Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Power of prayer
‘The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.’
This portion is reminding the first century Christians about the power of prayer. They were troubled by several things, different types of beliefs, waiting for the return of Jesus, persecution by Jews and the fight among them about the leadership positions. This is true for the 21st century Christians, since there are several different types of beliefs among ourselves, and some are waiting for the return of Christ at any time, and persecution and oppression by others and finally fight for leadership among us. But James is reminding the first century Christians about the power of prayer when they are in trouble.
He insists that if someone is in trouble, he should pray and if someone is happy, he should sing songs of praise. If anyone is sick, he reminds them to call for the elders of the church (since there were no clergy or bishops as we see today) to pray and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer offered by a righteous man in faith will make the sick person well. If a person sinned in the past, he must confess his sins to each other and pray for each other so that he will be healed.
We see troubled people, sick people and people living in sinful life around us including us. But we seldom see immediate help in our troubles, sickness and sinful nature. It may be because we do not have righteous people around us to pray for the troubled one, sick and sinful people. We need to honestly confess our sins in public to our lord so that we can heal us. A troubled person and sick or sinful person need to be attended by righteous people to see the results. At sometimes, we wonder why God is allowing suffering in our lives. The answer is very simple, God wants us to trust him, to believe in him and follow him even in our trials and temptations so that he can heal us at his own time to reveal his glory in our lives. Prayerful life is an example of witnessing our Lord, because he always prayed to his Father. He even taught us how to pray beginning with ‘our father who art in heaven.’
A prayer is in fact a face to face communication with our Lord. He wants us to talk to him on a daily basis and at all times. Let us lead a prayerful life by communicating with our Lord so that his glory may be revealed in our lives. Even when we do not communicate with him, he is with us and watching us over so that the devil may not interfere in our life situations. He is always faithful even at times we are not faithful to him. God wants us always to pray and communicate with him about our needs and wants, but he will provide us what we need at a time when we need it.
Prayer: ‘Lord, thank you being with us at all times. Keep us in your shadow and help us to lead a life worthy to you. ‘Amen.
Thought for the day: A prayer is in fact a face to face communication with our Lord
Lal Varghese, Dallas