“And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” James 5:15-16
I know I’ve said it. Perhaps, you have said it, too. “All I can do is pray.” As much as some of us would like to just be human “beings”, many of us have become human “doings.” Being still and knowing that God is God is super hard for us. We want to do something about it. We want to fix things. When we realize that we aren’t in control and that there’s nothing we can do to change the situation, many of us are tempted to just throw in the towel. In these critical moments when healing is needed and we are desperate for peace and both are at stake, how often do we neglect prayer?
Why do we feel that prayer is not as powerful as taking matters into our own hands? Why would we ever utter such words as, “All I can do is pray”? We would do well to remember that prayer is powerful, and prayer is a long shot from inactivity. I just got off the phone with five of my closest friends who all happen to be ministry partners with me in Neue Thing. They make up my prayer team, and every other week we have a prayer conference call. We literally carve out about an hour of our time to come together and pray. And it’s POWERFUL. Let me tell you, these times in prayer that we have shared together have move mountains – in this ministry, in our own lives, in the lives of our families and beyond. God responds to prayer, and He also knows that prayer changes us. That is why He prescribes it to us in His Word. James 5:16 ends with two incredible words that describe prayer:
Powerful and Effective.
Maybe if we believed that our prayers possessed power when we seek God with all of our hearts in faith, perhaps we would engage in it more. If we understood that prayer is effective in transforming lives and bringing about healing, maybe we would run to it instead of tragically neglecting it. It really boils down to who you say God is. If you believe that God is powerful, mighty to save, faithful in all His ways, able, and good (just as His Word says He is), you would never think that prayer is nothing more than a last resort. However, if your view of God is plagued with doubt, fear, and unbelief, your prayer-less life is probably a powerless life. Prayer needs to become our initial default, an instinctive response to all things.
Because prayer is powerful. Because prayer is effective.