Read This Week’s Passage: James 5:13–20
with Prayer and Community
James keeps his focus on practical Christianity up until the last word of his letter. Departing from his longer-winded explanations, he finishes with some bite-sized pieces of practical advice.
The majority of this closing section centers on prayer. His overarching point is that there is always a great reason to talk to God. In the throes of despair and in the heights of joy, both give ample opportunity to commune with God in prayer. When courage fails, reach out to others to help pray and leave all burdens and needs at the feet of Jesus.
James emphasizes that there’s nothing special about Elijah that made God listen to Him more than He will listen to His children today. His very being—his nature—was no different than ours, and we don’t need another human in order to commune with God.
James finishes his book by sharing the far-reaching impact of accountability in godly community. Love is sometimes used as an excuse to avoid confrontation and instruction; but James paints the eternal positive consequences of bringing someone back to the truth after they’ve wandered.
With no explicit goodbye, James leaves his readers to live the practical wisdom he has shared, all in the power of and glory to Jesus Christ.