Journal James 5 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)


Scripture: “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.


Elijah was a man with a nature like ours and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for 3 years and 6 months it did not rain on the earth.  Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain and the earth bore its fruit.


My brothers: If anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wanderings will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.”  James 5:16-20


Observation:  Where is my “to do list?”  Where should my focus be?  What should I be emulating/copying?  What is my objective?  Why?


Analysis:  I will never stop saying that the Word of God is wondrous and causes me to wonder all the day long.


The largest error I commit is “snipping” power verses and that out of context.  There are times where I latch upon a verse and hold it up before my eyes like a jewel—just to forget that all the words around that verse is as jewel-like as the verse, and perhaps more so as it gives important context.


For example:

  • Prayer of a righteous man: Power verse.  Causes vision.  Gives courage.  But: what about confessing my sin to another?  What about being transparent with my life?  When I receive confession, am I sitting in judgement or aligning with personal understanding?
  • Elijah is described as having a nature like me.  If that is so, why did he appear on the mount of Transfiguration with Moses?  Why was he selected to return in the Last Days as part of the Two Prophets?  And Elijah and I share the same nature?


Both of these have to do with the Prayer of a Righteous man.  Can I then pray like it is described?  Do I even pursue that kind of prayer?  (Note: I carefully avoid the word “power” on purpose.  Somehow in me, I separate Power of what I do from the Power of God and I am still working on getting myself right on that….”


When I think of going outside myself, do I care about those who have confessed believing but are observably not “on fire”, or do I pay attention to unbelievers first?  Preach the gospel to strangers but not to my friends in the local church?  Is the Word of God lively on my lips?


When I am journaling, this is the stuff I try to put down on paper.  I am trying not to teach anybody but myself.  Doesn’t always work like that because over the years I am intentionally introducing concepts and principles that hopefully takes root in readers, but I am also intentionally reinforcing these same concepts and principles in myself.


A journal should be a history of my walk with Jesus.  It should have ups and downs; I should be wondering, musing on scripture, and… confessing my failures in my own writing so that I can see them in the future.


Prayer: “Is the Word of God lively on my lips?” Pretty good phrase there, Holy Spirit.  I would like that to be banging off the walls of my skull frequently.


Please make it so, Lord.


Be with the folks I know today.  Let them be reminded of You no matter where they are.  Cause wanderers to confess to another in Christ and let that person respond with mercy in prayer.