“Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. 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 one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.
My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.” James 5:13-20
James gives some very practical advice here on how we might apply God’s Word. On Sunday in our study of Ezra we looked at fasting and prayer. As we look out on our world today there is a lot that we could fast and pray about: disease, wildfires, economic loss, mental health, hurricanes, the election, just to name a few items.
In this short passage there are many other ways to actively apply the word. If you are suffering in any way today, pray. If you are cheerful, sing praise. (Singing praise also helps when we are not so cheerful) If you are sick you can call the elders to pray for you and with you. And please know that we do pray for all of you. Do you have any sins in your life you need to confess? We all sin and all need to repent, but examine your life to see if there are any areas you need to confess to someone else and ask for their forgiveness. How is your doctrine? Are you firmly fixed upon the truth of God’s Word? Or are you wandering? Do you know of anyone else who is wandering? Maybe you are the one God will use to bring back one who is wandering from the truth that his soul may be saved from death and cover a multitude of sins.
Never underestimate the power of doing simple things daily. Prayer and Bible study and praise. Let us lift up one another in prayer this week and encourage one another to press on in our faith.