二○一八年五月十九日／五月二十日 Click here for English version
雅各書五章 13-18 節特別談及為病患者抹油祈禱。「你們中間有病了的呢，他就該請教會的長老來；他們可以奉主的名用油抹他，為他禱告。」聖經講述人如果有病患，他不單可以自己祈禱，更可以邀請、接受長老的代求。而長老不一定是有明顯醫治恩賜的人，但他們是有職分的領袖，是代表著教會為患病的弟兄姊妹尋求醫治。今天教會內的教牧同工，正是承受了如長老般的牧養領導職分，應為病患者禱告，以此為神託負的職責，他們要熱切地奉主的名，呼求神的能力去醫治病者。
雅各書五章 10-11 節同時談及約伯，一位完全正直、敬畏神、遠離惡事的人，神並沒有醫治他各樣的病患，他也不明白為何這一切臨到他，要他長久承受，但神賜他堅定忍耐的心，至終叫他領受極大恩福。「你們聽見過約伯的忍耐，也知道主給他的結局，明顯主是滿心憐憫，大有慈悲。」
Rev Gordon Siu
This week’s prayer meetings1 will be devoted to prayer and anointing oil for brothers and sisters who seek healing for their body or mind. Healing prayer is a biblical teaching which the Christian and Missionary Alliance has practiced for many years.
James 5:13-18 focuses on prayer for the sick and anointing them with oil: “Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord.” The Bible says that when a believer is sick, he can pray for himself or alternatively, invite or accept intercession from church elders. The elders involved do not necessarily have an obvious gift of healing. But as appointed leaders, they seek healing for brothers and sisters who are sick on behalf of the church. Just like the elders, pastoral staff also have the ministry of shepherding and leadership. They should take prayer for the sick as a mandate from God and in the name of the Lord, call upon His mighty power to heal the sick.
The Bible specifically says “anoint them with oil” because oil stands for the Holy Spirit. Anointing oil therefore reminds the sick to consciously open up their hearts to accept the work of the Spirit on their body. This, of course, is not to say that there is power in the oil itself (grammatically, the verse says that prayer is more important than the oil). The healing power is from the Holy Spirit. Therefore, in healing prayer we are seeking the work of God rather than any help from the intercessor. Albert Benjamin Simpson, the founder of Christian and Missionary Alliance, has elaborated that God heals a believer through the Holy Spirit and the exercise of his faith. Faith in itself has no healing power, but Christ is the Lord of healing. Healing does not depend on gift. It is divine and is not a natural outcome of faith. Healing depends on God who makes the decision under His lordship.
Christ is the Lord of healing. But this does not mean that we must wait passively. On the contrary, we should fervently pray to God for healing. A. B. Simpson put great emphasis on the healing grace of God. We can boldly pray to God in the belief that healing is a blessing and privilege which is also part of God’s saving grace. We are united with the life of the resurrected Lord. In doing so, we also receive the grace of healing. Having stressed the grace of healing and the lordship of God, A. B. Simpson went on to say that the most important thing is still gaining Christ. This means entrusting ourselves entirely to God and committing fully to Him so that His life in us can be made manifest.
James 5:10-11 also refers to Job, a man of perfect integrity who fully revered God and stayed away from evil. God did not heal his sicknesses. Nor did Job know the reason for all his suffering or how long it would last. But God gave him unwavering patience and ultimately a great blessing. “You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.”
Brothers and sisters experiencing sickness can boldly seek the healing grace of God. They can also trust that, if by His lordship God does not heal, He will still bestow patience so we receive grace in Christ eventually.
1 Wed May 23 from 7:15-8am, Thu May 24 from 8-9:15pm and Sat May 26 from 9-10am in the NPAC Main Church (above Fortress Hill MTR station)