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James 5:7-20 (NIV)
Patience in Suffering
7 Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. 8 You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. 9 Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door! 10 Brothers and sisters, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy. 12 Above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. All you need to say is a simple “Yes” or “No.” Otherwise, you will be condemned.
The Prayer of Faith
13 Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. 17 Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18 Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops. 19 My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, 20 remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.
When have you come closest to wandering from the faith? Who or what helped you back?
Over the years the devil has tried to lead me away from You a few times. The persuade of wealth and career became an increasing barrier to faith leading me to put my faith in the wrong place. Being let down from people who I trusted and respected, especially in the church, has also made me stumble and wander. But You, Lord, are full of compassion and mercy. By Your grace, I persevered by continuing to faithfully worship You during those faltering times, even when I didn’t feel like it. You changed my heart and blessed me. There will always be temptation that tries to dominate my time and resources. There will always be difficult times. But through prayer and worship, You are bigger than those. As I face trials, help me to be patient and stand firm, trusting in You. While I wait, help me not to grumble, but to be an example to those who are also struggling and are watching me. Help me to put my hope in You who provides for all my needs and to pray in all circumstances. Help me bless others through their challenges through prayer and praise that are both powerful and effective. In Your Holy Name, Amen