James 5:13-16 - Faithful Prayer

James 5:13-16 (KJV) Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is 
any merry? let him sing psalms. 14 Is any sick among you? 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 
shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have 
committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. 16 Confess your faults one to 
another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual 
fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.  

James 5:13-16 (AMP) Is anyone among you afflicted (ill-treated, 
suffering evil)? He should pray. Is anyone glad at heart? He should sing 
praise [to God]. 14 Is anyone among you sick? He should call in the 
church elders (the spiritual guides). And they should pray over him, 
anointing him with oil in the Lord's name. 15 And the prayer [that is] of 
faith will save him who is sick, and the Lord will restore him; and if 
he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Confess to one 
another therefore your faults (your slips, your false steps, your 
offenses, your sins) and pray [also] for one another, that you may be 
healed and restored [to a spiritual tone of mind and heart]. The 
earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes 
tremendous power available [dynamic in its working].  


Many kinds of prayer are named here: prayer for the sick, prayer 
for forgiveness, prayer for the nation, even prayer about the 
weather. There is no need that prayer cannot meet and no problem that 
prayer cannot solve. [Warren Wiersbe] 

The Christian's most powerful resource is communion with God 
through prayer. The results are often greater than we thought were 
possible. Some people see prayer as a last resort to be tried when all 
else fails. This approach is backward. Prayer should come first. 
Because God's power is infinitely greater than ours, it only makes sense 
to rely on it -- especially because God encourages us to do so. 
[Life Application SB] 

God promises that our prayers are packed with spiritual punch if 
our lives are right with Him. While He hears all prayer, it's 
comforting to know that we can have a bigger impact if we are living in 
obedience to Him. Thank God today for the awesome effect we can have with 
our prayer lives if we are faithful Christians. [The 365 Daily 
Promise Bible By Barbour re Jam. 5:16] 


In Scripture, oil was both a medicine (see the parable of the 
Good Samaritan in Luke 10:30-37) and a symbol of the Spirit of God 
(as used in anointing kings, see 1Samuel 16:1-13). Thus oil can 
represent both the medical and the spiritual spheres of life. Christians 
should not separate the physical and the spiritual -- Jesus Christ is 
Lord over both the body and the spirit. [Life Application SB] 
Those who seek healing by prayer should not neglect to make use 
of the remedial agencies within their reach. It is not a denial of 
faith to use such remedies as God has provided to alleviate pain and 
to aid nature in her work of restoration. It is no denial of faith 
to co-operate with God, and to place themselves in the condition 
most favorable to recovery. God has put it in our power to obtain a 
knowledge of the laws of life. This knowledge has been placed within our 
reach for use. We should employ every facility for the restoration of 
health, taking every advantage possible, working in harmony with natural 
laws. {MH 226-233} 

Does 2 Chronicles 16:12 indicate that I should not go doctors 
when I am sick? The criticism of Asa's visit to the physicians was 
not a general indictment of medicine. Asa's problem was that he 
completely ignored God's help. The medicine practiced at this time was a 
mixture of superstition and folk remedies. We should certainly avoid any 
pseudo-medical treatment derived from occult sources. Asa's experience should 
also encourage us to follow the New Testament practice of receiving 
prayer for our sickness (James 5:14) as we seek responsible medical 
help. [The One Year Bible Companion re 2Ch. 16:12] 


