Devotional: James 5:13-20


  • (Jas 5:13 ESV) Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise.
  • (Jas 5:14 ESV) 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.
  • (Jas 5:15 ESV) 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.
  • (Jas 5:16 ESV) 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.
  • (Jas 5:17 ESV) 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.
  • (Jas 5:18 ESV) Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.
  • (Jas 5:19 ESV) My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back,
  • (Jas 5:20 ESV) 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.


This passage that closes James is heavy on the function of prayer in the life of a believer.  Prayer is maybe the simplest thing in Christianity yet somehow it is often least utilized.  When Elijah prayed, things happened – but not random things to make him more popular.  The things that happened were part of God’s greater plan to show His sovereignty to the world.


We too are called to pray in all things and promised that the prayer of a righteous person has great power.  The quest then becomes what do we do with such an opportunity?


How has your prayer life been during times of suffering?


Do you find it common to pray during times of rejoicing?


When you or a loved one is affected by illness – be it physical, mental, or spiritual – how does that impact your prayer life?


If you are in a state of spiritual wandering, or someone close to you is, do you pray about that?


How has prayer played a part in restoration for you or someone you know?




Prayer is a special form of communication between God and His people enabled and guided by the Holy Spirit and meant to happen constantly. Following the example of Jesus, believers should pray for God’s glory, seeking God’s will and provision, confessing their sins and requesting forgiveness, and asking for direction from God.  When we pray we should approach the throne of God with confidence that He will meet all of our needs both physical and spiritual with our best interest at heart. In prayer, our ultimate desire is to be transformed into the likeness of Christ.

Psalm 34:15, Hebrews 4:16, Ecclesiastes 5:2, 1 Peter 5:6-7, Romans, 8:26, Acts 12:5, Acts 12:7, Philippians 4:6, Luke 11:2-13, Luke 18:1-8, 1 Thessalonians 5:17, Ephesians 6:18-19, Matthew 6:5-8, Luke 22:39-44, John 15:7, 1 John 5:14, Isaiah 59:1, Luke 6:12, Luke 22:45-46, Colossians 4:2-3, Psalm 13:1-2, Psalm 22:2, 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, Matthew 14:35-36