Ezekiel 43:5-27; James 5:9-20; Psalms 118:27-29; Proverbs 25:9-10
NT: “Is anyone among you suffering? He should pray. Is anyone cheerful? He should sing praises. Is anyone among you sick? He should call for the elders of the church, and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up; if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect. Elijah was a human being as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the land. Then he prayed again, and the sky gave rain and the land produced its fruit. My brothers and sisters, if any among you strays from the truth, and someone turns him back, let that person know that whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.” (James 5:13-20 CSB)
As we live our lives in faith, walk in the ways of the Lord in faith, and patiently await the return of the Lord in faith, there will be challenges that we face. There will be times that we experience various levels of suffering. There will be sicknesses that affect our bodies. There will be times when we fall into sin. What are we to do when we experience those things during our journey of faith? James told us the most effective way to face and deal with those challenges is to pray… pray for ourselves and pray for one another. We are not equipped nor graced to walk this journey of faith alone. We need the Lord and we need each other. We need to pray to the Lord and we need to pray for one another.
Prayer in the Bible has to do with making vocal, constant, faith-filled requests to God that are in accordance with His will for the earth and His will for His people. Prayer is not meant to be an attempt to overcome God’s unwillingness to act on our behalf, but an exercise in accessing all that God is willing to do on our behalf through faith. Just as James wrote in the beginning of this letter – if someone needs wisdom, he should ask for it in faith, knowing that God desires to give us His wisdom in times of trial. We don’t pray to convince God to give us wisdom – we pray to ask a very willing God for the wisdom He has for us in faith.
Those who are suffering through trials or tribulations, or are being faced with a temptation should first and foremost pray to God. As they pray, they should pray for grace, for wisdom, for endurance, for strength… all the things that God has said that He is willing to give us as we face the trials and tribulations of life. Those who are not facing trials at the moment should lift up their voice in praise and thanksgiving to the faithful God who has led them through trials and preserved them according to His word. For those who have become physically incapacitated due to sickness, they should call for the elders to lay hands on them and pray in faith for healing. For those who have fallen into sin, they are to confess their sin to a trusted brother or sister in the Lord and then pray for one another according to the word and will of God. When we see someone falling into sin or walking in error, we are to prayerfully make them aware of their sin and error and turn them back to the way of righteousness. Faith-filled prayer offered according to the word and will of God is powerfully effective. It is effective in seeing sick people made well. It is effective in seeing a back-slidden believer restored to right relationship with God and His people. It is effective in seeing us equipped, strengthened and graced for every trial and tribulation we face. One of the primary ways we remain faithful to the Lord and on the path of godliness until the end is through faith-filled prayer.
Prayer: Lord, I thank You for the gift of prayer. What a powerful resource to faithfully come in agreement and alignment with Your will, and see Your kingdom come and Your will be done here on earth as it is in heaven. Remind me, by Your Holy Spirit, to not forsake prayer – but to consistently and fervently pray for myself and others to effectively see Your will accomplished in my life and the lives of others. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.