Do you ever find yourself alone with your thoughts and wonder, “What possible difference can my prayers make in my life or the lives of anyone else?” I confess that many times I struggle to “pray continually” believing that my words escape my mind or mouth and dissipate into thin air. James 5:13-16 has a much different perspective on prayer.
“Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 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.”
What is our comfort in the trials and tribulations of this world? Is it in our ability to singlehandedly conquer all of our ailments and problems by our own doing? Or is it dependent upon our own faithfulness and willingness to pray? By no means. The Christian trusts not in himself, but in Christ alone to love and redeem those around him. He declares dependence on Jesus for everything – in times of suffering and joy. This truth should free the Christian to pray continually about all things, knowing that Christ hears our prayers and intercedes on our behalf. As a result, prayer becomes less of an event and more of a state of being, a union with Christ that stirs our heart’s affections for him and his kingdom.
May 26, 2015