Pray In Community – May 19, 2016
James 5:13, Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. 14Is 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. 15And 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. 16Therefore 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. 17Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.
1 John 5:14, This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.
“As it is the business of tailors to make clothes and of cobblers to mend shoes, so it is the business of Christians to pray.” – Martin Luther
This week, we have been examining what James, the brother of Jesus, had to say about “Elite Level Prayer.” If you missed any of my previous thoughts, you can find them on my daily blog @ www.johnmarkcaton.com.
Today’s thought about “Elite Level Prayer,” is… learn to pray in community. James 5:16, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other … The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” Did you get that? A key ingredient to being an “Elite Level Prayer” is with and for each other, community. We also see that elite prayers follow confession of sins. In other words, you can’t really be a great prayer if you have unconfessed sin in your life, or if you have a broken relationship with those whom you are trying to pray.
Jesus put it this way in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5:23, “… if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you,24leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.” So Jesus said, before you can even consider praying, you have to get things right with others. And if you have sinned against them go and confess it and ask for forgiveness. Don’t make excuses just go, confess it, and get things right. This is the start to praying in an elite way!
Take care and have a blessed day!
John Mark Caton, Ph.D