical healing, we must remember that ultimately God is more interested in eternal, spiritual life than temporal, physical health. Somewhere in our prayers we must find a balance between never expecting God to heal and requiring him to heal on demand. [Blomberg, Craig L.. James (Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on The New Testament series Book 16) (Kindle Locations 7010-7022). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.]

We pray because He is our Father in Heaven who cares about our needs and concerns. He knows our needs so well, better than us and He listens to our prayers. Let’s go to our Father God with all of our needs with hearts trusting in His good and perfect love for us.