James 5: 13-18
13 Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. 17 Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18 Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.
In this passage, James gives really practical encouragement about when and how to pray. I love how relevant & relatable these verses are. It’s pretty wise and straightforward instruction, but I can’t help but think about how many times I unintentionally ignore it. When I am in trouble, is God my first port of call for help, or do I try to fix things in my own strength? When I’m ill, do I ask for pastors & leaders in church to pray for healing? When I sin, do I confess to those I have sinned against and ask for forgiveness from them?
Sometimes it’s so easy to read passages like this, and brush over the fact that I am a part of the intended audience, and this applies to me! It’s a great reminder to read the Bible as wise instruction for every day living.
God, thank you that you have provided encouragement & helpful instruction through your Word. Instead of just reading the Bible, may I actively apply it to my life!
Written by Madelaine Tarasenko