Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Powerful Prayer

Submitted by Curtis Tucker
Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray. Are any of you happy? You should sing praises. Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord. Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven.
Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. Elijah was as human as we are, and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for three and a half years! Then, when he prayed again, the sky sent down rain and the earth began to yield its crops.
(James 5:13-18, NLT)
Powerful Prayer
Look at how many times the word pray, or a form of it, is used in this passage of six verses. 
Do you think the Holy Spirit may be trying to make a point through the writer, James? 
If we desire God's power to be manifest through us, prayer must be an integral part of our lives. In Jesus ministry on earth, the gospel writers often note that Jesus withdrew from the crowds in order to spend significant time in prayer. Luke noted that on one occasion Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray. Paul told the church at Thessalonica that they should pray without ceasing. And, in the passage above, James tells us that our prayers are powerful and produce wonderful results. 
In the Book of Acts we read of the 1st century church spending time in prayer and through their prayers great miracles happened. At the birth of the church it is noted that the believers gave themselves to prayer. Their prayers shook buildings, healed the sick, raised the dead, brought the manifestation of the Holy Spirit, and literally changed the world in which they lived!
How's your prayer life? 
Most of us are busy, but how might our days be different if we took time to pray before we tackled our "to do" list? 
How about setting aside a specific amount of time each day to spend with God in prayer? You know your schedule and what is realistic but yet challenging also. It might mean setting the alarm for just a little earlier than normal. It might mean finding a quiet, private place during lunch. Try it and see what happens. 

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