Today’s passage: James 5:13-18
- It is a special kindness and love to rejoice with those who rejoice when you are suffering and to weep with those who weep when you are in a time of rejoicing (Romans 12:15)
- The word translated as “sick” in verses 14-15 does not only refer to physical sickness. It often just means “weak”. So, in this context, we could understand this need for prayer to come from weakness that is resulting from any kind of suffering.
- The elders may or may not have actually anointed people with oil. This would have been more a medical practice at that time than any kind of religious ceremony. I personally think this verse is using the idea of anointed the sick with oil as an illustration. When the elders come around the suffering and pray over them in the name of the Lord, they are caring for the spiritually wounded and bruised in the congregation.
- Elijah’s prayer wasn’t powerful because he was powerful. Elijah’s prayer was powerful because God is powerful.
Questions to consider:
- What do we have to be willing to put aside when we see others suffering or rejoicing and choose to join together with them? How does this show a spiritual maturity and Christ-likeness?
- Why do we often find it hard to share our non-physical sufferings with others? What keeps us from allowing our brothers and sisters in Christ (And our pastor) to lift us up in prayer in some of the areas that matter most? Who could you share your rejoicing or suffering with?
- Can you think of someone you could rejoice with and/or comfort with today? How could you reach out to encourage and pray for them?