Digging in Deeper: James 5:17-18

“Elijah was a human being as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the land. Then he prayed again, and the sky gave rain and the land produced its fruit.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter

We’ve been digging pretty deep into prayer the last few days. What James says in these few verses is really powerful stuff. Of all the things he has said that have been hard to get our minds around, this last part here takes the cake. James tells us here just how much power is available to us when we pray. Are you ready for this? 

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Digging in Deeper: James 5:16

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

Yesterday morning we encountered the uncomfortable truth that there just may be a connection between sin and sickness. This came on the back of James’ instructions to confess our sins to one another that we may be healed. This is uncomfortable stuff. As we asked then, what are we supposed to do with this?

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Morning Musing: James 5:16

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

Why do people get sick? Most folks today are going to turn toward a medical answer and stop there because it’s easier. People get sick because of a bacteria or a virus or a genetic flaw. Sometimes it’s simply bodily wear and tear. That settles most of the reasons, right? Well, that depends on the kind of answer you’re looking for. James here says there’s at least one more we need to consider. It’s really uncomfortable by itself, but its immediate context makes it even worse. 

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Digging in Deeper: James 5:15

“The prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up; if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

Prayer is powerful stuff. You believe that, right? In spite of our nation’s growing secularity, a sizable majority of Americans still profess to pray regularly. You would think, then, that most of them believe there is some kind of effect or benefit to it. But just how much benefit does it bring? James here suggests there is potentially a lot of benefit. 

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Morning Musing: James 5:13-14

“Is anyone among you suffering? He should pray. Is anyone cheerful? He should sing praises. Is anyone among you sick? He should call for the elders of the church, and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.” ‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

Imagine with me for a minute: Something awful has happened. Who’s the first person you tell? You’ve just had the best day you’ve had in a long time. Who do you tell first? You’ve finally solved that huge mystery you’ve been wondering about for weeks. Who is it you can’t wait to see so you can give them all the details? My guess is the person who’s name kept coming up is either your best friend in the world, your spouse, or both. That’s just about as it should be. James, however, has another suggestion for that list. 

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