Friday, December 30, 2016

The Mystery of Prayer (James 5:16-18)

Today’s scripture: James 5:16-18

I have to be honest. I don’t really understand how prayer works. God knows everything. There is nothing that is outside of His sight. He could do anything without our intercession.

So why do we pray? Why does James insist that the “effective prayer of a righteous man [or woman] can accomplish much”?

Because, somehow in God’s plan, prayer does change things.

Paul wrote on more than one occasion that prayer isn’t an option. We are to “pray without ceasing … for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thess. 5:17-18). And he told Timothy, “I desire that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands …” (1 Tim. 2:8).

As I’ve mentioned before, for reasons beyond my comprehension, God loves to hear our voices raised to Him in prayer. In fact, as I wrote yesterday, He delights in hearing our voices (Prov. 15:8).

When we pray with sincere and open hearts, God listens. And He answers. Every time. We just have to remember that His answers aren’t always what we’re hoping for. You’ve heard this before, I’m sure, but sometimes He answers, “Yes.” But sometimes His answer is “no.” And then there’s the answer I don’t really love … “wait.”

So pray. Pray without ceasing. Pray for your needs and for the needs of others—within His will. Be ready to accept His answer, not matter what that answer might be.

Because your effective prayer can accomplish much.

NOTE: Although I don’t usually post on the weekends, come back tomorrow to finish up the book of James.

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