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Intercession for Others (James 5)

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James Chapter 5





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James 5

A call for justice
Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. 2 Your riches are corrupted and your garments are moth eaten. 3 Your gold and your silver are rusted, and their rust shall be a testimony against you, and shall eat your flesh as fire. You have laid up your treasure in the last days. 4 Indeed, the wages of the labourers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. 5 You have lived on the earth in pleasure and luxury; you have fattened your hearts only for a day of slaughter. 6 You have condemned, you have killed the righteous, even though he does not oppose you.

A call for patience
   7 Therefore brothers, be patient until the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient over it, until it receive the early and latter rain. 8 Be you also patient. Establish your hearts. For the coming of the Lord is at hand! 9 Brothers, do not complain about each other, so that you are not judged. Behold! The judge stands at the door! 10 Brothers, take for an example the suffering and patience of the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 Behold, we call them blessed that endured. You have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the result that the Lord intended, how the Lord is full of pity and is merciful.

Prayer and healing
12 But above all things, my brothers, do not make oaths. Neither by the heaven, nor by the earth, nor by any other oath; but let your yes, mean yes, and your no, mean no, so that you will not fall under judgment.
   13 Is any among you suffering? Let him pray. Is any cheerful? Let him sing praise. 14 Is any among you sick? 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 him that is sick and the Lord shall raise him up, and if he has committed sins, it shall be forgiven him. 16 Therefore, confess your sins to each other, and pray for each other, so that you may be healed. The supplication of a righteous man avails much in its working. 17 Elijah was a man of like passions with us, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. 18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain and the earth brought forth her fruit.

         19 My brothers. If anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back: 20 let him know, that he who turns back a sinner from the error of his way, he shall save a soul from death, and shall cover a multitude of sins.


5:3 If we claim to live as if we expect Christ to return at any moment, it’s inappropriate to be saving up wealth for future enjoyment.

5:9 If we believe that any moment now Christ will return and judge us, we will not be critical and condemnatory of our brethren.

5:11 Even when it seemed God wasn’t answering Job’s prayers nor helping him, He was in fact very pitiful of Job.

5:17 The context suggests that Elijah’s prayers for a drought were because he believed this would lead Israel to repentance and forgiveness; and he himself suffered terribly as a result of that drought, coming near to starvation.

5:20 The prayers and spiritual efforts of a third party really can lead to a believer’s forgiveness and salvation- although see 1 Jn. 5:16,17. If our prayers and efforts for others can have such eternal consequence- we should, like Paul, be praying for our brethren all the time (:15).