“Do any of you suffer ill? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing a psalm. Is any among you weak? Let him summon the pastors of the assembly, and let them pray over him anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will heal the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed any sins they will be forgiven him.
Confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so you may be healed. The petition of a righteous man being made effective is strong. Elijah was a man of like us. He prayed in prayer that it should not rain and it did not rain on the Earth for three years and six months. He prayed again, and the heaven gave rain and the Earth brought forth the fruit of it.” (James 5:13-18).
Believers who are suffering in any way should pray for the Lord to comfort them. Those who are suffering either physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually will be encouraged. Believers who are sick are to call for the pastors of the church to pray for them. Oil was used to anoint kings (1 Samuel 16.13) and priests (Leviticus 8.12) in the Old Testament dispensation, and was used at the beginning of the church. It is only used by a few denominations within the faith today, but it should be used. It represents the work of the HOLY SPIRIT.
Prayer and anointing with oil in the name of God can heal believers who are sick. If the illness is due to sin such as gluttony, God will forgive him. This is seldom practiced among believers today, but it should be. If a local assembly followed this command there would be a lot less sickness among the church and less sin. Pastors need to follow this neglected command.
Christians are to confess their sins to one another for healing not in any other context. We are not commanded to confess our sins to a priest, bishop, or anyone designated as such. We are to confess our sins to Jesus when we commit them for “He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1.9).
The only time we are to confess our sins to other believers is when we sin against them, and for healing. Some sins should not be confessed to others such as sexual sins because many believers, including pastors, cannot handle it.
Prayer works and the effective prayer of a righteous man can do a great deal. The prime example is Elijah who prayed that it would not rain and for 3.5 years it did not. He prayed again that it would rain and it did. Elijah was just like us. He had no special power but he had great faith and he exercised it. The way to make your faith grow is to ask God to increase it (Luke 17.5).