Our scripture this morning is James 5:13-16.

Is anyone among you suffering? He should pray. Is anyone in good spirits? He should sing praises. Is anyone among you ill? He should summon the elders of the church, and they should pray for him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick and the Lord will raise him up – and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. So confess your sins to one another and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great effectiveness.

James writes about the importance of prayer in our lives and the lives of others. He reminds us of the healing and forgiving power of prayer. Our conversations with God have present and eternal meaning, and are an essential part of our faith.

Jesus taught us that praying for those who are suffering is our call as Christians. Often praying is all we can do. Through prayer we let God know we are aware of the needs of others. If we have the capability to help, it is our duty to do so. 

James wrote earlier in this letter “for just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead” (James 2:26). However, here he advocates prayer, telling us that “the prayer of a righteous person has great effectiveness”. We can’t say we’ll pray for an issue as an excuse to not act, but by the same token we do not act without praying. Jesus showed us that true prayer fuels our faith and our works.

Heavenly Father, help us to see the needs of others and be part of Your solution. May our prayers be authentic and lead us to act in Your name. Amen.

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