We Learn More In Our Valley Experiences Than On Our Mountaintops.
Adversity, anguish, trials, tribulations, and heartaches operate 
as lessons in the. school of experience. They bring us to a place 
of new insight and understanding; they can alter our perception of 
the world and of God, and lead us to change our behavior. The Lord, 
of course, is the ultimate Teacher. He is the One to whom we must 
look for the meaning of any lesson related to adversity. 
God allows adversity for at least three reasons:
1. God uses adversity to get our attention.
2. Adversity leads to examination.
At times God sees fit to allow adversity into our lives to 
motivate us to self-examination. The winds of adversity blow away the 
surface issues and force us to cope with things on a deeper level. 
Adversity removes the cloak of what we are supposed to be to reveal the 
truth of who we are. The "real us" shows through.  
We are to regularly examine both our faith and ourselves. Paul 
encouraged the Corinthians, "Let a man examine himself" (I Cor. 11:28). In 
other words, "Take an inquisitive look inside and discover what is 
driving you, motivating you, and enticing you." 
God does not want negative elements from the past to lie around 
our lives and cause us trouble. Each of us is the temple of the Holy 
Spirit, and He wants us to be clean and usable vessels. We have no 
reason to allow the rubbish of the past to remain in our lives for 
years--old memories, haunting temptations, the baggage of unresolved hurts 
and unreconciled relationships. The Lord desires that we free 
ourselves of anything that might keep us in inner bondage, whether 
mentally, emotionally, psychologically, or spiritually. When we become 
complacent in accepting the hurts of the past as part of who we are, the 
Lord may bring a little adversity to lead us to pursue instead who we 
might be in Christ Jesus. 
3. The effective lesson leads to change in behavior.
Teachers often prepare behavioral objectives for their classroom 
lectures. These objectives list in concrete and measurable form the 
behaviors that the teacher desires for a student to display as proof that 
the student has learned the lesson. The lessons that the Lord 
teaches us through adversity are ultimately for that very purpose: a 
charge in behavior, including a change in the belief that prompted the 
It isn't enough that the Lord gets our attention or that we 
engage in self-examination. We can see a problem and know ourselves 
thoroughly, but unless we change our response to God in some way, we will 
never benefit fully from adversity or grow as a result of it. 
Self-examination may feel painful. But remember, whatever you 
find within yourself, Jesus Himself came to help you carry that 
burden to the cross and deal with it there, once and for all. He has 
your best interest in mind. He knows that pain sometimes paves the 
path to complete healing and restoration. 
If you are willing to allow God to surface the inner rubbish of 
your life, and if you are willing to change what needs to be changed, 
you will emerge from adversity closer to Christ, more mature as His 
child, and with far greater potential to reflect the love of God to the 
world around you." [Life Principles SB By Charles Stanley re Jam. 

Job had to go through some very dark, excruciating days, but 
never once during his trials did the Lord ever leave him. It helps to 
remember God's unchanging compassion and mercy when we suffer. [Life 
Principles SB By Charles Stanley re Jam. 5:11] 


Christ has made it possible for us to go directly to God for 
forgiveness. But confessing our sins to each other still has an important 
place in the life of the church. (1) If we have sinned against an 
individual, we must ask him or her to forgive us. (2) If our sin has 
affected the church, we must confess it publicly. (3) If we need loving 
support as we struggle with a sin, we should confess that sin to those 
who are able to provide that support. (4) If, after confessing a 
private sin to God, we still don't feel his forgiveness, we may wish to 
confess that sin to a fellow believer and hear him or her assure us of 
God's pardon. In Christ's kingdom, every believer is a priest to other 
believers (1Peter 2:9). [Life Application SB] 

We cannot obey a multitude of God's commands without being in 
regular, close fellowship with other believers. He has designed this 
world so that many of our needs are met only through mutual 
interdependence. [Life Principles SB By Charles Stanley Jam. 5:16] 


Prayer is the recognition that if God had not engaged himself in 
our problems, we would still be lost in the blackness. It is by his 
mercy that we have been lifted up. Prayer is that whole process that 
reminds us of who God is and who we are. 
I believe there's great power in prayer. I believe God heals the 
wounded, and that he can raise the dead. But I don't believe we tell God 
what to do and when to do it. 
God knows that we, with our limited vision, don't even know that 
for which we should pray. When we entrust our requests to him, we 
trust him to honor our prayers with holy judgment. from Walking With 
The Savior [Grace For The Moment SB By Max Lucado re Jam. 5:16] 


Keep On Praying
This verse shares a key principle for effective intercession: 
"keep on praying" until the breakthrough comes. 
The actual building of the dam usually takes many months, and 
then the water begins accumulating behind the dam. Drop by drop and 
day by day the water level rises, yet on the other side of the dam 
it's not apparent that anything is happening. Then when the water 
level finally reaches the right height, the sluice gates are opened 
wide. Water begins to turn the generators, and incredible power is 
Whether we are suffering from physical illness, financial 
problems, or broken relationships, sometimes it looks as if things will 
never change. This verse encourages us to press on. Keep praying until 
you have accumulated a great mass of prayer. Gather others to 
intercede for you. The breakthrough may be just around the corner. 
LORD, I want to be a faithful follower who doesn't stop praying 
because of delay, discouragement, or weariness. You won't delay one day 
or one moment longer than is needed for you to accomplish your 
purposed. Empower me to "keep on praying" until the answers come and to 
continually be thankful and bless your name. 
Prayer must often be 'heaped up' until God sees that its measure 
is full. Then the answer comes. Just as each of ten thousand seeds 
is a part of the final harvest, frequently repeated, persevering 
prayer is necessary to acquire a desired blessing.... Real faith can 
never be disappointed. It knows that to exercise its power, it must be 
gathered up, just like water, until the stream can come down in full 
force. Andrew Murray (1828-1917)  [Praying Through The Bible By Fuller 
re Jam. 5:13]