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~*~ James 5:14-16 (NKJV) Anoint, Confess and Pray For Healing! ~*~“Is anyone among you sick? 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. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”Due to its importance, James 5:14-16 should be a basic and oft-repeated teaching in every Church and Messianic Synagogue on the planet because it lays the groundwork for receiving divine healing from sickness. Most believers are familiar with the Apostle James' instructions in verse 14, which calls us to anoint the sick believer with oil, and pray over them for divine healing. The problem is that most believers omit what it says in verses 15 and 16, where we are told that someone who is sick may find forgiveness and healing when they publicly confess any previously unacknowledged or unconfessed sins to God.
In particular, James 5:16 acknowledges the fact that, although unconfessed sin is certainly not the only cause of sickness, believers can and do get sick and suffer consequences when they have committed unconfessed, willful sins. This supports the idea that we do not obtain righteousness merely through belief in Yahshua or Jesus, but through the forgiveness of God after our active repentance through the open confession of our sins. Sadly however, due to the erroneous teachings of Eternal Security in relation to the concept of Grace, this very important step of CONFESSING OUR SINS to God and one another when we suffer from sickness that defies all our efforts at prayer and fasting is totally overlooked in every group prayer session for healing that I've participated in. Furthermore, I believe that this is why many of us never receive the healing we need and seek from God!
So, the next time you pray for healing for yourself, take the time to reflect on what you may have done wrong that needs to be confessed. Then confess it to God, and ask God to forgive you and change your heart with the power of the Holy Spirit before you proceed to pray for healing. Also, when you pray for healing, pray against demonic attacks, and ask God to protect you from these attacks of the enemy that can, and often do result in terrible sickness and suffering for those who love God and serve Him. If we do this, I am confident that we all may receive a different outcome than we have in past failed attempts to pray for healing.
When we pray for healing as we repent of our sins, we must remember that all have fallen short of the Glory of God. So none of us is seen as righteous without Yahshua's blood as a covering. Therefore, James' statement that the prayers of a righteous man avails much in the Scripture quoted earlier has to be seen in this light. For further proof that willful sins that are committed after we are saved are not fully forgiven until we confess these sins, let's read Romans 3:23-26, where the Apostle Paul says - specifically in verse 25 - that we receive Grace through Christ, and forgiveness for the sins we PREVIOUSLY committed. This strongly suggests that Grace does NOT extend to the willful sins committed AFTER our conversion:
~*~ Romans 3:23-26 ~*~What Paul is saying with the inclusion of the phrase “because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed” is that we are forgiven of all the sins we committed before coming to the foot of the Cross, but not for the willful sins that we are aware of, but commit afterward and do not repent of. This means that our willful sins are not forgiven under Grace until we repent, and we reap consequences for unconfessed sins, including financial woes, marital or other relationship problems, and sickness - just as we do when we partake of the Lord's Supper with unconfessed sin standing between us and God. This is why the Apostle Paul said:
“...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, 26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”
~*~ 1 Corinthians 11:26-32 ~*~What Paul says about judging ourselves in the above passage before partaking of the Lord's Supper is highly important, but is rarely preached. Despite this oversight, we are still called to judge ourselves by God's Moral Laws that are encapsulated in the Ten Commandments and Christ's living example to see how we stand before God. We also need to do what we can to correct our actions when we find fault with ourselves for our bad behavior through the conviction of the Holy Spirit. This means that, in order to NOT be judged by God in this life, and to potentially be spared some of the consequences of sin such as sickness, we all need to repent of willful sins as they occur to find forgiveness.
“For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes. 27 Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. 30 For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. 31 For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.”
After our conversion, Yahshua's Grace does cover the unknown sins that we commit due to our ignorance of them. But, in all other respects, we are called to be shining examples of our Savior through the godly behavior that the Holy Spirit inspires in us. But this is only possible if we are examining ourselves for sin, and listening to God's Spirit in us on how we should make amends for the sins that we do commit. As it says later in the Epistle to the Romans, Paul laid the groundwork for how we must die to the world, and to sin when we choose to follow Yahshua, and how we must strive to live holy lives for Him:
~*~ Romans 6:5-14 ~*~Remember that we can only obtain forgiveness and redemption when we believe in and follow the Son of God and our Savior Yahshua or Jesus. To follow Yahshua means that we have vowed to die to the world and its lusts in order to serve others in love, and that we live for Yahshua alone. But when we fail to resist the lust of the flesh, and the pleasures of life - as we all do occasionally - we fall out of favor with God, and are not allowed free access to God's Throne of Grace when this happens without repentance. In order to obtain our freedom to approach God's Throne with our petitions, we need to recognize our failings, repent of these new sins through the Cross and Blood of Christ, and ask God for forgiveness and regeneration via His Holy Spirit before we seek His favor in any and every other area of our lives.
“For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. 7 For he who has died has been freed from sin. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. 10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. 13 And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.”
Sometimes, however, our sins may not be that clear to us because we do not see how our behavior or emotions may break one of the Ten Commandments, or one of Yahshua's Two Commandments to love God and one another with our whole hearts. This is why the Apostle Paul said the following as a reminder of the types of sins that grieve the Holy Spirit, and thereby keep us from the love and blessings of God:
~*~ Ephesians 4:31-32 ~*~So, when we fail to be kind, loving and forgiving, but give ourselves up to foul language, bitterness, anger and malice, we grieve the Holy Spirit, and thereby cause a temporary rift or barrier to form between ourselves and God until we repent. These emotional sins are the ones that we are most often guilty of after our conversion, and the sins that we most often overlook, or refuse to deal with after we are saved. Believe me, I know this from personal experience! Therefore, these sins that grieve the Holy Spirit are also the main sins that keep us from being healed or blessed in other areas of our lives after we accept Christ as our Savior.
“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”
Of course, we can be cursed with ill fortune and sickness when we are under attack by the Devil and his minions as well - especially when we are waging effective spiritual battles against the dark spiritual principalities and powers that the Devil operates in. I also know of this fact quite well through my own experiences with the need for Spiritual Warfare surrounding my teachng ministry. But if we do as Paul admonishes, and examine ourselves regularly to deal with our unacknowledged or unconfessed sins that grieve the Holy Spirit as they occur, we will be forgiven, and will be ready to receive divine healing when we are sick from other causes such as demonic attack, toxins in the body, or environmental pollution.
As an aid to healing, believers should instinctively know what the source of their discomfort is when they are truly born again, and listening to God. This is because the Holy Spirit will not let us remain in darkness about what we need to do to please God, or to get well. So we need to develop our relationship with the Holy Spirit - and increase our ability to see and weed out sin in our lives. This is best done through continual prayer and Bible Study. If we do this, we will be blessed like the Prophet Moses, whose “eyes were not dim nor his natural vigor diminished” when he died at the ripe old age of 120 (See Deuteronomy 34:7).
Your Sister in Yahshua,
Helena Lehman of
The Pillar of Enoch Ministry
Ministry Web Site: http://pillar-of-enoch.com