Pray for Relationship

Read: James 5:13-18

Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. (v. 13)

In the final few lines of his letter to Jewish believers, James emphasized the importance of prayer. Going through something difficult? Pray. Happy? Pray. Someone you know and love sick? Pray. It is as if James closed his letter by saying, “Look, I’ve just outlined how we should be living in response to what Christ has done for us, but the first step is to be people of prayer.”

Most scholars believe James was the younger brother of Jesus. If so, then he would have known what it was like to walk with him, talk with him, and simply spend time with him. We can use our imagination and picture the two of them wrestling (as brothers do), playing together, and assisting their father in building things.

When James encourages us to pray in what seems like all situations, he is not simply pointing out our limitations—that we can do nothing without God. A relationship with God is what James wanted for his fellow believers and for us. We are to be as at ease praying and talking with God as one brother talking to another. We know that joy is multiplied and fear is reduced when shared with someone close to us. So it should be in our relationship with God. James desired for followers of Christ to call on him, spend time with him, share joy and sorrow with him. In other words, be as close as a brother. —Bill Rumbaugh

As you pray, let God show you the joy of having a true relationship with him.

About the Author

Bill Rumbaugh is a retired pastor living in Manchester, Maryland.

This entry is part 8 of 8 in the series Day to Day Advice from James