Wednesday 16 November 2022

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.

If we to read today’s verses in isolation without taking into account the rest of Scripture, it may appear that prayer is a simple formula: pray these prayers and you will always get the outcome that you are expecting.

Looking at the whole of Scripture, we see that God does not always answer prayers the way that we expect Him to. The simple reason is that He is God and we are not. How can we compare our limited perspective on any given situation with an all-seeing, all-knowing, all wise and loving God?

Rather than focusing on the outcomes, I see the message from these verses in James is that we are to pray, pray, pray!

Pray when you are in trouble. Pray when you are happy. Pray when you have messed up. Pray when you have a need. Pray for those who have wandered away from God.

How often do we miss the opportunity to talk to God about the big and the little things in life because we are caught in anxiety or busy complaining/sharing with others instead of Him?

Or, perhaps we have stopped talking to God about some situation due to disappointment when we haven’t see the outcome that we expected

I have found that when I am able to honestly and openly talk to God about a situation and then leave the outcome to Him it brings me great peace.

Lord, help me to grow in my communication with You and not just focus on the outcome of my prayers. May You be the first one that I run to in all circumstances – both the joys and the sorrows of life.

Written by Shelley Witt

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