James 5:15 – 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.
Throughout this final section of the book of James, like the rest of the book, he gives us extremely practical examples and exhortations, this time on how to do ministry. As you read verses 13-20, you’ll notice that for a lot of these issues you may encounter, his suggestion is prayer. It doesn’t matter what the problem or peril is – they all could use prayer.
We may oftentimes feel like prayer is something we must do for God, but the truth is, prayer is more for us than for Him. He can do what He does without prayer, but it’s a way to relationally connect with God our Father who loves us. It transfers our burdens from ourselves to a God who is more than capable of carrying our burdens. Because He loves us, He wants to be invited into our lives rather than forcing a relationship upon us.
Since God can do whatever He wants to do, with or without our help, it may feel like there’s no reason to pray because we can’t sway or change God’s mind. But prayer aligns our heart with God’s desires and design for our lives and loved ones. It’s also a way for us to connect with other people and show empathy towards them. Even if they do not believe in God, it’s curious how people will often accept prayer because they can recognize its power and place in our lives.
As a popular Christian song on the radio says, prayer is how we “fight our battles” and, alongside putting on the “whole armor of God” (Ephesians 6), prayer is not just a set of words but is truly spiritual warfare against the unseen realm. If you don’t feel comfortable with prayer or want to learn more, you can learn a lot from the life and prayers of Jesus. I would encourage you to check out the book “Pray Like Jesus” that I had the honor of writing with my oldest daughter, Ashley, earlier this year, as well as the accompanying sermon series and study guide.
Make it a point to pray every single day before you start and end your day, even if it’s a simple, short prayer thanking God for all that He’s done in your life.
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