Sermon Bible Study Guides

in James

James 5:13-20 - 20th August, 2021

OBSERVATION
What does it say?

  1. Read James 5:13-20.
  2. Who does James address?
  3. What are the repeated words/phrases/ideas?
  4. What commands are given?
  5. What reasons are given?
  6. Do we see anything that connects to other sections of James?
  7. What does this text teach us about God and how he works in the world?

INTERPRETATION
What does it mean?

  1. What are some common ways that people respond to suffering?
    1. How should Christians respond?
    2. If we are suffering, what should we pray for?
  2. Why is it important for Christians to sing praise in their cheerfulness?
    1. What does it say about our hearts if we do not praise God when we are joyful?
  3. What is the prayer of faith in verse 15?
    1. Whose faith is being described, the faith of the sick person or the faith of the one praying? 
    2. What do you think it means that this prayer will "save the one who is sick"? (physical healing, spiritual salvation, both, or something else?)
  4. Healing, when it comes, is always a gift from God. Why might God choose not to heal someone?
    1. Why does James give us the example of Elijah?
  5. Is verse 19 talking about a believer or a non-believer?
    1. What does it mean to "bring back a sinner from his wandering"? (cross-reference Matthew 18:15-20)

APPLICATION
How should it change us?

  1. Are you suffering? Pray!
    1. What would it look like to be faithful in praying through your suffering?
    2. Are there other people in your life who are suffering? What can you ask God for on their behalf?
  2. Are you cheerful? Sing praise!
    1. What are some ways things that have made you happy this week? How can you praise God for those things?
  3. Are you sick? 
    1. Have you ever called the elders of the church while you were sick? Why or why not?
    2. Is there sin in your life that you need to confess? Is there someone in your life that you can regularly confess to?
      1. God promises healing and forgiveness if we confess our sins to one another and pray for one another.
  4. Do you know someone who is wandering from the truth?
    1. How might God be able to use you to bring them back?
    2. Church members have a special obligation to their local assembly. If someone in your church was wandering, would you know?