As we have seen, James had a great deal to say about the tongue; and this chapter is no exception. He mentioned some of the lowest uses of the tongue: complaining (James 5:9) and swearing (James 5:12). But he also named some of the highest uses of the tongue: proclaiming God’s Word (James 5:10) and praying and praising God (James 5:13). Prayer is certainly a high and holy privilege. To think that, as God’s children, we can come freely and boldly to His throne and share with Him our needs! Seven times in this section James mentioned prayer. The mature Christian is prayerful in the troubles of life. Instead of complaining about their situation, they talk to God about it; and God hears and answers their prayers. “Taking it to the Lord in prayer” is certainly a mark of spiritual maturity. A fitting climax to James’ letter is his emphasis on prayer. The greatest assistance any believer can offer another is faithful prayer. Prayer is clear evidence of care. Prayer is the direct line to the One who can provide for any need no matter how complex or impossible it may seem. To share in prayer, a believer must have a sensitivity to someone’s needs, engage in diligent supplication for those needs, and recognize the significance of those needs.
Christians pray both in times of trouble and in times of joy. In times of trouble Christians often fall victims to self-pity, anger, or morbid introspection. James directed Christians to pray rather than surrender to these wrong responses.
Christians who face trouble often lose their awareness of the presence of God due to gloom. Christians who have elation tend to forget God in the joy of their good success. Both darkness and sunshine should lead believers to a consciousness of God.
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