James wrote this letter from Jerusalem as a leader of the Christian church around 47 A.D. James’ letter is full of ways to be obedient in good works: avoiding worldliness, pursuing purity and patiently awaiting Christ’s return by finding meaning and purpose in suffering. Our difficulties refine us, strengthen our faith and prepare us to minister to others. As we hold on to God through the “exams of life,” He helps us succeed by becoming better and not bitter.
In addition to this perspective on suffering, we must develop a Christian worldview in all subjects, knowing that every good gift is from above. We must control our tongues to avoid angry quarrels, speak the truth and not slander or judge one another. We must demonstrate the genuineness of our faith through our words and our works. We are to look after one another’s spiritual health, loving others as ourselves.
We should seek God’s direction in all planning. We are called to pray in faith for physical healing, for relational restoration, for wisdom and even about the weather, believing God will answer. Let us share our concerns and joys with one another, confess our sins to one another and faithfully pray for one another, knowing that “the effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man [or woman] availeth much” (James 5:16, KJV).
Dear heavenly Father,
Thank you for James, one of your servants and a brother of Jesus. Please prompt us to keep his reverent attitude. Fill us with joy as we continue to persevere. Keep our faith strong. Make us mature and complete so we do not lack anything. Please give us much wisdom.
Lead us to give generously as You do, without finding fault. Give us belief, and take away our doubt. Thank You for every good and perfect gift You’ve given us. Thank You that You do not change. Train us to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to get angry. Thank You for giving us life and for planting Your Word in us. Lead us not into temptation.
Empower us to be doers of the Word and not hearers only. Bless us in what we do. Thank You that Your perfect Word gives freedom. Remind us to keep tight reins on our tongues. Make our religion pure and faultless as we look after orphans and widows and keep from being polluted by the world.
In Jesus’ name,
Excerpt from Praying through the Letters (Westbow Press, a division of Thomas Nelson) byGina Turner. Turner is an author whose experience of God’s strength and guidance through losses of health and children led her to write her second book, Praying Through the Letters, which was published this year.The book is available on westbowpress.com, on Amazon and through Barnes and Noble.