James 5: 14 Is any sick among you? 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:
“Again and again we find, in God’s Word, that salvation of soul and body is connected together—”Who forgiveth all thine iniquities: who healeth all thy diseases” (Ps. ciii. 3); “And the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick: the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity” (Isa. xxxiii. 24); “The prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him” (James v. 15). The commission of Jesus to His disciples when on earth was always in substance, “Preach the Gospel, heal the sick” (Matt. x. 1, 7, 8; Mark iii. 14, 15 ; vi. 7; Luke ix. 1, 2; x. 9).
James 5: 15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
And after His resurrection, when giving His commission for the evangelizing of the world, He specially insisted on the signs which should follow them that believe. In Acts iv., the persecuted disciples prayed for boldness to speak God’s Word, “by stretching forth Thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of Thy Holy Child Jesus.” Paul speaks of patience, signs, wonders, and mighty deeds, as the signs of his apostleship (2 Cor. xii. 12). And in the Epistle to the Hebrews, the witnesses of God’s great salvation are: (1.) “The Lord”; (2.) “They that heard Him”; (3.) ” Signs and wonders . . . with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost” (Heb. ii. 3, 4).
Now, there are very many people everywhere who say, ‘I am so afraid, if I ask God to heal my body, that I should do something which is contrary to His will.’ Let me say one little word on that point. Do you feel the same, beloved, when you come to the Lord and ask for forgiveness of your sins? Do you think you are asking too much when you claim deliverance from all that which Jesus bore for you? I think not. You come and say, ‘My God, forgive me my sins, because Jesus has borne them, and because His precious blood was shed on purpose that I might be forgiven and cleansed from my sin.’ Why, beloved, can you not come on the very same ground, and say, ‘Because Thou hast borne my infirmities and my sicknesses, heal me, to fulfil Thy precious Word; heal me, that so the Gospel, as it touches my body, may be fulfilled, just as the Gospel which touches my soul?’
I don’t think, in all the history of the world, it has ever been found that one sinner who appealed to God, claiming mercy through the blood of Jesus, was sent away, and told, ‘It is not My will.’
And when our beloved Lord Jesus was upon earth, I think you might have seen, carried on beds and couches, and, perhaps, driven up in very rude conveyances, from the villages near which He passed, sick people with the dropsy and leprosy. You would have seen people with cancers and fevers, and all manner of diseases; but you never hear of Jesus saying to a single person, ‘It is not My will to heal, for it is better for you to remain sick.’ The very purpose for which the sickness was permitted was to bring them in contact with Jesus, and as soon as they came into contact with Him, where was the need for them to bear it longer?
Jesus Himself bore it; and, oh! how gladly He removed it. Few people are troubled in conscience when they go to a doctor for healing, lest they should be healed against the will of God. But, strangely enough, they are afraid of doing the only thing He has ever directed His sick children to do, lest His command should be against His own will!
“The prayer of faith shall save the sick.”
He says, ” Is any sick among you? 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 of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up” (James v. 14, 15). While there is no word of Scripture anywhere to cast a doubt on God’s will to heal, and while sickness is never, in a single passage, spoken of as a blessing, yet the majority of Christians continue to believe that sickness is for their good—a good which they seek to avoid by every means in their own power; yet they think to obey God, in claiming healing as He has directed, is dangerous.
Oh, beloved, does there not lie at the root of this fear, a secret shrinking from putting God to the test, as though, perhaps, He might deceive us? May there not be a fear to tread on the promise of God, lest, after all, He might fail us? God calls us to cast all our care on Him, for spirit, soul, and body. He wants to have our bodies a living sacrifice, that He may dispose of, and care for them; and thus, whether it be the ache of a little finger, or the slightest feeling of depression, or whether a little discouragement because something does not go well in the house, the Lord is ready to care for it as though it were a matter of life or death, or a matter of the welfare of nations.
Our God is not a stern lawgiver; He is a loving, tender, gracious Father. Oh! to know more of the heart of our God! Then we shall be able to say with David, “Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless His holy name. . . . Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases.”—Mrs. Baxter; Excerpts from Record of the International Conference on Divine Healing and True Holiness; Published in London; 1885. Is it God’s will to heal me?
Relevant Polls regarding Miracles & Divine Healing
- “Nearly eight-in-ten American adults (79%), for instance, agree that miracles still occur today as in ancient times.”—Pew Research Center † 8 in 10 of American adults = 195,772,989! “The Census Bureau estimates there are 247,813,910 adults living in the U.S.”
- “Belief in miracles is pervasive — nearly 8 in 10 Americans say they believe in miracles.”—CBS News poll; 1999
- “Though often the subject of much debate—both theologically and scientifically—the majority of American adults (66%) believe people can be physically healed supernaturally by God; Evangelicals are the most likely of any group to believe people can be physically healed supernaturally by God—almost nine in 10 (87%) agree strongly; Again, evangelicals are the group most likely to have prayed for someone to be healed. A vast majority (95% to be exact) are serious about healing prayer, followed fairly closely by practicing Christians (86%); A large majority of Protestants (84%) have personally prayed for someone to be healed supernaturally by God; One-quarter of the American adult population claims they have experienced supernatural healing. —Barna; 2016
Most Christians have been in a church service where the pastor prays specifically for someone’s health,” says Roxanne Stone, editor in chief at Barna Group. “Sometimes pastors pray for the doctors (“guide the doctor’s in their work”), and sometimes the patient’s and family’s state of mind (“give them peace and a knowledge of Your deep love”). But more often than not, the pastor also adds a prayer for the miraculous (“we ask that Your healing come”). The vast majority of Christians—especially among Protestants—are familiar with and believe in this kind of prayer.”–The Barna Group; 2016