13 Question 3

A simple answer would be to say: Both.  As believers on the Lord Jesus Christ, we should cast all our care on the Lord as He asks us to do in 1 Peter 5:7 which says, “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”  We have instructions in Scripture about what to do when we are sick.  James 5:14-15 says, “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.”

So, what comes first?  Prayer.  It is so important that we commit the sick, even ourselves, to the Lord, asking Him to heal according to His will.  Does prayer ever move the Lord to heal a sick person?  Absolutely!  James 5:16 assures us that, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”  So, first and foremost, we need to be in prayer for our healing, showing our dependence on the Lord to restore us to good health if it is His will.

What about the oil that we read about in James 5:14-15?  Is it a miraculous oil that is intended to heal?  I think we can get a proper understanding by reading part of the account of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:33-34 where it says, “But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.”  We see that this Good Samaritan used oil and wine as medicine to treat the wounds of the injured.  The oil referred to in both accounts is referring to olive oil, which people have used for years as a healing agent.  So, along with prayer, the use of medicine is taught in the scriptures.  Listen to the Apostle Paul’s words to Timothy in  1 Timothy 5:23 – “Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities.”  Timothy was instructed to take a little wine for its healing properties in helping him with his stomach problems.  In fact, a doctor traveled with the Apostle Paul for much of his ministry.  This same doctor wrote the books of Luke and Acts in the Bible.  Some may not realize that Luke was a doctor, but we have the word of Paul in Colossians 4:14 that says, “Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you.”

So, to go back to my original, simple answer to your question, we should both pray and seek medical help for our sicknesses.  Over the years, the Lord has blessed us all with increasing knowledge of how to treat and heal many different diseases and sicknesses.  We have learned many preventative measures that will help keep us from developing diseases and sicknesses.  Let’s use these things and thank the Lord for giving them to us.