Is any sick among you? 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:

And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.

James 5:14-15

I wonder how many places anointing is used extensively today?  I read a paraphrase of it in the book I’m reading that went like this:

Is any sick among you?  Let him go to the doctor’s office, and let the doctor do a physical examination, some lab tests, and maybe an Xray, and give him drugs in the name of the system.  And the natural healing process and the regimes of the system shall raise him up, maybe; and if he have committed any sins, they shall be ignored because the only thing that matters is getting the physical problem alleviated; and the idea that the problem is spiritual isn’t even considered.

Since I was privileged to witness an anointing service this week which I think will very possibly lead to healing, it was on my mind, and these words really hit me.  It seems to me that often the anointing is used only as a type of “last rites,” never administered unless there is a good possibility of the person dying.  It’s given as a comforting balm to the spirit, but not with any real expectation of actual physical healing!  Is this how it was intended, I wonder?


Another pericope from Born in Zion: (pericope (puh-RIK-uh-pee)=selection from a book.  I love A Word a Day, available at )

I should mention that this book is written by a midwife who sees childbirth more as a spiritual event (often a battle with Satan, who wishes to destroy life rather than allow it) than a medical event.  She has some very interesting insights, and this one caught my attention.

Incidentally, that delivery involved a rough battle for me personally.  I know now it was because I wasn’t in a position to fight in a spiritual battle very effectively.  It was during the time I was flitting around from church to church, trying to find a place where they’d appreciate me properly; most people were rejecting our ministry at that point.  I was really manifesting the “Lone Ranger Syndrome.”

I know there’s been a lot of error and abuse in the area of submission and shepherding, and I certainly don’t mean to ascribe to any type of bondage, but I know I wasn’t able to exert much authority when I wasn’t UNDER authority.  After I made a commitment to a particular portion of the body of Christ, determined to support it, attend regularly, and be fitted together with the people there, I could once again exercise spiritual power against the enemy.  Like the Centurion said to Jesus, “I am a man UNDER authority; I say to this one ‘Go’ and he goes and to that one ‘Come’ and he comes…” 

I couldn’t even chase away a two-bit demon when I was rejecting lawful authority over me.

Any comments?  I’d love to hear what you all think about either one of these issues!


About dayuntoday

I'm a wonderer. I spend a lot of time mulling, pondering, and cogitating. This is just a place to park some of those thoughts.
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9 Responses to

  1. :sunny:Hi, Thanks for visiting my blog….I actually have two, but just decided to start posting on my Xanga site too.  They will both be  the  same.
    I posted the Green Tomato Pie recipe just now!  Hope you like it!:fun:

  2. samcgarber says:

    Okay, so, can we differentiate between a. sick folk looking up their older associates for healing oil and prayer without fanfare and sick folk calling on a service / rite named ‘Anointing’ accompanied by the tedious nature of rituals?
    A second thought; if ‘Anointing’ were a ‘rite’ to be applied for just before ‘death-do-us-part,’ wouldn’t it generally be the younger who would be called upon to perform it?
    Pertaining to part two, I think our spiritual battles don’t stop in physical trauma such as labor, but, I think the dear lady may have taken the thing a little to far into spirituality, just a thought.

  3. dotmarie says:

    I definitely agree with the part about authority. If you aren’t under the authority God intended you to be under you don’t HAVE any God-given authority.

  4. homefire says:

    Having never been truly committed to a body of believers until recently, I’m finding it to be a wonderful experience.  Before, I was committed in name, but not in truth, so I didn’t find the blessing.  But being committed to a group of people in Jesus’s name; encouraging, loving, challenging, and holding each other accountable…Well, it’s a great way to live!  And this quote made me realize why I once struggled so desperately against the powers of darkness.

  5. samcgarber says:

    Does true commitment to a body of believers come by personal conviction or finding the right B.O.B. or other?

  6. fwren says:

    As one who has received the anointing, I will say I received it believing it could bring healing, and would bring forgiveness for any unforgiven sin in my life and was told that it would bring me great peace.  Actually, at the time that I asked for the anointing, I was blessed with a great peace (I already had peace, but somehow this was was greater – hard to explain, but that’s the way it happened).  So when they told me great peace would follow, I just sort of smiled inside, cuz unbeknownst to them, it was already there!  🙂  God did grant me healing and I praise Him for that.  I believe the anointing is a privilege, not to only be used just before dying.  In my case, I really desired it before a risky surgery.  By the way, the paraphrase is sorta pathetic, don’t ya think?
    As for the authority thing, homefire, your comments are intriguing.  Would love to talk to you about it sometime.  As you know from experience, it is a hot potato trying to reconcile it in certain places.  How to deal?  AND . . . how did you get the butterflies and the header?  You just finished telling me you didn’t know how to DO a background!!  It’s lovely!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Comment on Thought #1
    A young minister in our area recently related to us in private conversation that he wondered if the “Anointing” is perhaps under-used today. His thoughts were that it could be used in instances such as fwrens, irregardless of the age of the person. He also mentioned mental illness, depression, and other similar maladies, and his thoughts were that it could be a comfort to and possibly even a help for those that suffered from these things. I guess after some thinking I tend to agree. FWIW

    Gods Blessings!!

  8. mamaglop says:

    Actually I’ve heard some interesting accounts of last rites being given and the person recovering.  One of those was told to me by a friend of the person it happened to. Agnes Sandford, I believe, who’s husband was an Episcopal Priest, wrote that in every infant baptisim where he went to the home or hospital because of dire circumstances, the infant lived and was well after.  ( I think I am remembering this correctly, at least as well as I can. )

  9. mamaglop says:

    I’ve always thought what we’ve been dealing with had a spiritual aspect, but it is very hard to find a Christian church that deals with it, and if you do, it’s hard to find one that does it in a biblical fashion. 

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