Nov. 19. Closing Remarks Encourage Prayer

Jas. 5:13-20

James concluded his letter with an admonition to his readers to pray during various periods of stress (mental and physical) and to sing praises during times of joy. Prayers of thanksgiving are also important to God.

Those who were sick were to call for the elders to anoint them with oil and pray in faith that God would heal them. One must remember that prayers of faith must also be according to God’s will. During the early years of the church, certain individuals had special healing powers given by God. Today, God’s children also have the avenue of prayer and are “anointed with the oil” of modern medical technology.

James instructed his readers to pray not only for physical healing, but also to pray for spiritual healing in the forgiveness of sins. He commanded them to confess their sins and to pray for one another. It was not to be only a one-way confession from one Christian to another, but a reciprocal exchange of confessions and prayers.

According to James, a truly penitent Christian can expect immediate forgiveness of his sins through prayer. He urged those Christians to work toward turning back anyone who had strayed from the truth of the gospel. Having restored such a person to Christ would save his soul from spiritual death and result in the forgiveness of all of his sins and additionally prevent the sins of those who would have been influenced to follow him in his errors.