Scripture: James 5:
13 Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. 14 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. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make them well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven.
Observation: One of the greatest mysteries of the faith is how prayer and healing flow through our faith in God.
Application: One thing that I have been blessed to witness time and again during my ministry is the healing and strengthening power of faithful prayer. Several years ago one of my parishioners bought me a gift of a keychain anointing oil container. Before that I had been known to occasionally carry a small vial of anointing oil with me during hospital visits or home visits, but there had been several occasions when I wanted to use anointing oil with someone and didn’t have it with me. Since I now have it on my keychain I am always ready to pray for someone and anoint with oil and lay hands on them.
It’s not something I do every day, not even every week, sometimes I may not even use it for a month at a time, but just every now and then God places an opportunity before me for a faithful prayer with the laying on of hands and the anointing of oil. And I have witnessed miraculous things happen after prayers of this nature. I’ve also seen prayer without oil, or even the laying on of hands do wonderful miraculous things, but for some reason it seems to me that when the laying on of hands and the anointing oil is used there is a strengthening in the effectiveness that I can’t explain.
If you’ve never tried this kind of prayer, I recommend it to you now. Go buy a little vial of anointing oil, one that smells sweet. The aroma of it is there for the person who is anointed to remind them of the continual presence of The Holy Spirit as He is working in their situation. Memorize the scripture of today and quote it to a person before you anoint and pray for them. To anoint someone, simply put some oil from the vial on your thumb or forefinger and make the sign of the cross on the persons forehead with the oil, as you make the first stroke say “ I anoint you in the name of The Father, and The Son,” then make the second stroke and say, “And The Holy Spirit.”
After the anointing, either take the persons hand, or lay your hand on their shoulder, or forehead and pray, you may offer a silent prayer at first if you wish, but then speak so that they can hear your prayer for them. Be specific in your prayers and be sure to thank God for the results that you are praying for. Thank Him before you see the manifestation of those results, as if they have already happened. And believe them to have already happened. The confirmation will come later, just know that what you’re praying for has happened and don’t worry about it, feel good about it, rejoice and praise God.
Pray for God’s will to be accomplished, and that God’s name be glorified by the results of His intervention in this persons situation. Sometimes our plans and desires don’t match up with God’s will, so it’s important that we surrender to the ultimate authority of God. Sometimes our prayers are answered in ways we didn’t expect, and the answers are not always easy to accept so pray for the strength to accept God’s Answer.
I hope this is helpful. Its not how I pray all the time, but it has proven to be a very effective type of prayer during the course of my ministry. I can’t explain the results, I can only witness to them.
Prayer: Lord God,
Thank you for the scripture which provides us with this outline for a very effective prayer. I thank you for the opportunities you have presented in my life to use it, and to see the results of it. I ask that you continue to present more opportunities for me to pray like this for others and to be able to see your Glory at work in their lives.