The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225

  (609)646-1181

Church of Christ

06/03/2010

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This "P" is for Prayer


"Is any one in trouble? He should pray.....The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective" (James 5: 13 & 16).

It is interesting for me to watch TV as a person being interviewed has had some tragedy in their life. The interviewer will invariably say, "My (our) prayers are with you." It is said in such an offhand manner, that something in me thinks that they are just words and not sincerity. Prayer is much more than a formality. Our God hears prayers offered in faith and responds. We believe that things happen differently because God's people pray. We would stretch the words of James here to their limits, if we were to conclude that God always gives those who pray exactly what they want. The righteous man is desirous of God's will being done just as Jesus prayed in his model prayer. (Matt 6:9-13) It is understood that God's perspective is not always ours. It is kind of like watching a parade go by. We get to see it as each segment passes us, as God gets to watch the entire parade from His vantage point. He always hears our prayers, but the response might be dependent on factors that we just cannot comprehend at the time.

In the ancient world, sickness was often associated with sin. We even hear that philosophy batted around today, with people wondering what they did wrong to deserve this fate...The relationship between sin and suffering is addressed by Jesus on two different occasions. (John 9:1-3 & Luke 13:1-3) Both times He rejected any relevant connection. Since old associations like this die hard, James here in the fifth chapter says that the sick person would not only get well, but would have his sins forgiven. One factor about prayer stands out to me. Prayers offered in faith stand in stark contrast to those offered in doubt! James here offers the Old Testament example of Elijah, who prayed that It would not rain, and for 3 1/2 years it did not. Again he prayed and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced it's crops. The reasoning of James is simple and to the point. If God heard the request of Elijah and changed the course of nature, how much more will he hear the small petitions that we bring before Him and grant them? Prayer is the umbilical that keeps us attached to God. It is good to receive His nourishment... Today, the "P" is for prayer...

Have a wonderful day... Go out and make a difference.... Love mark Phil. 4:11

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