James 5:13–20 (ESV)
The Prayer of Faith
13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. 14 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. 15 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. 16 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. 17 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. 18 Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.
19 My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, 20 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 has been calling sinners to repentance, and here he exhorts the entire congregation to do the same. No
aspect of our lives is private, only between “me and God.” We hide behind facades of perfection, but sin and its consequences pervade every aspect of our lives. Left on our own, we would perish. But our Lord has given us a community of fellow saints
to hear our confession, pray for our needs, and restore us when we err. We hear His Gospel from them. God continuously sends into our lives those who pray for us, sing praise with us, and speak God’s words of forgiveness to us. As His people, healed
in body and soul, we may approach His throne of grace with confidence.
I PRAY: I place my life into Your hands, Lord. Save me, heal me, and use my voice to praise
You, to pray for my brothers and sisters, and to speak Your forgiving Word. Amen.
Engelbrecht, The Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009),