Powerful Prayer

The effective prayer of the righteous can do a lot.

James 5:13-18

Prayer is as a solid rope, not as a wispy vapor.

Pray when you’re afflicted (James 5:13). The Greek term translated is afflicted here is used only three other times in the New Testament. Notice how its use in those contexts seems to restrict the meaning:

  • endure hardness (2 Timothy 2:3)
  • suffer trouble (2 Timothy 2:9)
  • endure afflictions (2 Timothy 4:5)

Why pray during affliction?

  • deliverance and glory (Psalm 50:15)
  • divine answers, presence, deliverance, and honor (Psalm 91:15)

Notice this connection between affliction, prayer, and humility: “And when he was in affliction, he besought the LORD his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers” (2 Chronicles 33:12).

Is the anointing of James 5 a measure of last resort, first resort, or only resort?

It is very important that we not put the anointing in this passage in the wrong category. The term used here (aleipho) is the same term used in passages like Matthew 6:17, Mark 6:13 and 16:1, and Luke 7:38. This word has been called the mundane and common word for anoint. On the other hand we have chrio, which some designate as the sacred and religious word for anoint, used in verses like Luke 4:18 and Acts 10:38. What implications do you see in the distinctive uses for these terms?

How are verses 14 and 15 statements of security?

Trust in my brother allows me to confidently recognize my needs and failings to him (James 5:16).

The prayer of James 5:16 is prayer that works. It is active and efficient. Learn more about it by looking up 1754 (energeo) in Strong’s Concordance. Over half the times it’s used in the New Testament, it is translated as a derivative of work.

The effective prayer of the righteous can do a lot.

Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense (Psalm 141:2)

Now an excerpt from a piece at Anabaptists that I wrote back in 2008:

God wants our sufferings to bring us closer to Himself. This is our opportunity to experience the comfort and consolation of Christ. God also wants our sufferings to bring us closer to our family of faith. He comforted us in our tribulation so “that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God” (2 Corinthians 1:4).

When others are aware of my difficulties and sufferings, are they aware of distress and despair? Do they get the impression that I have been forsaken and destroyed? Or do they become aware of the life of Jesus made manifest in my body?

“We count them happy which endure” (James 5:11)!! Jesus endured the cross, knowing that all kinds of joy would follow (Hebrews 12:2). I want that perspective; I want to look more to Him.

Read the rest: Learning Patience in Affliction

Now we are listening for you...

Above all, love God!
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