A letter from Jesus' brother

This devotional is written by Sinora Phillips. Science teacher, mother to Jessie and Nathan, live in Maida Vale, originally from Tel-Aviv.

James 5:13-20

The prayer of faith

13 Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. 14 Is anyone among you ill? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

17 Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18 Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.

19 My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, 20 remember this: whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.


The internet is full of useful "life hacks". It answers so many potential complications. If you need to change a tyre or fix your computer or clean the vacuum filters - no problem - someone out there has put up a how-to YouTube video. A quick google search informs us when our next train is departing, and an easy check in with Siri can tell us how many grams of sugar in a cup. And if I need to drive somewhere new? Satnav can take me there in the quickest route.

Life hacks are also relevant in our walk with God. If you are worried about something - take an active role in praying about it. If you're feeling content, burst into song! Feeling under the weather? Arrange for a home visit! God who made us in His image has also given us a human nature. We aren't failing at life if we find ourselves to be not as holy as we would like to be. As long as we are actively pursuing the things of God, that's all that is required of us

The example given to us in this passage is that of Elijah. He had such a faith that could both make it rain or cause a drought. Yet even Elijah, in his weakness, crawled into a cave and wanted to die. But he didn't leave it there, he continued to commune with God throughout his despair, and got to see the presence of a powerful God who then actually spoke to him in a still soft voice.

We too, are promised the same. God does not offer us an easy out from our daily troubles. He simply promises us that if we remember to seek him through them, he will show himself to us. If we draw near to Him. He will draw near to us. James in sharing this life hack, exhorts us to seek God in the journey, and promises us amazing adventures and experiences!

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