Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms.-James 5:13
Whether one is facing a physical crisis or a spiritual one, prayer is the answer. Those who pray diligently declare how desperately they need GOD’s help. Through prayer, we acknowledge we cannot make it on our own; through prayer we turn our struggles over to GOD. Prayer is depicted and discussed throughout Scripture.
In the Old Testament, we read about men like Manoah, the father of Samson, who prayed and asked GOD for guidance: “O my LORD, please let the Man of GOD whom YOU sent come to us again and teach us what we shall do for the child who will be born” (Judges 13:8). Others like Jabez, prayed to GOD for personal blessings and protection. He asked, “Oh, that YOU would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, and that YOUR hand would be with me, and that YOU would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!”(1 Chronicles 4:10).
Another individual who prayed was the prophet Elijah. Although, he was involved in several miraculous events, including calling fire down from heaven ( 1Kings 18:36-38). In this verse, James described him as “a man with a nature like ours” (5:17) and used him to illustrate the power of prayer. The New Testament also contains numerous examples of individuals who relied upon prayer. Prayer is necessary if one wishes to rely upon GOD, and when it is done properly, it can be very powerful.
Reasons to Pray
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to GOD” (Philippians 4:6). No matter the circumstances we face, GOD cares. “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of GOD, that HE may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon HIM, for HE cares for you” (1 Peter 5:6-7) Whether one is suffering or rejoicing, GOD must not be far from that person’s mind. We pray because GOD in HIS providence can provide the relief we desperately seek; we sing because GOD is to be praised for the good things we enjoy in this life.
GOD continues to care for HIS people and answer their prayers through HIS providence. The result of faithful and trusting prayer is presented in James 5:15-16: “And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the LORD will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” Prayer is powerful and an effective tool! This does not mean that all prayers are answered in the way we desire. (Matthew 26:39; Hebrews 5:7-9). Nevertheless, GOD is listening and willing to act in accordance wit HIS will (1 John 5:14-15).
Saving a SOUL
As Christians, we have to reach out to those who have fallen away. “Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins“(James 5:19-20).
When one is lost, others should be concerned enough to search and attempt to rescue their brother or sister (Luke 15: 4-10). I was taught that we are to seek and save the lost. Not only should we be concerned about the saving of our soul, but others as well. It feels good to know when someone you have encountered become to the knowledge of truth and their soul is saved!!! All glory to GOD!
“Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.” Galatians 6:1 The sinner who is restored will be saved from death and forgiven. Prayer is certainly more than a meaningless ritual. I’ve learned that when waiting for GOD’s answer as you face difficulties, you develop patience.
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