Friday, July 19, 2013

Urgent Care

Submitted By Keith Warren

Is anyone among you suffering?  He should pray.  Is anyone cheerful? He should sing praises.  Is anyone among you sick?  He should call for the elders of the church and they should pray over him after anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord." 
James 5:13-14 HCSB

Something strange happened to me last week.  I got sick.  I can’t remember the last time I went to the doctor, but it’s been a while.  I woke up Friday morning with a scratchy throat, and by Saturday it was obvious that it wasn’t going to go away easily.  So, I got on the internet, filled out an online check in form, and told them I had a sinus infection.  Thirty minutes later, I was sitting in an exam room.  The doc looks in my ears, checks my throat, listens to my breathing and says, “I think you have a sinus infection.”  Thank you!  Thirty minutes after that, I’m back at home with my MucinexDM, and a bottle of magic pills (antibiotic) that will make me feel better almost overnight.  It’s amazing really.

As I ponder the scripture above, I wonder if in all the wonders of modern medicine if something isn’t lost in the process.  I mean, I would never neglect medical attention for something even as minor as a sinus infection, but think about the group that James was writing to.  This group had no magic bottle of antibiotics to make them feel better.  They’re only hope was prayer.  I expect that this may explain why we modern Christians are not as committed to prayer as our predecessors.  Could it be that we don’t pray because so much of what we need to pray about is already conveniently taken care of for us?  Clearly, when things get beyond our control, we’re quick to turn to prayer.  Maybe that should happen more often, even for little things, and when it’s not out of control.

My mind also turned to those things for which there is no prescription.  Not just medical issues, but also things like societal issues.  In our overly medicated world, I wonder if we are too quick to jump to the conclusion that the solution to some of our problems is simply a “prescription” such as a political position or legislative action.  Could it be that just like in James’ time, some issues in our day have no “prescription” and that this is how God intends for it to be?  If the command of Scripture is for His children to pray, it seems to follow that there will be, in every generation, those issues and concerns for which the only answer is prayer.

This of course raises one final consideration, which is: What is the Lord’s purpose in leaving His people in a world where these issues perpetually exist?  Obviously, this subject is one that has been pondered for generations.  I’m no biblical scholar, but I would assume that they serve as a continual reminder that God wants his people to be a praying people.  If so, the issues in our lives serve as a continual reminder that we are a people in need of a Savior.

So, my prayer for you today is that you will attempt to see your world in light of the Lord’s call to prayer, and to praise.  Where there is concern, do what is prudent, but don’t forget to take those concerns to Him in prayer.  There are none too small for His attention.  And, where there is victory, be sure to share that with Him as well through praise.  We can’t be too careful about giving the Lord the glory for all of the good things in our lives.

Scripture to Claim:
And [if] My people who are called by My name humble themselves, pray and seek My face, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.  2 Chronicles 7:14

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