Isaiah 57: 18-19 “I have seen his ways, but I will heal him; I will lead him and restore comfort to him and his mourners, creating the fruit of the lips. Peace, peace, to the far and to the near,’ says the Lord, ‘and I will heal him.”  

Sit yourself in a comfortable position and reflect on God’s desire and promise to provide rest when we are weary.

Psalm 34:17-19“The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.  The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. A righteous man may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all.”

Comforting words from the Psalmist.  Another promise and assurance of God’s ever presence with us and God’s deliverance in in times of trouble. 

Luke 4:14-19Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside.  He was teaching in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.  He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners  and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Jesus quoted these words from Isaiah.  They lined him up with the prophets and other people of faith who believed God’s spirit was upon them.  A community of people who claim to know and love God should feel the responsibility to preach the good news to the poor, release the captives, restore sight to the blind, and free the oppressed. This anointing is available to all followers of Jesus. 

John 9:1-11As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”   “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.  While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes.  “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.  His neighbors and those who had formerly seen him begging asked, “Isn’t this the same man who used to sit and beg?”  Some claimed that he was.  Others said, “No, he only looks like him.”  But he himself insisted, “I am the man.” “How then were your eyes opened?” they asked.   He replied, “The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed, and then I could see.”

Jesus saw in the blind man an opportunity to display the works of God to his disciples and to all onlookers, including unbelievers.

James 5:14-15 (The Message) –   Are you sick? Call the church leaders together to pray and anoint you with oil in the name of the Master. Believing-prayer will heal you, and Jesus will put you on your feet. And if you’ve sinned, you’ll be forgiven—healed inside and out.

James is talking about the community of prayer, and the fruits of powerful, effective prayer for the family of faith. When we pray for one another, we find compassion for one another. We find the courage to say that we are hurting. We find the time to care for the sick, the lonely and the lost.  When we pray for others, our relationship with God grows. We are blessed in ways we cannot imagine.