(October 27, 2022) Maureen McQuillan responds to a very earnest, thoughtful friend…
Dear Pastor Maureen
I was really blessed by your Experiences testimony (T’was a Cold Wintry Night, Nere a Sound was Heard), it touched me in many ways. Great to learn how the Lord touched you miraculously through the ministry of those elders so long ago.
That aspect – your mother actually requesting the elders to anoint you and pray for you, quoting James 5:14 – is special to me as it has been on my heart for some time. I mean, the thought that when people are sick, they should call for the elders to pray over them, just as James wrote. I mentioned this to my pastor and he agreed, saying that people don’t and he wished they would. What are your thoughts? Tom.
I’m glad my testimony blessed you. In that church I mentioned in my testimony, troubled people had no hesitation in calling for the elders to be anointed with oil and prayed for. It was ‘the in-thing to do.’
People took that scripture you mentioned at face value… they called for prayer. ‘Call’ here is a word meaning ‘to invite.’ There’s an inference that anyone sick should make a point to doing this. In fact, most translations say, ‘should call.’ NASB reads ‘must call.’
Traditionally this was the done thing. Elders, or at least the minister, would be invited – that is asked – to visit sick people at home to pray over them. Or, as was the case with me, elders might ask that the sick be brought to the church.