“Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” James 5:14-16
I have had knee surgery twice over a period of 35 years. This past summer the pain and immobility started back up again. I know what that means- back to the surgeon. Ugh. Before I submitted to the surgeon’s knife, I thought it best to take James at his word, so my husband went down the street to visit our local Episcopal priest who has the gift of healing. We had never met Father Nigel before and were surprised when he came out to greet us hobbling on a cane. “O, Lord,” I thought, “thanks.”
But Father Nigel is God’s man entrusted with the gift of healing and we came asking in faith. His own story was one of physical suffering and pain and finding God’s presence in the midst of it all. What transpired in his office was beautiful. First we took inventory and I confessed any sin and unforgiveness in my life. And then the raw wound of my fear was exposed; fear of surgery and it’s possible complications (I am a therapist; I have seen complications) and the fear that God wouldn’t be enough for me in the pain and isolation. I confessed all of it and invited Jesus into it. I walked out of Father Nigel’s office changed.
Over the course of the past two weeks, the pain in my knee has decreased significantly. I don’t know if it’s because God has physically healed my knee or if it’s because I have done next to nothing on it (for a variety of unrelated reasons). What I do know is that whether or not God chooses to heal me physically, his authority to do so remains the same. I trust that his purposes will be accomplished in my life because of his authority. I trust him to take care of me however He chooses and thank him for defeating every ounce of sin, fear and unforgiveness that seeks to steal and destroy.
So I pray as James instructs and watch and wait to see God’s goodness unfold.