Sunday, 26 June 2016

James 5 : (3)Prayer, Faith and Wooing back those who have strayed. HCFC 26th June 2016

If we are sick we should seek prayer from God ourselves as David did and also bring it before the church and James says that the elders should pray over the sick person anointing them with oil perhaps as a symbol to signify the Holy Spirit at work and in the Lord's name. And the prayer of faith will  save the sick and the Lord will raise them up. and any who has committed sins will be forgiven.
To go into a full teaching on healing would take many weeks. However we do  know that God can and often does heal the sick and at various times we have seen healing in our own lives. Sometimes a gift of faith is given and the person is raised up and more importantly they get right with God -that is if there is sin they find forgiveness. We look to the Lord and as we read of the three Jews in Daniel's time  when they faced his fiery furnace it says:

6Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego replied to the king, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to give you an answer concerning this matter. 17"If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. 18"But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up."

James goes on   
16 Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective17 Elijah was a human being like us, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. 18 Then he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain and the earth yielded its harvest.

I get a sense from this letter that James yearns that 'the hearers of his words would obviously to be doers also (as he stated earlier in the letter)- but not just doers for the sake of it but so that they would walk closer with God as Elijah and Job did who he also mentions. 

Do we aspire to be like them. Do we aspire to know God like them and have faith like them and please God like them. For example-  to intercede for others like Elijah and to have the patience of Job. We have the same God and we can use our painful times and good times as a motivation to know him better.

All the apostles were evangelists and pastors. They had a heart for the lost and the backslidden. James was no exception. I love the way at the end he writes
My brothers and sisters, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and is brought back by another, 20 you should know that whoever brings back a sinner from wandering will save the sinner’s soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.
He is concerned for those who are away from the Master- for those who wandered away from the way, from the path. He is encouraging us to pray for them and to not give up on them. We must go gently to them. To bring them to the Lord in prayer.  To woo them back if they have been hurt by others or us.
It will never be a rush job but will take much time, much prayer, much patience and much love. But it is worth it- as James says they will save the sinners soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.

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