Daily Devotional Wednesday 9th December 2020

by William Moody

James 5:16–20

16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.1 17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. 18 Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.

19 My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, 20 let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.


[1] 5:16 Or The effective prayer of a righteous person has great power


‘The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective’ (v16b). James finishes his great letter with an encouragement to pray with faith that it will achieve so much. The story of Elijah is used to encourage faithfulness and expectancy in prayer (v17-18; see 1 Kings 17 v1 & 18 v41-45).

Elijah held the future rain of his nation in his hands in prayer, yet James reminds us that Elijah was no ‘super-saint’ but rather a man like us with much weakness and failings (v17a).

The power of prayer rest not on how good we are but the goodness, faithfulness and power of the One we pray to. We pray with righteousness as we pray trusting in Christ and seeking for His will to be done.

James concludes with the important task of seeing those who wander from the truth to be brought back to God (v19-20). In the light of the previous verses (v16-18) surely the most important way that we see people brought back to God is through prayer.

Don’t give up on those who have fallen away or who are not yet saved, keeping bringing them to God at His wonderful throne of grace.

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®),
copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.