For years, EFCC has followed the practice of calling elders to anoint the sick with oil and pray for healing. James 5:14 says, “Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord.” We do this in faith, knowing that we belong to Christ and have been promised the seal of the Holy Spirit.
In May of 2004, my dad discovered that he had cancer. In the months that followed, he embraced the medical intervention that was available, and he also asked the elders to anoint him with oil and pray over him. He described this as a holy experience. God’s presence was evident, and it brought peace during a very uncertain season. Over the next few months I started to notice this new sense of peace in my dad, so one day I asked him what was different. I’ll never forget his response. He gave me a huge grin and said, “I’ve seen glimpse of heaven.” He told me that he didn’t want to die, and that he wanted to be there for us and his grand- children, but all the while he was experiencing God’s presence in such a new and wonderful way that it caused him to long for eternity. Paul’s words in Philippians 1:21 finally made sense; my dad had an eternal perspective. Less than a year later, he got to see his Savior face to face and I know it was a glorious day!
So, what is the healing that James is speaking of in verse 15 when he says, “And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up.” Many have been drawn to faith in God because of miraculous stories testifying to his healing power. Jesus performs healing miracles throughout the gospels and if you look carefully, you will notice a common phrase, “your faith has healed you.” God’s promise is to restore and increase our faith in the midst of suffering. Sometimes earthly physical healing occurs and other times it doesn’t.
What is it that ails you today? Have you prayed about it? Are you asking others to pray for you? We may not know the immediate outcome of the trials that we experience here on earth, but praise be to God; we do know the eternal one.
By Lynette Fuson
Director of Women’s Ministries