Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. – James 5: 13-16
Elisabeth Elliott wrote that “prayer is something to be engaged in, not indulged in.
Over the last couple of weeks I’ve received a number of emails centered around specific needs for prayer and there was a sense of expectancy that those who received the email will follow the directions from James above. The central theme? Pray – not talk about praying or sharing the details with others. Simply pray, because the “prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”
James goes on to remind us of Elijah – “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months, it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit” (James 5: 17-18).
Elijah was a man like us with many of the same strengths and weaknesses, but Elijah was willing to pray.
S.D. Gordon presents a challenge for all of us:
“The greatest thing anyone can do for God and man is pray. It is not the only thing, but it is the chief thing. The great people of the earth today are the people who pray. I do not mean those who talk about prayer; not those who can explain about prayer; but I mean those people who take time and pray.”
Will we be among the greatest?