“OLD CAMEL KNEES”
In an article by Jon Peterson, “Writing in the 4th Century by Jerome records that ‘James, the half-brother of Jesus…prayed in behalf of the people, insomuch that his knees were reputed to have acquired the hardness of camel’s knees’.” Thus, the nickname stuck! Therefore, what better place to begin the blog on confession through prayer but The Letter of James.
THE THREE QUESTIONS
“Is anyone among you afflicted? He should pray. Is anyone glad at heart? He should sing praise (to God). Is anyone among you sick?” (James 5:13, 14).
1. WHO’S AFFLICTED?
2. WHO’S MERRY; GLAD AT HEART?
3. WHO’S SICK?
“Affliction” doesn’t refer to a sickness or illness; that topic is referred to in verse 14. The word means “to be attacked or persecuted for the sake of the gospel. A by-product would be poor choices we’ve made that go against the Word of God. A Scriptural example can be found in The Book of Romans, where Paul says;
“Do you not know that if you continually surrender yourselves to anyone to do his will, you are slaves of him whom you obey, whether that be to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience which leads to righteousness (right doing and right standing with God)?” (Rom. 6:16).
That’s “reaping what we’ve sown”. Remember, “Words Determine Your Thinking”; that’s right words and wrong words. In Creflo Dollar’s “8 Steps to Your Destination”, he starts the conversation by, YOU determine your words that you say. Either God’s words or the worlds. “Your words then, determine your thinking; your thinking determines your emotions; your emotions determine your decisions or choices”. WRONG choices will lead to “affliction”.
It always starts with your prayer life; that doesn’t necessarily mean to petition God. Prayer is the “vehicle” of our relationship with God; asking for wisdom, studying/reading His word; enjoying quiet time with Him without saying a word. All of those thoughts are prayer (fellowship). Relief of affliction comes through your relationship with God.
“Relationships last a lifetime!”
I heard a pastor one morning, start his sermon with this quotation: “I don’t want to KNOW ABOUT God. I want to KNOW God”.
It’s personal and it ALL starts with a loving relationship with Jesus.
“And the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend”.
With social networks, smart phones, computer email, it seems we are never involved in a face to face relationship anymore. We are even finding a future spouse via on-line dating. What has happen to the relationships in our lives?
“MERRY” OR “GLAD OF HEART”
When was the last time you could say to yourself, “Boy, I am sure feeling “merry”; “glad of heart” lately? Scripture says we should be making “a joyful noise unto the Lord” (Psalm 66:1; Psalm 81:1; Psalm 95:1-12; Psalm 98:4-6; Psalm 100:1).
I sang with a worship team on Sundays for about two years. I looked at some of the faces singing and it was hard seeing people who were singing without “joyful noises”, without “thanksgiving”, without expressions of praise in their singing.
Looking back now at the experiences, knowing I wasn’t aware of what they might be going through, perhaps a time of experiencing affliction as they stood singing.
James is telling us in verse 13, no matter what our affliction might be, we are to be “glad at heart” IN… our affliction.
“I CAN’T BE HAPPY WHILE I AM GOING THROUGH ‘STUFF’…”
Paul and Silas clothes were torn off, beaten with rods, struck with many blows to the face and thrown into jail with their feet fastened in the stocks (Acts 16:22-24). Now that’s affliction!
“But about midnight, as Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God” (Acts 16:25).
If you have thought it was hard for you to sing praises in YOUR affliction on Sunday mornings, remind yourself of Paul’s and Silas’ circumstances and sing as loud as you can in gladness the next time. “Sing praise to God”. It becomes your intent to please Him; not to please yourself and looking like ‘road kill’ while trying to please God in your affliction.
IS ANYONE SICK?
Scripture teaches other means by which healing is brought to a person.
In James 5:14, any sick person should call the elders of the church; assuming the elders BELIEVE in the laying on of hands to heal any sickness and praying over the sick person of the anointing with oil.
