S (Scripture): James 5:13 Is anyone among you suffering? He should pray. Is anyone in good spirits? He should sing praises. 14 Is anyone among you ill? He should summon the elders of the church, and they should pray for him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick and the Lord will raise him up – and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 So confess your sins to one another and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great effectiveness.
O (Observation): More advice from brother James. These are good thoughts and suggestions. Ideals towards which we should strive.
A (Application): I’m going to split some hairs, now. These actions that James suggests are great and wholesome. We need to be careful, though, to understand these actions as the natural outflow of our Identity in Christ. We don’t want to go through ceremony for the sake of ceremony, or lean on these practice to try to prove our Identity.
Having said that…
Let your prayer be full of hope.
Let your praises be sung as if God is your only audience.
Let your hands become a vessel for God’s healing, not because you or the oil you use to anoint are “special,” but because God is that awesome!
Let your whole self be surrendered to God, so that you might feel comfortable praying, praising, healing, and taking one another’s confessions.
With which of these practices are you most comfortable? Least comfortable? Why is that?
P (Prayer): Lord, you make us able to do most anything you desire. Help us to help our neighbor from a place of love and generosity, springing forth from our Identity of abundance in you. Amen.