A Healing Community (Nov 21)

From Open Up Your Heart by Jeff Syverson

November 21

A Healing Community

Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalm 126:4-6 | Ezekiel 42:1-43:27 | James 5:1-20 | Proverbs 28:6-7

Today’s Scripture Focus: James 5:1-20

“Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. [14] 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.” (James 5:13-14 NIV).

James describes the church as a healing community: A place where the broken and wounded can come to find people filled with faith and love. It is a place where needs are met through prayer; It is a place where “it’s OK” to “not be O.K.”; where people are honest and transparent about their true condition–no need to cover the truth.

It is a place of prayer. “Is any of you in trouble? He should pray” (13); “Pray for each other”(16); “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective” (16). Whatever the need, whatever the trouble, the praying community takes the need in faith to God.

It is a place of praise and worship. “Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise” (13). God manifests his presence in times of praise and worship. In his presence, needs are met, broken hearts find healing, and lives are changed.

It is a place of healing. Church leaders anoint with oil as the community joins together to pray for the sick. Their prayers are not half-hearted or double-minded. They pray prayers of faith and expect God to bring healing.” And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well.”

It is a place of honesty and authenticity. People do not cover over their sins or pretend they don’t have problems. The healing community is a place of confession. Often the healing we seek can’t be released until sin is confessed and dealt with. “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.”

A true healing community, as described by James, is a dynamic church that will impact the world they live in. It all begins with people coming in their brokenness and finding Christ to be all they need. Open your heart to Jesus today in a healing community of faith–allow him to meet your deepest needs.

Lord, make us a church that provides a place for the broken and hurting to bring their need. Make us a church that prays, and hopes, and expects God to do amazing things. Make us a church that is a place of grace where we feel safe to share our brokenness and sin without fear of shame and condemnation. Make us a place of joyful praise and thanksgiving. Make us a healing community. Amen.

About pastorjeffsneighborhood

Born and raised in Minnesota, I have served in churches in Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon and California. I am a graduate of Crown College (MN) and George Fox Evangelical Seminary (OR). I have also done additional graduate studies in New Testament Studies at the Center for Advanced Theological Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary (CA). I am also a graduate of the College of Prayer. Having served as the Academic Dean and Program Director at Horizon Institute of Los Angeles for several years, I have returned to the pastorate and serve as Pastor of Big Trees Community Bible Church in Arnold, CA.
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