Verse 15 says you must have “the prayer [that is] of faith will save him who is sick”. In other words, if you ask someone in the church who doesn’t believe that prayer can heal, your are not going to see results.
A GOOD definition of FAITH is, “A practical expression of the confidence in God and His Word”. And FAITH continues in HOPE’s definition: “is a heartfelt expectation of a thing with an out-stretched neck”.
If you call upon someone to pray for your sickness that doesn’t exhibit the “prayer of faith”, your sickness won’t go away. That’s not the WORD detective telling you, it’s God’s Word giving you the remedy. The prayer of faith shall save the sick! NO FAITH, NO HEALING!
The word “Elders” isn’t necessarily referring to the position within a local body; although it is likely during the years of the early church when everyone believed in healing this would be so. I’ll leave it at that.
Most churches that I know don’t make a regular practice of laying on hands to heal the sick. They simply refer people to a doctor they know of that you can seek out.
An “elder” was translated in the Greek language, “prosbuteros“; translated to English the word is “presbyter” or senior member of the church. NOTE the fact, that a person is an elder, that fits the requirement; it’s whether they know how to pray the “prayer of faith”.
“THE PRAYER OF FAITH” AS TAUGHT BY JESUS
“And Jesus, replying, said to them [His disciples], Have faith in God [constantly]. Truly I tell you, whoever says to the mountain, Be lifted up and thrown into the sea! and does not doubt at all in his heart but believes that what he says will take place, it wilL be done for him. For this reason I am telling you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe (trust and be confident) that it is granted to you, and you will [get it]” (Mark 11:22-24 Amplified).
SPEAKING TO THE MOUNTAIN
If sickness is the mountain, command it to be removed (healed); in the Name (Authority), using the word “SHALL” or “IT WILL” gives absolute certainty to what you’re asking for. “I believe that I receive that I possess it, I confess it” That simple confession is the root of all prayer.
If a person isn’t healed, 1 or 2 things occurred and neither have to do with God or His will:
1. Didn’t call the elders in faith but by religious practice.
2. The request of others who were believing, or the elders present, didn’t make “the prayer of faith”.
DEALING WITH RELATIONSHIPS; Confessing your faults to one another:
“Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed” (James 5:16 in King James).
We are to confess our sins to God but our faults one to another. If I have injured you, then I should confess that to you. BUT I will not confess my sins to you, and I don’t want you confessing your sins to me. You are to confess that to the Lord.
“If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action]” (I John 1:9).
I cannot forgive sins; neither can any clergyman forgive sins–only God can do that.
Confessing your faults to one another doesn’t mean to grab a stranger next Sunday in church and start telling them your deficiencies, your character make-up; “I’m always late” or “I can’t thank God for anything anymore.” It starts by developing a relationship first.
Also, a clergyman shouldn’t ask someone in the fellowship to come up to the platform and admit their faults; to make them feel better; getting rid of their burden. You should know the “one another” before spilling your guts about what a critical person you are. Remember, confession isn’t an apology; “I am sorry for the way I am”. Repentance goes with confession; turning 180 degrees from where you’ve been. If you choose the wrong person to confess your faults too, that’s how gossip starts in churches.
CONFESSING YOUR FAULTS:
It means you confess or “I admit it,” what you did wrong. Leave the other person’s mistake or fault to them–For THEM to confess. Too often, we confess the other persons faults instead of our own.
“Old Camel Knees” says, “confess your faults” and pray for each other “that you to be healed”.
James isn’t referring to sickness, he has already dealt with illness in verse 14. Rather, this “HEALING” refers to the reconciliation of relationships and healing any conflict among people.
I have covered but a few aspects of an effectual prayer life. It all starts with our relationship with Our heavenly Father; for He is love. And believers in His Son, we are the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Confessing that Jesus is your Saviour and Lord, is admitting who He is and by faith your ‘are sticking with it’.