31 May 2011

James: Faithful Prayer

The Prayer of Faith
 James 5: 13-20

 13 Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? 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. 

There is so much in this passage about the power of prayer and the importance of prayer that we would be foolish to disregard it. 

I love how at the beginning of the passage it says, "If you are suffering--pray about it...if you are thankful---sing praises about it, if you are sick--call on the elders of the church and have them pray over you!"  Basically there is nothing that is too big or too little for God to handle!  (And speaking of elders, my John just became an elder at our church 2 weeks ago...pray for us as we embark on this new ministry of service to our church body!  We feel really ready and excited about it.)

Alice Hech and Debi Hech

 I also love how in verse 16 it talks about confessing our sins to each other so we can experience healing.  This is where having an accountability partner or a trusted friend in Christ can really help you to grow when you are able to be open/honest with one another about the things you struggle with.  Praying with your accountability partner and for them is such a blessing.  About a year after John and I got married I felt God calling me to ask Debi Hech to be my prayer partner, and now our families are our families.  We have grown so close over these past 7-8 years, meeting once a week at times, or twice a month now that I have little ones, but their was just something about having someone older than me who loved the Lord to talk to and seek godly advice from, and do Bible studies with, was truly a blessing!

And the rest of verse 16 "the prayers of a righteous person is powerful and effective."  Who are the people you ask to pray for you?  Chances are you ask certain people because you not only trust them, but you believe in the power of prayer and you believe that person will actually take the time to stop and pray for you!  I have a group of about 4 friends who I regularly text or email and ask for prayer because I KNOW they will pray for me.  And when one of them ask me to pray for them or a situation or a family member I stop what I am doing, even gather my kids if I need to and we pray together.  It's a great way to teach our children that God hears us no matter where we are, in the kitchen on our knees, in our bed, outside playing, in our car, we can always call on Him and depend on Him to hear us and to answer.

I love verse 19 because it just shows you the faithfulness of God that He never gives up on us, even when we walk away from Him.  He is the faithful father when we become prodigal sons.  And He is always waiting with open arms to receive us back to himself.  How neat is it to play a role in the life of bringing someone back to the Lord, maybe through prayer, or encouragement, or exhortation.

So, my dear ones, how can I pray for you today?

If you'd like to read my other posts on James (click below)...

James 1
James 2: 14-26
James 3: 1-12
James 3: 13-18
James 4: 1-12
James 5: 1-6
James 5

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