Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.
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.
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
James 5:13-16 King James Version
When you talk to theologians, healing is usually equated with “wholeness”. It can be part of liturgies or services of healing that include scripture about God’s love and responses to the suffering of his children. It is sometimes associated with rituals of anointing with oil.
My best understanding of healing is what most of us have experienced either as a recipient or a provider. When as children we first endure injuries or pain, we usually need a hug of reassurance as well as a “kiss to make it better”! We are reassured and we do feel better and soon we are back playing with a colorful bandaid as evidence of the injury.
I think this is what happens in the healing ministries of the church. God reaches down and gives us hugs and kisses with and through the love and concern of the community of faith. He then anoints us with the promise of His continuing presence.
Thanks be to God for His healing prescription.
Post: The Mystery of Healing - 4/17/11
Sulmasy DP. Spirituality, religion, and clinical care. Chest. 135(6):1634-42, 2009 July