A few weeks ago, my dad who recently completed the training required to become an Elder at Bay Area Community Church reminded me of James 5:14-16 and asked if I might consider having the Elders come together to pray for me. Then it was hardly a coincidence that Pastor Greg preached a sermon two weeks ago from 1 Peter 5 on the Elders of the church. He said that one of the two main responsibilities of the Elders is to shepherd the flock. Shepherding includes 1) Feeding and Teaching 2) Protecting 3) Praying 4) Disciplining and 5) Living as an Example.
I believe that God's Word is just as relevant today as it was in the days of the early church. I also believe the instruction about what to do when one is sick is quite clear. Last night, I arrived to a prayer room full of Elders and their wives ready to shepherd me by listening to my story, reminding me of the healing power of Jesus, anointing me with oil, and praying for my healing, as well as for many of our other concerns related to this journey.
James 5:14-16 "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 the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective."