A Powerful Privilege
Read James 5:13-16
Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. 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. 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. 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.
According to this verse, when should we pray? Have you ever been disappointed that a prayer wasn’t answered the way that you hoped? Have you ever been thankful that God didn’t answer a prayer the way you initially thought He should?
I believe that as Christians, our most underutilized tool is prayer. I will be the first to admit that I often use prayer as my last resort instead of my first resource. But friends, this should not be. We have been given an incredible gift! A direct line to the Father.
James makes it clear that prayer should be our first response in a variety of circumstances. In times of trouble? Pray. In times of joy and happiness? Raise your voice in a prayer of praise. Whenever someone is sick? Pray. When we have sinned? Pray.
We are reminded by James, the brother of Jesus, that prayer is powerful and effective. We should be quick to tap into the power of prayer! Nothing is more effective.
Now, we know that God does not always answer all of our prayers exactly as we ask. I have prayed earnestly that God would heal someone who was sick and yet, I have watched them die. If that has happened to you, I understand how disheartening it can be. But I want to encourage you to not give up on prayer.
In numerous places in Scripture, we are told that God listens to His people. He hears and He answers us. But He always answers us according to His will and not ours. We may not always understand His will. Remember that He sees everything clearly and completely while we only see our circumstances through our limited human view. God’s answers to our prayers are best because He knows the future. Just as I’ve been disappointed by the answer to a prayer, I have also been so thankful that God did not give me what I was asking for. He ended up giving me something better.
So friends, in all circumstances we should utilize the powerful privilege we have been given. Pray in faith and watch God work.
Father, thank You for the privilege of prayer. Thank You for allowing me to partner with You in Your work and commune with You. May I always ask in faith and trust You with the outcome. Amen.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford