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Our fasting quote of encouragement today is from Matthew Henry. He said: "If the solemnities of our fasting, though frequent, long, and severe, do not serve to put an edge upon devout affections, to quicken prayer, to increase Godly sorrow, and to alter the temper of our minds, and the course of our lives, for the better, they do not at all answer the intention, and God will not accept them as performed to Him."
Our fasting devotional today is titled "THE DANIEL FAST PRESCRIPTION: PRAY TO PERCEIVE SIN'S ROLE IN POOR HEALTH" (part 3) from Dr. Elmer L. Towns in his book "Fasting for Spiritual Breakthrough".
James 5:13-16 reads: Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. Is anyone among you sick? 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 will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess your trepasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed.
Notice the last five implications revealed in this passage:
1. Sick people must desire to be well. Hence, their total personalities--knowing, feeling and will--become involved in their healings. They are exercising faith by calling for the elders, and asking for healing.
2. The "anointing of oil" has at least three interpretations: (1) it could be medicinal for healing; (2) it could be symbolic of the Holy Spirit (not real oil), signifying the filling of the sick person by the Holy Spirit, which qualifies that person for healing; (3) it could be real oil (like real water in baptism), which is only the outer symbol of God's Holy Spirit that heals within.
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