Mar 17, 2012

Prayer and James 5:14–16

I enjoyed this comment from William Brosend concerning James 5:14–16,

"Are you sick? Call for the church leaders. They will pray and anoint you with oil. You will be saved, raised, and forgiven. So confess your sins and pray, and you will be healed.

"That makes absolutely no sense to us. If we are sick we go to the doctor (we can 'summon' all we want, it won't help). If we have sinned, we confess our sins and are forgiven. The physical and the spiritual are two entirely different things, and we intend to keep them that way – unless, of course, the medicine is not working, or the diagnosis is dire. Then the spiritual, driven by a confrontation with our own mortality, is suddenly welcome, and we pray like crazy. So who is crazy, we who wait until the doctor says, 'There is nothing more we can do. All we can do is pray' before attempting to deal with our own mortality, or James, who recognizes it in 1:10–11 and begins to pray at the first sign of illness."

William F. Brosend II, James and Jude, New Cambridge Bible Commentary (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), 160.

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