21 days of prayer
Joshua Brantley, Worship Pastor
Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. Is 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. And 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. Therefore 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. Elijah 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. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops. My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.
Here we find James giving exhortation on prayer and the power that a faithful prayer wields. I know that many times I am guilty of “saying” a prayer and not really “praying” a prayer. Some of you reading this may understand. At lunchtime do you pray your blessing over the food or do you say your blessing over the food? Many times our prayers are “said” out of routine and not out of a true expectation. I pray that we begin to recognize in our lives the difference between a fervent and effectual prayer and a routine prayer. As a believer, it’s not the words we use, but the belief and faith that is behind those words. I believe that what our church, our community, and our world needs are prayers that are rooted in faith.
Help me Father to not simply pray generic, faithless prayers. Let me remember that as I am praying, I have the opportunity to connect with you and that should not feel rushed, halfhearted or routine. I pray that in 2020 I will prioritize prayer as a vital part of my relationship with you and that coming to you in prayer will become my first thought and not my last resort. I pray that this year I will seek your face and see your hand like never before.