by Pastor Mark Jordan
“For this reason, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous person is powerful in what it can achieve.” (James 5:16, CEB)
Yesterday I shared some instructions from the Apostle Paul in Romans 12:12 to help stay strong in life: being happy in hope, standing strong in troubles, and devoting yourself to prayer.
Prayer is critical to getting the most out of life. It connects you to the eternal God, and empowers you to live for Him, even when it’s difficult. One of the misconceptions we can have in life, though, is thinking of prayer as something that helps us get what we want … it isn’t that at all! Prayer, rather, helps line us up with what God wants for you and me. BIG difference.
Today’s verse shares a bit about the healing power of prayer, connecting it with the confession and forgiveness of sin. This makes prayer relational, showing you need prayer as part of your private and public spiritual life. To that end, I want break prayer down in three different ways to help you strengthen and sharpen your prayer life with some great info I found on the website, www.adrenalfatiguesolution.com.
“Solo prayer by, and for, oneself has straightforward benefits. Solo prayer is an opportunity to ask for help or guidance. Importantly, it is a chance to address any fears or stresses and release their burden to God. People should also remember that communication goes both ways, and take the time to listen to God as well. With the faith that God will listen and help, people find that their stress is alleviated.
“Prayer with others capitalizes on the communal benefits of faith. People can pray with others in a structured setting, like a church or scheduled prayer group, or it can be spontaneous. An example of spontaneous group prayer is when tragedy strikes. During these dark times, people are often compelled to join with other victims or sympathizers and pray. Group prayer is not limited to hard times though, as many people appreciate being able to rejoice and give thanks with others. In both cases engaging in prayer with similar minded people strengthens the feeling of belonging, reinforces feelings of support and understanding, and alleviates stress.
“Praying for others … is an important concept. Some people may be surprised that remembering others in their prayers or dedicating prayers entirely to others can have a positive effect on their own mood and feelings of well-being. Praying for others is an exercise in empathy. It also allows people to focus on something other than their own concerns for a while. Praying for others, and considering what someone else is dealing with, can also allow people to gain a better perspective on their own issues.”
We need prayer to be a defining part of our daily living. This is to help us in our divine connections between self, God, and others. The prayer of the righteous person is powerful in what it can achieve, so pray more, and let that power begin in —and for— you!
Prayer: Dear God, I know that the prayers of a righteous person are powerful. I ask you to hear me, and help me experience the power you long to share with me. I ask this in Jesus’ holy name; amen.