A friend of ours of Hawaiian descent was the recipient of a telephone call, informing her that a sister had just suffered a major heart attack, and it was questionable concerning her survival.
If you have experienced such an encounter, you can well imagine the mental turmoil of those succeeding hours. You are in Arizona and your sister is in Hawaii. Your family is close knit, and therefore there are telephone calls in every direction to keep all abreast of what is taking place with the patient and the family.
Decisions must be made hastily; airline tickets booked, and packing arranged for short or long-term stays. At home, things must be arranged for your house and its maintenance while you are absent. Finally, you are in route to her bedside, but there is the anxiously wondering whether she will survive or not; in particular whether she will be alive when you arrive.
The family begins to arrive from various locations. While individuals have been praying for the heart attack patient, it is agreed that corporate prayer would be important to her recovery. However, it is further agreed that, according to Hawaiian custom, there should first be a searching of each soul and, if anything were amiss in the family, it should be confessed and forgiven, or God would not hear their prayers. An emotional time followed as family problems were dealt with. In some cases, things were dealt with that had not even been known to each other previously. Now, and only now, it was time for that corporate prayer.
There was concerted prayer, and God saw fit to answer it with a touch of His healing power. Two months later, I had the joy of meeting this lady who had flown to Arizona to celebrate her mother’s seventy-fifth birthday. A celebration with multiplied rewards of physical healing, spiritual healing within the family, and Mom having reached this stage of life.
Through all of this, my mind and heart continually reverted to the Book of James. In the fifth chapter we read some important teachings about prayer. How about the 9th verse… ”Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door.” Then there is the 13th through the 16th verses where sin must be dealt with if healing is to be experienced. Do not get caught up in the oil being olive, 3 in 1, or 10/40, the oil of the Holy Spirit is most important to the occasion. His presence will suffice and be experienced when sin has been dealt with. “Is anyone among you suffering? Then he must pray. Is anyone cheerful? He is to sing praises. Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.”
Well! Was this a “Hawaiian custom” or a Biblical principle adapted so beautifully by the Hawaiian Christians? Has this little story created a resolve in your own heart?