New American Standard Bible
Is anyone among you suffering? Then he must pray. Is anyone cheerful? He is to sing praises.
King James Bible
Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.
Darby Bible Translation
Does any one among you suffer evil? let him pray. Is any happy? let him sing psalms.
World English Bible
Is any among you suffering? Let him pray. Is any cheerful? Let him sing praises.
Young's Literal Translation
Doth any one suffer evil among you? let him pray; is any of good cheer? let him sing psalms;
James 5:13 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
Is any among you afflicted? - By sickness, bereavement, disappointment, persecutions, loss of health or property. The word used here refers to suffering evil of any kind, (κακοπαθεῖ kakopathei.)
Let him pray - That is, prayer is appropriate to trial. The mind naturally resorts to it, and in every way it is proper. God only can remove the source of sorrow; he can grant unto us "a happy issue out of all our afflictions;" he can make them the means of sanctifying the soul. Compare 2 Chronicles 33:12; Psalm 34:4; Psalm 107:6, Psalm 107:13, Psalm 107:28. It matters not what is the form of the trial, it is a privilege which all have to go to God in prayer. And it is an inestimable privilege. Health fails, friends die, property is lost, disappointments come upon us, danger threatens, death approaches - and to whom shall we go but to God? He ever lives. He never fails us or disappoints us if we trust in him, and his ear is ever open to our cries. This would be a sad world indeed, if it were not for the privilege of prayer. The last resource of millions who suffer - for millions suffer every day - would be taken away, if men were denied the access to the throne of grace. As it is, there is no one so poor that he may not pray; no one so disconsolate and forsaken that he may not find in God a friend; no one so broken-hearted that he is not able to bind up his spirit. One of the designs of affliction is to lead us to the throne of grace; and it is a happy result of trials if we are led by our trials to seek God in prayer.
Is any merry? - The word merry now conveys an idea which is not properly found in the original word here. It refers now, in common usage, to light and noisy pleasure; to that which is jovial; to that which is attended with laughter, or which causes laughter, as a merry jest. In the Scriptures, however, the word properly denotes "cheerful, pleasant, agreeable," and is applied to a state of mind free from trouble - the opposite of affliction - happy, Proverbs 15:13, Proverbs 15:15; Proverbs 17:22; Isaiah 24:7; Luke 15:23-24, Luke 15:29, Luke 15:32. The Greek word used here (εὐθυμεῖ euthumei) means, literally, "to have the mind well" (εῦ eu and θυμὸς thumos;) that is, to have it happy, or free from trouble; to be cheerful.
Let him sing psalms - That is, if anyone is happy; if he is in health, and is prospered; if he has his friends around him, and there is nothing to produce anxiety; if he has the free exercise of conscience and enjoys religion, it is proper to express that in notes of praise. Compare Ephesians 5:19-20. On the meaning of the word here rendered "sing psalms," see the notes at Ephesians 5:19, where it is rendered "making melody." It does not mean to sing psalms in contradistinction from singing hymns, but the reference is to any songs of praise. Praise is appropriate to such a state of mind. The heart naturally gives utterance to its emotions in songs of thanksgiving. The sentiment in this verse is well expressed in the beautiful stanza:
In every joy that crowns my days,
In every pain Ibear,
My heart shall find delight in praise,
Or seek relief in prayer.
- Mrs. Williams.
LibraryAgainst Rash and Vain Swearing.
"But above all things, my brethren, swear not." St. James v. 12. Among other precepts of good life (directing the practice of virtue and abstinence from sin) St. James doth insert this about swearing, couched in expression denoting his great earnestness, and apt to excite our special attention. Therein he doth not mean universally to interdict the use of oaths, for that in some cases is not only lawful, but very expedient, yea, needful, and required from us as a duty; but that swearing which …
Isaac Barrow—Sermons on Evil-Speaking, by Isaac Barrow
Prayer for and with Each Other.
On the Sacrament of Extreme Unction.
Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I shall rescue you, and you will honor Me."
Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
"Behold, My servants will shout joyfully with a glad heart, But you will cry out with a heavy heart, And you will wail with a broken spirit.
1 Corinthians 14:15
What is the outcome then? I will pray with the spirit and I will pray with the mind also; I will sing with the spirit and I will sing with the mind also.
Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
As an example, brethren, of suffering and patience, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.
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