Today you should read: James 5:13-18
Becoming Convinced About Prayer …
Have you recently thought about how amazing prayer is?
In our short 5 verses today, James talks about prayer, relating much of this to what he has spoken throughout this book. He discusses praying in all circumstances (suffering, joy, sickness). He goes deeper into the discussion of elders praying over those who are sick. He discusses the importance of confessing and praying for one another. And, he touches on the effectiveness of prayer. As is with James’ writing, it is very straightforward and practical in its direction for us.
In the midst of these verses on prayer, James gives us one very powerful story, which carries an incredible implication.
In verses 17 and 18 James shares the story of Elijah. Remember in 1 Kings 17-18 where Elijah prayed in the midst of Israel’s idolatry? He prayed to the True God and exposed “Baal” as a counterfeit god. It is an amazing story of a courageous prophet who stood for God, as well as a story of God Almighty answering prayer and showing Himself to be supreme.
But what adds to the amazement of this story is that Elijah was human. He was a man just like us. He was nothing more and nothing less. Elijah, a human, prayed, and God answered.
So why does James remind of this in the midst of a section on prayer? I think it’s to convince us of its power, and to convince us that we can and should do it. If Elijah was just as human as we are, and he asked such amazing things from God, and God answered, we can do the same. We should do the same. We will miss out on God doing amazing things in us, in the lives of those we love, as well as Him doing things through us, if we fail to pray.
Somehow, when we pray, even with a sovereign God who knows all things, things that would previously not have happened will happen simply because we pray. That is amazing. And if we will become convinced of God’s power, His willingness to answer prayer, and the results of what “could be” if we pray, we wouldn’t miss an opportunity to do it.
Think of what could be if we pray. Think about what we may miss out on if we don’t. Let’s become convinced about prayer, so we will expectantly pray.
Posted by: Sam Cirrincione