This week Pastor Scott Shimada shared God's Word with us: Scott is a pastor at San Lorenzo Holiness Church and was our guest speaker at Youth Camp last summer: Sometimes we tend to use prayer for our personal comfort or as a last resort. But prayer is neither. It is not a monologue but a dialogue with God. Prayer changes things because prayer changes us. Because God is always with us and is continually working in our lives.
In James 5:13, James tells his readers that they are to pray always. How consistent is your prayer life? When you think about it, who would you rather have in control of your life? We are in a spiritual battle every day and when we pray, we have God on our side.
In James 5:14, James tells his readers that they are to pray with others. If anyone was sick they were to call the elders and be anointed with oil. Anointing is personal and involves the aspect of touch. You have to touch the sick person in order to anoint them. This is an intimate gesture and creates a bond of commonality.
In James 5:15, James tells his readers that they are to pray with faith. Prayer is an acknowledgment that God is in control. Praying with faith is believing that what you pray for will happen. One time during a bad drought, a pastor was called upon to pray for rain. The pastor asked if people believed that God could make it rain. They agreed. Then he asked if people believed that God would make it rain. Again, they agreed. But then he asked, "Did anyone of you bring an umbrella?" Praying with faith is trusting that God has the power to answer your prayers and also that He knows what is best.
Lastly, in James 5:16, James tells his readers to pray honestly. The prayer of a righteous person is effective. It is not stale or boring but energetic and powerful. When we keep clean accounts with God by confessing our sins to one another, God is able to use our prayers. The power comes when we don't deny that we need help and that Christ is the only one who can help.
How will you pray this week?