James: Invitation, Healing, and Prayer (Part 1)
Sermon Title: “James: Invitation, Healing, and Prayer (Part 1)”
Sermon Series: Acts: Kingdom Vision (Phase 2)
Text: James 5:13-20
Speaker: Pastor Damian Mericka
- Introduction: Why the Prayer of Faith Matters.
Read -> James 5:13-20.
Remembering the audience James is writing to, dispersed Jewish followers of Jesus, he closes his letter with an odd focus. While prayer may not stand out as odd, the phrase, prayer of faith, shines as a beacon of invitation for these early believers. It was for them then, and it needs to be for us today.
While James presents this as an attribute of the one praying and anointing in the Name of the Lord (elders), we are all being led of the Spirit toward maturity in our walk with Christ and play a role in helping others draw closer to Jesus.
Over the next three weeks we will look at three key themes from this passage in James:
- The Invitation to come for healing.
- The healing and forgiveness of Jesus, or wholeness and healing.
- The Prayer of Faith.
My prayer, as your Pastor, is that we as a community of faith continually become a place of His healing for everyone who is broken, hurting, suffering, and sick. A place the Spirit can bring all who need a Savior. My prayer is that it begins with an outpouring upon us, Cornerstone Chapel, and overflows into our communities for the Glory of Jesus- our Savior, Healer, Sanctifier, and King!
The Pitcher of Anointing Oil represents Christ as Healer in the Christian and Missionary Alliance.
“By His stripes you were healed” -Isaiah 53:5
“Provision is made in the redemptive work of the Lord Jesus Christ for the healing of the mortal body. Prayer for the sick and anointing with oil are taught in the Scriptures and are privileges for the Church in the present age.”
-C&MA Statement of Faith
Going Deeper: 1) Do you believe Jesus is still our Healer today? Is it God’s desire to Heal us? Do you believe that Jesus is your healer, personally? What are you most excited to learn through this series?
- Divine Invitation from God (James 5:13-14)
From our perspective, it would be easy for these early believers to disqualify God’s power, presence, and love for them during difficult times. We may be tempted to ourselves with what is going on in our own lives. Yet James directs us to look to God despite what our situation is. Our present situation is the posture in which we see God’s invitation from. What does this look like?
- Are you suffering? -> We are invited to Pray!
- Are you cheerful? -> We are invited to Sing Praise!
- Are you sick? -> We are invited to Call for the elders for anointing and prayer!
How is this possible? How are we able to draw closer to God in these seasons of life?
Jesus. He is our Savior, Healer, Sanctifier, and King!
- Hebrews 7:25 (Mediator)
- Hebrews 4:16 (Confidence to find Mercy & Grace)
- 1 Peter 5:7 (He cares)
And this is the witness of both the Old and New Testaments- the invitation the Bible brings for us today- come!
- Psalm 27:8-14 / Revelation 22:17
Going Deeper: 2) What did Pastor Damian mean with, “Our present situation is the posture in which we see God’s invitation from”? What are we invited to do if we are suffering? What are we invited to do if we are cheerful? What are we invited to do if we are sick? What is the witness (invitation) of both the Old and New Testaments for us?
III. Jesus is our present Healer (James 5:14-16)
While each of these situations can find others alongside of us (we do not suffer alone / are not cheerful alone) one aspect of life in this world that we are encouraged to invite others into our lives. If we are sick, call for the Elders who will pray over you, and anoint you with oil in the Name of the Lord.
First, let us look at what James means by being sick. Although primarily physical illness, the term can host the mental and emotional / spiritual brokenness we experience through this life as well.
While the Gospels are full of such miraculous healings, one stands out to help us understand how deeply rooted some illness may be- beyond the surface level we see.
- Check out Mark 5:25-34. In this Miraculous event, this woman chose to come to Jesus and experienced in Him:
- Physical Healing (salvation). 12 years of a bleeding disorder that would have most certainly affected her health. Throughout this time, she sought relief through doctors and treatments that also may have taken their toll on her body. Where are you God?
- Mental Healing. A 12-year quarantine. According to Leviticus 15:25-27, life was miserable for her. Anything she touched, was unclean. Anyone who touched her was unclean. Good-bye dreams of marriage and family, as well as a respected place in society. For all intended purposes, she would have struggled to believe wasn’t just ceremonially unclean, but she as a person was unclean. Where are you God?
- Emotional 12 years feeling alone, Jesus affirms her as His daughter- whole and healed! In this may be Jesus reaching into the beginning of this issue when she was a child and all of the fear and uncertainty came crashing down on her. Jesus redeemed her story by healing her experiences.
Why the Elders? These were ministers trained and resourced for the work at hand. They demonstrated a wisdom of God’s Word, maturity in their Faith, and discernment with the Spirit. This was the divine baton handed down from Jesus, whose kingdom comes not by word but power! (1 Corinthians 4:20)
- As did Jesus -> Luke 4:38-44 / Hebrews 13:8
- So do His Disciples -> Mark 16:17-20
Why the Oil? The oil would come to represent (symbol) the Holy Spirit. The oil would, in a sense, be a reminder of the position the person has with God as His child and any healing He does comes from Him although He uses His servants to pray.
- See -> Mark 6:7-13
“If you will diligently listen to the voice of the Lord your God, and do that which is right in his eyes, and give ear to his commandments and keep all his statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you that I put on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, your healer.’
Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees, and they encamped there by the water.”
-Exodus 15:26-27 ESV
“The Spirit and the Bride say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.”
-Revelation 22:17 ESV
Going Deeper: 3) Is Jesus our present healer? In what ways was the women in Mark 5:25-34 healed? Does Jesus desire to bring whole healing to us? What must we do? Why did James direct those sick to the Elders? Why the use of the oil? Is healing a present, active ministry for the church today? Why is this good news?