Please Help Us Keep These Thousands of Blog Posts Growing and Free for All
And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. (James 5:15)
Here is another reason to believe that we are talking about spiritual sickness or weakness over against the idea of physical sickness. This verse is a guarantee that he will be restored if the conditions are met. There could be no such guarantee if it was physical, as God only miraculously heals those who have a role to play in his will and purposes. We all know of thousands that had tremendous faith, even the apostle Paul, and they still did not receive physical healing. However, there can be a guarantee when it comes to spiritual weaknesses. If a person receives prayers of faith from the pastors and counsel from the Word of God that they then apply, they can fully recover spiritually. The apostle John said, “If we ask anything according to his will he hears us.” (1 John 5:14) What we have here is the fact that it must be according to God’s will and purposes, and we only have the promise that he hears us, not that he will act on it. However, if it is a spiritual weakness, God will bless anyone that comes to him in faith and with a repentant heart.
Jesus said, “And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” (Matt. 21:22) Jesus also promised, “If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.” (John 14:14) We will get what we ask for if it is according to God’s will and purposes.
Philippians 4:13 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Bible scholar J. Vernon McGee writes:
Whatever Christ has for you to do, He will supply the power. Whatever gift He gives you, He will give the power to exercise that gift. A gift is a manifestation of the Spirit of God in the life of the believer. As long as you function in Christ, you will have power. He certainly does not mean that he is putting into your hand unlimited power to do anything you want to do. Rather, He will give you the enablement to do all things in the context of His will for you (McGee, Thru the Bible, V:327–8).
Matthew 6:30-34 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the nations eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.
Keep Seeking Kingdom First
33 But be you seeking the Kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own wickedness.
Have not faithful Christians gone hungry, even starved to death? Do not tens of thousands of Christian Children go to bed hungry every night around the world? Do not many Christian homes in this world lack water? Do not many thousands of Christian families live in rundown homes, having only dirty clothes and in some cases not even having shoes?
Let us also add that “the prayer of faith” alone by the pastors is not going to help one recover their spiritual health. The spiritually weak one will have to evidence faith in the pastor’s words and the wise counsel from the Word of God. Therefore, if one is to recover spiritually, the following conditions must be met:
- “the prayer of faith” must be by pastors
- According to God’s will and purposes
- In Jesus name
- The pastors must offer comfort and guidance from God’s Word
- The spiritually weak one must trust in the words of the pastor and Scripture, acting on both
How do serious spiritual weaknesses come about? Generally, it is by irrational thinking or some behavior that has deteriorated. It can be a minor sin, which has become a serious sin, like flirting that leads to fornication. It can be a person who is practicing some sin, which he alone has been unable to get control over, like pornography. Living with a secret sin can be so weighty that it causes one to stumble out of the faith. Then, some allow doubts about their faith, God, or the Bible to grow to the point that they fall away from the faith into apostasy or simply just abandon the faith. Once the weight has gotten so heavy, this one does not feel worthy of approaching God in prayer because he believes he is beyond repentance. Thus, the loving prayers from a pastor combined with corrective counsel from God’s Word will calm his spirit.
Once the pastors have some idea of the depth of what led to this spiritual sickness, they can apply Bible counsel like soothing oils. Even if the spiritually weak one has committed some grave sin (like David’s adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of Uriah, her husband), the pastors can show him how God views the matter and Scripture on how he can make a recovery. This would come from the pastors as a reproof for correction and for training in the righteousness of the sick one. On this point, David wrote, “Let a righteous man strike me, it is a kindness; let him rebuke me, it is oil for my head; let my head not refuse it.” God will look approvingly upon such a humble person, who is able to bring his sins to another, as well as the prayers of the righteous pastors. He will be willing to remove his sins as though they never were and call them to mind no more.
Psalm 6:2-4 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
2 Show me favor, Jehovah, for I am growing weak;
heal me, Jehovah, for my bones are shaking.
3 My soul also is greatly troubled.
But you, O Jehovah, how long?
4 Turn, O Jehovah, deliver my soul;
save me for the sake of your loyal love.
 Lit in
 Gr., zeteite; the verb form indicates continuous action.