“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 offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.“ James 5:15, 16
Isn’t it great when you are not feeling well and you go to your doctor, and he or she examines you, makes a diagnosis, and prescribes a course of action or medication that heals the problem? Likewise, Pastor James is kind of like a spiritual-medical doctor. He gets deep beneath the surface and reveals, not just the symptoms within the church, but he gets to the root of the problem as well. Such is true of our Great Physician, The Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 4:23; Mark 2:17).
In our study this morning we find The Holy Spirit diagnosing problems like fleshly lusts and pride, and the remedy is prayer, resisting the devil, and submitting to the will of God. Any of these topics could be dealt with for weeks on end, but obviously James did not hesitate to lump them all in together in his diagnosis of the problems within this congregation. Knowing that these problems exist doesn’t prevent them from happening in our lives, and that is because we are still sinners with a flesh that is evil. However, as believers in Christ, we also find in Scripture the remedy to the lusts, trials, temptations, and tribulations that are a part of life, namely, prayer and submission to the will of God.
No matter what the problem or need, we have access to the throne of grace, beloved (Ephesians 2:18; Hebrews 4:14-16). Prayer means that we can go to The Lord for cleansing (1 John 1:9), or for wisdom (James 1:5), or for strength to help in time of need (Psalm 46:1). Prayer is simply learning to develop a regular dialogue with The Lord throughout the day. The Lord is always there for us, and it is never crowded when we bow low before His feet, provided we go to Him with a humble heart. God can deal with a humble heart, but He cannot deal with a hard, proud heart. What does a humble heart look like? Read Luke 18:10-14. Prayer and humility in the sight of God is the cure for fights and wars amongst ourselves. As we submit to The Lord in prayer and humble ourselves under His mighty hand, He works deep within us. He convicts us. He restores broken relationships.
May each of us not only hear The Great Physician speak to us today, but may we also take His medicine.