7 day plan

Prayer – our passport to God

Day 2 of 7

James 5:13-15

Effective Prayer

13Is anyone among you suffering? He should pray. Is anyone cheerful? He should sing praises. 14Is anyone among you sick? He should call for the elders of the church, and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15The prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up; if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.

Reflection:  James is leaving us in no doubt – pray, pray and pray. When we face difficulties, come to God in prayer. When our hearts are bubbling over with joy, let’s praise God. When we can’t hear God and wonder whether he is there…pray.

There is absolutely nothing we cannot pray about. God is listening. He is listening when we are broken. When we are confused. Even when we can no longer speak and have no words. God’s love is so great that he wants us with him no matter what is going on and how sinful we might feel. His love is without end. Note too, the communal nature of prayer, which is a challenge in times of social distancing and isolation, but still possible as we stay in touch with each other. When we gather in Christ’s name – even via technology – he is in our midst.

Prayer: Gracious God, I come before you with a contrite heart, my spirit talking with your Spirit. Please forgive me for my failure to pray. Help me to keep coming before you in prayer. You are my beloved Father who sent your Son to die for me. Thank you for your gift of grace. Amen

Days

James 5:1-20

Warning to the Rich

1Come now, you rich people, weep and wail over the miseries that are coming on you. 2Your wealth has rotted and your clothes are moth-eaten. 3Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have stored up treasure in the last days. 4Look! The pay that you withheld from the workers who mowed your fields cries out, and the outcry of the harvesters has reached the ears of the Lord of Armies. 5You have lived luxuriously on the earth and have indulged yourselves. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. 6You have condemned, you have murdered the righteous, who does not resist you.

Waiting for the Lord

7Therefore, brothers and sisters, be patient until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth and is patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. 8You also must be patient. Strengthen your hearts, because the Lord’s coming is near.

9Brothers and sisters, do not complain about one another, so that you will not be judged. Look, the judge stands at the door!

10Brothers and sisters, take the prophets who spoke in the Lord’s name as an example of suffering and patience. 11See, we count as blessed those who have endured. You have heard of Job’s endurance and have seen the outcome that the Lord brought about — the Lord is compassionate and merciful.

Truthful Speech

12Above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath. But let your “yes” mean “yes,” and your “no” mean “no,” so that you won’t fall under judgment.

Effective Prayer

13Is anyone among you suffering? He should pray. Is anyone cheerful? He should sing praises. 14Is anyone among you sick? He should call for the elders of the church, and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15The prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up; if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect. 17Elijah was a human being as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the land. 18Then he prayed again, and the sky gave rain and the land produced its fruit.

19My brothers and sisters, if any among you strays from the truth, and someone turns him back, 20let that person know that whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.